Pancreatic islet transplantation has the potential to become the most physiologically advantageous and minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Since the first clinical islet transplantation was performed at the University of Minnesota in 1974 , the results have been far from ideal for more than two decades in spite of an improvement of islet isolation technique by Ricordi et al. [2-4]. The introduction of the Edmonton protocol, with a highly improved rate of insulin independency, encouraged us to promote clinical islet transplantation [5, 6]. In Japan, we organized the Working Group (The Japanese Islet Transplant Registry) in 1997 under the Japanese Society for Pancreas and Islet Transplantation for the purpose of starting clinical islet transplantation. The first issue of the Working Group was to construct a system of clinical islet transplantation in Japan including the registration of the recipients, procurement of the pancreas for islet isolation and transplantation of the isolated islets. In Japan, afterwards, various problems facing to a start of clinical islet transplantation have been discussed and we completed the guideline for clinical islet transplantation in Japan. The Japanese Organ Transplant Law was enforced in 1997 and organ transplantations using brain dead (DBD) donors were finally started. Since the islet transplantation was not included in the Japanese Organ Transplant Law because it was categorized as tissue transplantation, we were able to use the pancreas only from DCD donors for islet transplantation. The first islet isolation from the human pancreas was performed in 2003.9 and the first islet transplantation was performed in 2004.4 [7-9]. Sixty-five islet isolations and 34 islet transplantations were performed in our country from 2003.9.12 to 2007.3.11 . In this chapter, we describe the current status of clinical islet transplantation using DCD donors in Japan.
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