Celebrating International Clinical Trials Day – by Kotryna Temcinaite

We’re dedicated to supporting cutting-edge diabetes research and improving the lives of people with diabetes. And it’s only thanks to clinical trials that new treatments and therapies can become available.

It was International Clinical Trials Day on Saturday and we’d like to take this opportunity to send a big thank you to everyone who put themselves forward to take part.

What do participants think?

Pat Mooney

Pat Mooney, a member of Diabetes UK Grants Advisory Panel (a group of people with diabetes who help Diabetes UK decide what research to fund) is a strong advocate for involving people in research and has himself participated in several clinical trials.

Pat reflects: “For me, participating in clinical trials is rewarding on a number of levels. I’ve gained a much deeper understanding of my own condition, I’ve met very enthusiastic scientists and I feel I’ve contributed to research to improve care for people with Type 1 diabetes.

“After the trials, I always come away inspired and confident that everyone involved in research truly has our interests in the forefront of everything they do. And researchers need our help to test, evaluate, and improve the new devices and treatments.”

Thank you from our Director of Research

So here’s a warm thank you to Pat and everyone who has taken part in clinical trials from Diabetes UK’s Director of Research Dr Elizabeth Robertson:

“Research plays a vital role in helping us to know diabetes, and fight diabetes. This International Clinical Trials Day we not only recognise the achievements of our amazing researchers, but also people with diabetes who put themselves forward and take part.

“They are real pioneers of new medicine and technology, helping to push diabetes care and treatment forward. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who runs, participates, helps with or supports clinical trials for the amazing work they do.”

A message from our researchers

Dr Roman Hovorka

Our researchers around the UK, currently running clinical trials, also want to celebrate.

Dr Roman Hovorka is trying to find out if people with Type 2 diabetes could benefit from using an artificial pancreas. He says: “I’m very passionate about improving the quality of life of people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. And I believe this could be achieved by using artificial pancreas technology.

“I am extremely grateful to people with diabetes who put themselves forward to participate in clinical studies. It would be impossible to push diabetes research forward without their help.”

Prof Neil Reeves

Professor Neil Reeves is testing a novel ‘biofeedback’ system, which could help people with diabetes avoid foot ulcers. It can measure how much pressure you place on different areas of your feet and sends that information to a mobile phone. Professor Reeves hopes it could help people shift their weight away from troublesome pressure points and reduce the development of foot ulcers.

Professor Reeves says: “Only people with diabetes can tell whether this system, or any other new technology, is useful for them. So it’s extremely important that people participate in trials. I’d like to thank everyone who steps forward to help scientists find best ways to treat diabetes.”

Dr Roselle Herring

Dr Roselle Herring is testing if Type 2 diabetes drugs Gliflozins could be used by people with Type 1 diabetes. Dr Herring hopes Glifozins could be used alongside insulin to help people with Type 1 diabetes achieve better control of their blood glucose levels.

She says: “I’m very grateful to Diabetes UK for their support and hope my work will help people with Type 1 diabetes better manage their condition.

“I’m also very thankful to everyone who participates in clinical trials, because they directly contribute to research and help us improve treatments for diabetes.”

Profs Mike Lean and Roy Taylor

In the DiRECT clinical trial, Professors Mike Lean and Roy Taylor are investigating if a new approach to management delivered through routine NHS care can put Type 2 diabetes into remission long term. This involves a trial of a short period of low calorie diet followed by long term supportive follow up. Professors Lean and Taylor hope that, if successful, this approach could help millions of people living with Type 2 diabetes.

Professor Taylor said: “We would like to thank everyone involved and especially the people with Type 2 diabetes who are participating. Thanks also go to the doctors, nurses, dietitians and researchers who are involved in the work. And of course, thank you to Diabetes UK supporters for funding this, the largest study ever funded by the organisation.”

If you’re interested in getting involved in a clinical trial, there’s more information on our website.

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