In the New Scientist article ‘Mending hearts’ (4th of October 2014, issue no. 2989) stem cells have been revealed as one of the potential cures for diabetes type 1, along with heart failure. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), “unlike stem cells isolated from adult tissue that have been the basis of stem cell treatments so far, can be grown into any of the body’s 200 tissue types”.
In a trial testing the effectiveness of treatment with hESCs, “40 people with diabetes in the US will receive pouches containing immature pancreas cells made from hESCs”: “the pancreatic cells are supposed to mature into beta-islet cells, which produce the hormone insulin. These would act as a substitute for the insulin-producing cells that are destroyed by the immune systems of people with type 1 diabetes”.
If this trial is successful, then it is likely that testing will roll out to a larger group, but we will have to wait and see what the results of this trial will be.