For more than five decades, we have been refining advances in pancreas whole organ and islet cell transplantation as clinical therapies to treat the ever-increasing number of patients suffering from type-1-diabetes. Research and clinical practice have contributed to making both whole organ and cellular transplantation viable therapeutic options for a broader range of patients. Furthermore, both forms of clinical transplantation results have progressively improved, due to the ongoing refinement of organ donation and its various technical processes, combined with the evolution of immunosuppression and patient care now offering excellent long-term treatment for both type-1-diabetes and concomitant renal failure. This chapter provides an overview on how this has been undertaken and achieved over decades to ultimately provide outstanding outcomes on par with other organ transplantation results. Briefly, we cover the history of pancreas retrieval procedures, the importance of donor selection, the intricate processes of the organ donor operation, preservation of the pancreas, and the ideal ways to best improve outcomes for transplantation. Improving and providing the optimal donor and preservation conditions underpinning the success of subsequent whole pancreas or islet transplantation as a safe, effective, and feasible therapeutic option for an increasing number of patients suffering from type-1-diabetes.
Part of the book: Organ Donation and Transplantation