Global first for UCLH in diabetes clinical trial 

28/09/2015 00:00 

A new technique for controlling blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes is being trialled at UCLH, one of the first centres in the world to test the endoscopic therapy.

Known as duodenal mucosal resurfacing (DMR), it alters the lining of the small intestine making it easier for the body to absorb and process sugar from a patient’s diet.

Consultant gastroenterologist Dr Rehan Haidry and consultant endocrinologist Dr Rachel Batterham are leading the trial at UCLH.

Dr Haidry said: "We hope this trial could demonstrate a procedure to potentially treat type 2 diabetes without the need for daily medication and reduce the long term risks of diabetes – heart attacks, stroke, limb amputations.”

The REVITA-1 clinical trial builds on new research which shows that hormones produced in the intestines have a strong impact on blood sugar levels and that type 2 diabetes may be a disease of the digestive tract. It aims to evaluate the safety and potential benefits.

Catheters are guided to the small intestine via a patient’s mouth and stomach using standard endoscopic procedures. A heated balloon at the end of the catheter changes the cells that line the surface of the duodenum: the cells are responsible for absorbing glucose and releasing hormones into the body that affect glucose control.

The 90-minute procedure is relatively straight forward. Patients are sedated for the procedure and are likely to be closely monitored overnight in hospital before being discharged home. Some dietary modifications will be prescribed for two weeks thereafter.

Patients who may be eligible to take part in the trial must meet these criteria:

  • Elevated HbA1c (7.5% - 11%)
  • Presence of type 2 diabetes for < 10 years
  • Taking 1 oral glucose lowering medication for at least 3 months
  • Not currently taking any injectable glucose-lowering agent
  • 28 to 75 years old
  • BMI between 24 and 40

After receiving the DMR procedure, patients will be asked to visit their doctor periodically for three years to check progress.

Contact: Gideon Lipman, Clinical Research Fellow in Gastroenterology,, 07572 130 166.

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