Stromal Stem Cell Resarch On Complications Caused By Diabetes Mellitus
Under the newly approved EU research project REDDSTAR, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin is researching new possibilities for treating complications stemming from diabetes mellitus. The three-year project will be conducted throughout Europe with ten partner institutions in Germany, Ireland, the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal and the USA. It is being funded with a total of six million euros by the European Commission as part of the 7th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development.
Many diabetic patients suffer from severe complications. The scientists now want to investigate, whether bone marrow stromal stem cells can safely regulate blood sugar and reverse vascular damage. "Research like this could not be accomplished by one institution alone. As a partner in the EU project, I am very excited about the opportunity to develop this very promising treatment method for diabetic complications. We anticipate new insights into how so-called diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy (a heart muscle disease) can be cured by the administration of bone marrow stromal stem cells," said Prof. Carsten Tschöpe of the Department of Cardiology and Pulmonology at Charité.
Approximately 60 million diabetes mellitus patients in the EU regularly take medication to regulate their blood sugar levels. However, the often substantial fluctuations involved can lead to complications over the long term such as kidney disease, retinal disease, heart muscle disease, nervous disorders, impaired bone healing and ulcer formation. Earlier studies confirmed the potential of stromal stem cell administration for the regulation of blood glucose and the stimulation of healing of damaged blood vessels. In the recently started EU research project REDDSTAR, researchers will first use animal models to study how stromal stem cells can be used in the treatment of typical diabetes complications. The findings will then be applied to the treatment of the patient as a second step.
Prof. Carsten Tschöpe