July 2009 eUpdate
SPECIAL CLINICAL RESEARCH ISSUE
THE IMPORTANCE OF CLINICAL RESEARCH Clinical research is conducted with an eye to the future, in hopes of finding safe, effective ways to screen for, prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases such as diabetes. The UCSF Diabetes Center is proud of the national leadership role we are playing in conducting trials in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We encourage you to learn all you can about clinical trials in diabetes. [ List of UCSF Trials ]
Clinical Research News in Type 1 Diabetes
PHYSICIAN RESEARCHER LEADS NATIONAL STUDY TO STOP BETA CELL DESTRUCTION Clinical research is conducted with an eye to the future, in hopes of finding safe, effective ways to screen for, prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases such as diabetes. The UCSF Diabetes Center is proud of the national leadership role we are playing in conducting trials in diabetes. One national study that is being led by one of our clinical researchers is a study involving ATG, or anti-thymocyte globulin, to see if this drug can halt the progression of new onset type 1 diabetes. UCSF Pediatric Diabetes Program Director Steve Gitelman, MD has partnered with the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) to launch the START trial (Study of Thymoglobulin to Arrest Type 1 Diabetes) and hopes to recruit 66 volunteers, 12 – 35 years of age, within 100 days of diagnosis. Thymoglobulin, an FDA-approved drug used in organ transplantation, has been used to treat other autoimmune diseases. It is suspected that it may work in diabetes in at least two ways: by eliminating destructive immune cells from the bloodstream, or by changing how the remaining immune cells work. The START trial will test whether Thymoglobulin can “reset” the immune system so that immune cells accept the beta cells rather than continue to attack them. [ UCSF study ] [ START website ] [ JDRF story ]
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A CLINICAL RESEARCH COORDINATOR Our UCSF research and clinical care employees are the true strength of the Diabetes Center. They are igniting innovation, accelerating the pace of scientific discovery, and shaping the future of science and health. As our lab staff members are harnessing new knowledge through basic research, our clinical research team is busy translating this basic research into clinical application for patients with diabetes. Since this issue of eUpdate is focused on clinical research, it seems appropriate to spotlight one of our accomplished clinical research coordinators in Pediatric Endocrinology, Marcia Wertz, PhD, MS, RN. The new “Dr. Wertz” – Marcia just received her PhD in nursing with a health policy specialty – is serving as the lead study coordinator for the ATG study noted above. To learn about Dr. Wertz’s very interesting work, access a story written by Peter Phan of the Immune Tolerance Network. [ A Day in the Life ]
NUMEROUS ISLET TRANSPLANTATION TRIALS UNDERWAY AND ACTIVELY SEEKING PATIENTS Significant progress has been made in the past several years in improving the results of pancreatic islet transplantation for patients with type 1 diabetes. Here at UCSF, we are pursuing three studies that we hope will help patients with diabetes who suffer from hypoglycemic unawareness and poor glucose control. Through the international Clinical Islet Transplant (CIT Consortium, we are pursuing studies that will involve two sets of patients - those who have had no transplantation of any kind (EXCEPT for a previous failed pancreas transplant), and a study focusing on type 1 diabetes patients who have received a kidney transplant and have stable renal function. In addition, we are conducting a single-center JDRF trial using an immunosuppressive agent that does not have the side effects of traditional anti-rejection drugs. This agent, Belatacept, has been effective in preventing islet rejection. If you or a loved one have type 1 diabetes and have experienced poor glucose control despite intensive insulin therapy, we hope you'll contact us to learn more about these studies: 415-353-8893; email@example.com
Clinical Research News in Type 2 Diabetes
STUDY DEVELOPS NEW TOOL FOR MANAGING DIABETES IN UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS In a series of studies featured recently in the journal Diabetes Care, Dean Schillinger, MD and his team reported success in developing and evaluating an automated telephone self-management support system to reduce diabetes-related health inequalities in vulnerable populations. The Improving Diabetes Efforts Across Language and Literacy (IDEALL) study showed that by using an automated telephone call system that reaches out to patients in their native language, communication issues caused by limited literacy and English proficiency are reduced and patients' health improves. The results are so impressive that a local Medi-Cal health plan partner, the San Francisco Health Plan, is making this tool available to its members with diabetes. Dr. Schillinger is Director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations based at San Francisco General Hospital, a research center carrying out innovative research to prevent and treat chronic diseases such as diabetes. In April 2008, Dr. Schillinger was also named Chief of the California Diabetes Program in the California Department of Public Health, a UCSF-administered program funded primarily by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since nearly 3 million Californians have diabetes and approximately 1.4 million classify themselves as either Latino or Asian American, Dr. Schillinger's research may provide a cost-effective way to help improve health outcomes for those living with diabetes in these population groups and others. [ IDEALL Fact Sheet ] [UCSF Today article ] [UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations ] [ CA Diabetes Program ] [ NBC Interview ] [ Fresno Bee ] [ Interview in Spanish ]
CLINICAL TRIAL LAUNCHED TO HELP STOP DIABETES EPIDEMIC IN CHINESE AMERICANS Chinese Americans are 1.6 times more likely than European Americans to develop type 2 diabetes. Since San Francisco has one of the oldest and largest Chinese communities in the U.S., UCSF is helping to test the effectiveness of culturally specific diabetes management programs for Chinese Americans. Among other criteria, participants must be first-generation Chinese, at least 21 years of age, Cantonese-speaking, and have a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. The principal investigator of this four-year, $1million NIH grant is Dr. Catherine "Kit" Chesla, RN, DNSc, FAAN in the UCSF School of Nursing. The University of San Francisco, Donaldina Cameron House and North East Medical Services are collaborative partners in this study. UCSF Diabetes Teaching Center Educator Gloria Yee, RN, CDE serves on the Community Advisory Board. Stated Gloria, "What impresses me the most are the people involved. From the principal and co-principal investigators, community leaders and representatives, to the actual counselors, everyone is working together cohesively because of their passion for this endeavor!" In addition to Gloria's involvement, Diabetes Teaching Center Co-Founder Peggy Huang, RN, CDE is a consultant on the grant and has been featured in study materials including an educational video. For more information, contact (415) 476-3889. [ SF Chronicle story ] [ ClinicalTrials.Gov ]
FACULTY MEMBER RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS PHYSICIAN-SCIENTIST AWARD Mark Anderson, MD, PhD, has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). This is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected medical honor societies that pays tribute to young physician-scientists. Since 1908, over 2,800 physician-scientists have been elected to the Society for their outstanding records of scholarly achievement in biomedical research. Because members must be 45 years of age or younger at the time of their election, membership reflects accomplishments by its members relatively early in their careers. Dr. Anderson is one of only a handful of researchers around the world making significant progress in solving the problem of autoimmunity by exploring the molecular mechanisms that underlie autoimmune disorders. In less than ten years, Dr. Anderson has become a world leader in type 1 diabetes research, and a compassionate clinician who provides exemplary care for adult patients with diabetes. [ASCI] [ Anderson]
Learn More About Clinical Trials
The Diabetes Center at UCSF is among the premier institutions for clinical trials of emerging therapies in diabetes. As is evident from the stories listed above, numerous clinical trials in type 1 and type 2 diabetes are now underway.
Interested in participating? For a full listing of our clinical trials, visit the clinical trials section on our website.
Please note our newest clinical trial that was posted on our website:
The Diabetes Center at UCSF
If you wish to receive more information out the UCSF Diabetes Center's clinical and research programs, or would like to financially support one or more of these efforts, please contact Suzanne Ritchie at 415-476-6334. You may also visit our donation website.
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