Islet Transplant Laboratory

Islet cell transplant is an innovative therapy that has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of type 1 diabetes. We have demonstrated that a life without insulin injections is possible, and the procedure is a significant first step toward improving the quality of life of patients living with type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Steven Paraskevas

Director of Pancreas and Islet Transplant Program, MUHC

The Challenge

Type 1 diabetes is a life-changing diagnosis. The illness cannot be prevented and living with the disease can be a constant battle as it requires lifelong monitoring of blood sugar along with daily insulin injections, making regular day-to-day tasks such as planning a meal or even doing basic exercise a challenge. If left untreated, type 1 diabetes can cause serious complications including blindness, stroke, kidney failure and cardiovascular disease.

With the complications of type 1 diabetes continuing to plague more and more Canadians and rising costs related to properly monitoring the illness, there is now an even greater need to provide better access to new and innovative treatments that will improve the personal management of type 1 diabetes and help to reduce the possibility of complications and the burden on our healthcare system.

The Solution

muhc-foundation-dr-steven-paraskevas-islet-transplant-lab-200x300The MUHC’s Islet Transplant Laboratory has been working to improve the quality of life of patients living with type 1 diabetes and it specializes in the research and transplant of islet cells, a cutting-edge procedure that restores the body’s ability to produce its own insulin. Developed as an alternative to a pancreas transplant, which carries significant risks and often involves extended time in the Intensive Care Unit, islet transplant begins with islet cells being separated and isolated from a donor pancreas, a procedure that requires years of investment in technology and medical expertise. Once isolated, the islets can then be infused into a patient’s liver through a small catheter in the abdomen, without the need for surgery. This minimally invasive procedure has greatly improved the patient experience as there is less risk of infection and an improved recovery time.

The MUHC has been developing the expertise to conduct this procedure for the past decade, and it is the only centre in eastern Canada and one of only a dozen in North America capable of isolating and transplanting human islet cells. The MUHC conducted the first islet cell transplant in Quebec and in order to remain at the forefront of islet transplant, it must:

  • Conduct research that will refine the islet cell transplant procedure so it becomes a viable treatment for more patients suffering from type 1 diabetes in Canada
  • Purchase the latest medical equipment to improve the transplant procedure by maximizing the amount of islet cells that can be isolated and infused thereby increasing success rates
  • Recruit the best talent to ensure that patients are benefitting from the latest islet transplant research and treatment right here at home
  • Improve patient outcomes by providing a safer and non-invasive procedure that decreases hospital stays and reduces risk
  • Establish an islet cell network so other healthcare facilities can perform islet cell transplant, increasing the number of patients who could benefit from the procedure

How you can help

We are raising $1 million to support the needs of the MUHC’s Islet Transplant Laboratory.

You can donate online, download our donation form or call us at 514-843-1543.

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LEAP has selected Centre universitaire de santé McGill - McGill University Health Centre cardiologist & Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre researcher, Dr. Abhinav Sharma’s, MyHeart Counts Canada mobile application for their Healthy Future Accelerator. MyHeart Counts Canada’s goal is to get Canadians moving for improved cardiovascular health. Dr. Sharma’s app uses artificial-intelligence with real-time feedback and support to improve physical activity incrementally. LEAP is donating $100, 000 to support the continued development of Dr. Sharma’s app through the MUHC Foundation’s Fix Broken Hearts campaign. Watch: 📺 youtu.be/GG2HKWxVfxA

LEAP a choisi l'application mobile MyHeart Counts Canada du Dr Abhinav Sharma, cardiologue du CUSM et chercheur de l'IR-CUSM, pour leur accélérateur Horizons Santé. L’objectif de MyHeart Counts Canada est de faire bouger les Canadiens pour une meilleure santé cardiovasculaire. L'application mobile du Dr Sharma utilise l'intelligence artificielle avec rétroaction et l’assistance en temps réel pour améliorer progressivement l'activité physique. LEAP fait un don de 100 000 $ pour soutenir le développement continu de l'application du Dr Sharma dans le cadre de la campagne Souder les cœurs brisés de la Fondation du CUSM.
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Ce « Mardi je donne » est presque terminé! ⏰ Pour chaque femme dont la vie a été anéantie par le cancer de l’ovaire ou de l’endomètre. Pour chaque mère qui ne verra pas ses enfants grandir en raison de ces maladies. Pour chaque femme qui lutte actuellement pour sa vie, unissons-nous comme jamais auparavant. ❤️ The DOVEE Project

✨ Faites un don: bit.ly/3pIj2vZ

#MardiJeDonne #OsezRêverFCUSM

Giving Tuesday is nearing its end!⏱ For every woman whose life has been cut short because of ovarian or endometrial cancers. For every mother who won’t see her children grow up because of these diseases. For every woman fighting for her life right now, let’s come together like never before.

✨Donate: bit.ly/38Vtb2o

#GivingTuesday #DreamBigMUHCF
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Let’s do this, Montreal—we’re more than halfway through Giving Tuesday and we need every one of you to help us reach our $70,000 goal. 🙌 Support Dr. Gilbert, Joanne, Lawrie and the entire The DOVEE Project's Giving Tuesday dream of stopping ovarian and endometrial cancers. Combined, more than 3,000 Canadian women die each year from these cancers—but it doesn’t have to be this way. Let’s stop these deadly killers, once and for all.

✨ Donate now: bit.ly/3nREEEz

Plus de 3 000 Canadiennes succombent chaque année à ces deux cancers, mais nous pouvons les sauver. Arrêtons ces tueurs silencieux, une fois pour toutes.

✨Faites un don: bit.ly/2ISbhCC

#GivingTuesday #DreamBigMUHCF
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À l’occasion de « Mardi je donne », votre contribution sera égalée jusqu’à concurrence de 50 000 $ grâce à la générosité d’un grand donateur anonyme! La Dre Gilbert et ses collègues Centre universitaire de santé McGill - McGill University Health Centre ont mis au point un test sécuritaire et moins invasif qui permet de dépister les cancers de l’ovaire et de l’endomètre de façon plus précoce que jamais auparavant.

✨ Faites un don: bit.ly/38UHcgN
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It's Giving Tuesday, and your donation today will be doubled up to $50,000 thanks to a generous anonymous donor. Dr. Gilbert and her colleagues @ The DOVEE Project have developed a test that offers a safe, less invasive way to detect ovarian and endometrial cancers earlier than ever before. The answer for moving this test into clinical implementation? Generous Giving Tuesday supporters like you. ❤️

✨ Donate now: bit.ly/2UEAgvY

#GivingTuesday #DreamBigMUHCF
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Demain, c’est la journée « Mardi je donne ». Voici un message important de Lawrie Shahbazian, une coordonnatrice du projet DOvEEgene The DOVEE Project

« Les femmes qui reçoivent un diagnostic de cancer de l’ovaire ou de l’endomètre se posent souvent cette question : ‘ J’ai pris soin de ma santé. J’ai passé les examens, les tests Pap et les mammographies. Qu’est-ce que j’aurais pu faire de plus?’ La réponse, c’est DOvEEgene. Notre test minimalement invasif fonctionne, ici et maintenant. Nous en sommes à la dernière étape de notre marathon, le passage aux essais cliniques de stade trois. En tant que jeune femme, je compte bien voir les résultats et les bienfaits de notre travail acharné de mon vivant. Avec votre aide, nous sauverons des vies.”

✨Faites un don: bit.ly/3l1xQ53
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