HH Sheikha Moza Attends Symposium on Islet Cell Transplantation

Doha, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), attended today a symposium on Islet Cell Transplantation (ICT) – a ground-breaking and lifesaving procedure used to treat patients with severe type 1 diabetes hosted under the sponsorship of Qatar Metabolic Institute, and organized by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).
The symposium was also attended by HE the Minister of Public Health Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari .
The Islet Cell Transplantation symposium was also attended by a distinguished group of ICT experts from across the globe who shared their knowledge and experiences in establishing and using this pioneering technique.
ICT is a cell replacement therapy that involves isolating islet cells (tiny clusters of different types of cells) from a donor pancreas and transferring them into the liver of an insulin-dependent recipient.
Professor Abdul-Badi Abou-Samra, HMC’s Chair of Internal Medicine and Director of the Qatar Metabolic Institute, highlighted the potential benefits of Islet Cell Transplantation to type 1 diabetes sufferers. He said: “For a type 1 diabetic who may not know when their blood sugar reaches dangerously low levels, ICT treatment could make a significant difference to that person’s quality of life.” Professor Abou-Samra explained: “The pancreas contains islets that produce hormones. Alpha cells raise the glucose level in the blood while beta cells make the hormone insulin which lowers the glucose level. With type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system mistakenly destroys the beta cells which cause the pancreas to lose the ability to make insulin.” “During Islet Cell Transplantation, the job of the donor islet cells is to produce insulin to help the transplant recipient regain control of their blood sugar levels, enabling them to monitor them more effectively. This can eliminate or greatly reduce the need for insulin injections and in some cases can prevent brain damage or premature death.” Professor Abou-Samra added: “Today, we are fortunate to have had the opportunity to welcome some of the world’s leading experts in the field of Islet Cell Transplantation. My hope is that we can share and use their knowledge and insights to increase our understanding of this groundbreaking procedure.”

Source: Qatar News Agency