Background: With the development of the Edmonton Protocol, pancreatic islet transplantation (PIT) now offers insulin-dependent diabetic patients metabolic stability. The PIT Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, pancreatic islet isolation (PII) techniques, and clinical PIT protocols are challenging and make PIT program development daunting.
Purpose: Review of the establishment of a PIT program through a collaborative relationship with a remote PIT/PII center.
Methods: Four key elements are required: (1) development of a collaborative relationship with an established PIT/PII center, (2) achievement of institutional review board and FDA approval at both centers, (3) generation of standard operating procedures, and (4) development of a multidisciplinary PIT team.
Results: Securing a collaborative relationship with an experienced PIT/PII center permitted our program to develop in less than 18 months. Twenty-two PITs were completed in the first clinical year.
Conclusions: Collaboration with an experienced PIT/PII center allows developing programs to focus on patient safety and care, prudent use of pancreata, and consolidates PII expertise and experience.