November 2007 eUpdate
PRIVATE INDUSTRY EMBRACES PROMISING TYPE 1 THERAPY To take a promising drug to market, it costs on average $500 million. Academic research institutions such as UCSF excel in conducting basic research and early stage human clinical trials, however, for cost reasons it is important that promising therapies are picked up by private industry. Last month, thanks to the efforts of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), two pharmaceutical companies entered into global alliances to develop and commercialize Anti-CD3 drug therapies to treat and potentially to prevent type 1diabetes: Eli Lilly and MacroGenics will be developing teplizumab, and GlaxoSmithKline and Tolerx will be developing otelixizumab. For the early pioneers of Anti-CD3 - Dr. Jeffrey Bluestone at UCSF and Dr. Kevan Herold at Yale - this is exciting news. [ more ]
SPECIFIC IMMUNE CELLS PLAY A ROLE IN INFLAMMATION AND AUTOIMMUNITY Inflammation is a biological process driven by the immune system to help the body react to infection, irritation or other injury -- and help the body to repair itself. Researchers in the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center have learned that the mast cell, a cell of the immune system, plays an important role in inflammation. Unfortunately, as these mast cells accumulate, they may fuel blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) and not cell repair -- often leading to cancerous tumor growth. In the lab of Gerard Evan, PhD, it was found that by blocking the function of these cells in mice, pancreatic islet tumor growth was halted. By continuing to study the process of inflammation, we will better understand how this process plays a role in the autoimmune attack of the beta cells in type 1 diabetes. Additionally, inflammation has been known to disrupt the body’s ability to process insulin, contributing to the onset of type 2 diabetes. [ more ]
THE BRAIN’S BALANCING ACT: BODY WEIGHT AND BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS Nearly two-thirds of US adults are overweight – fueling the twin epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes in this country. Allison Xu, an Assistant Professor who was trained at Stanford and joined the UCSF Diabetes Center in 2006, is focused on understanding how the central nervous system regulates body weight and glucose levels. She and her lab colleagues are studying how body weight is dependent on the brain sensing and responding to changes in energy stores in the body. They seek information on how the hormones leptin and insulin enter the brain and act on specific neurons to inhibit food intake and increase energy expenditure. Through her research, Dr. Xu hopes to identify new therapies to prevent and/or treat obesity and type 2 diabetes. [ more ]
STRENGTHENING IN-PATIENT HOSPITAL INSULIN MANAGEMENT Have you or a loved one ever been frustrated by how your diabetes has been managed in a hospital setting? Thanks to a team of clinicians led by Robert Rushakoff, MD and Umesh Masharani, MD, UCSF has tackled this problem head on by putting in place new insulin management systems for patients with diabetes being treated in UCSF hospitals. Through the creation of new insulin management forms, internet training modules, mandatory training courses and conferences/presentations, UCSF is providing physicians, medical and surgical interns and residents, nurses and nurse practitioners, and pharmacists with the support they need to effectively manage in-patient insulin regimens for patients with diabetes. Not only will all UCSF hospital clinicians be trained, numerous hospitals throughout Northern California are also embracing the UCSF model. Deserving of recognition for their roles in creating these new systems are Mary Sullivan, RN, Melissa Weinberg, MD, Lisa Kroon, PharmD, Tom Bookwalter, PharmD, and Rosanne Rappazini.
DIABETES TEACHING CENTER LAUNCHES FIRST PHASE OF NEW EDUCATIONAL WEBSITE A new educational resource for diabetes is now available on the Internet, thanks to the UCSF Diabetes Teaching Center (DTC). The type 1 section of UCSF Diabetes Education Online (DEO) is available at http://www.dtc.ucsf.edu/ , and, within months, the portion focused on type 2 diabetes will also go live. [ more ]
News & Notes
UCSF PHYSICIAN AUTHORS NEW BOOK, “DIABETES DEMYSTIFIED” McGraw Hill has just published “Diabetes DeMystified: A Self-Teaching Guide”, written by our very own UCSF physician and clinical researcher, Umesh Masharani, M.D. This easy-to-understand guide helps you and your loved ones incorporate diabetes care into your daily life without feeling overwhelmed. More information on Dr. Masharani’s book can be found on Amazon. [ more ]
ART SALES TO BENEFIT DIABETES CENTER Through the end of 2007, Roche Bobois is featuring the work of two talented artists: Linda Mayne, a Marin County artist and longtime friend of the Diabetes Center [website], and Larry Mason, a Pacific Northwest artist specializing in watercolors [website]. A percentage of all paintings sold will benefit the Diabetes Center at UCSF. Roche Bobois is located in the heart of San Francisco’s Design Center (8th & Townsend) [website]. Thanks to Linda, Larry, Roche Bobois, and European Designs for their support.
NOVEMBER IS DIABETES MONTH In honor of World Diabetes Day held on November 14, 2007, a statement was issued by the NIH’s Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), Griffin P. Rodgers MD, emphasizing the need for patient participation in clinical studies. Many of the studies he mentions are being conducted here at UCSF. [ more ]
The Diabetes Center at UCSF is among the premier institutions for clinical trials of emerging therapies in diabetes. Numerous clinical trials in type 1 and 2 diabetes are now underway.
Interested in participating? A sample of our trials currently enrolling patients:
Type 1 Diabetes: Thymoglobulin Intervention Study Seeking volunteers, 12 to 35 years of age, with new onset type 1 diabetes [ more ]
Type 1 Diabetes: hOKT3y1 (Ala-Ala)/Anti-CD3 Intervention Study Seeking volunteers, 8 to 30 years of age, within 12 months of diagnosis [ more ]
Type 1 Diabetes: Islet Transplantation with Raptiva Seeking volunteers 18 and older, with type 1 diabetes and weighing less than 175 lbs [ more ]
Non-Diabetics: Effect of Chromium Therapy on Insulin Resistance
Seeking volunteers who are healthy and non-diabetic, between the ages of 20 and 50, not exercising regularly and of normal body weight. [ more ]
For more opportunities, visit the Clinical Trials section of our website, or contact Kathleen Fraser, our Clinical Trials Recruitment Coordinator at email@example.com.