Updates from the diabetes front



Some news updates on diabetes

The bad news

France: Diabetes Drug May Be Linked to 500 Deaths
The diabetes and weight—loss drug benflourex (Mediator) has been linked to about 500 deaths in France. The drug which has been in use since 1976 may have caused heart valve problems. Patients who were taking the drug are advised to get their valves checked.  “The European Medicines Agency pulled [the drug] from the market in 2009‚ saying it had little effect on diabetes and could lead to a thickening of the heart valves.”

AHA: Gene Therapy Fails to Prevent Limb Loss
An international Phase III trial investigating an angiogenic therapy that could prevent limb loss in patients with limb ischemia failed to demonstrate its efficacy. This is a big disappointment to healthcare professionals and patients alike. Critical limb ischemia is a common complication of diabetes, and can lead to gangrene of the extremities that necessitate amputation. “In the last three decades in the U.S., amputation rates for patients with critical limb ischemia have not changed, signaling the need to develop novel strategies for these patients.”

The good news

Italy Carries Out First Hi-Tech Pancreas Transplant
Italian doctors performed the first robotically assisted transplant of the pancreas. The patient was a 43-year old type 1 diabetes woman who already had a kidney transplant. Conventional pancreatic transplant is very invasive. This revolutionary operation took 3 hours and was minimally invasive, performed through three small holes and a seven-centimeter incision. The operation was performed with the assistance of the Da Vinci SHDI robot. According to Dr. Ugo Boggi, head of the surgical team:

“This will put an end to the decades-old dilemma of whether it’s possible to do pancreatic transplants because the operation is so invasive when done in the traditional way.”

Smart Phone “APP” Helps Doctors Control Patients’ Diabetes
Doctors and other health professionals can have access to the new Johns Hopkins guide to diabetes on their iPhone, blackberry, and other smart phones. The POC-IT Diabetes Guide is easy to use and would help doctors especially during patient visits, to make clinical decisions. According to Dr. Rita Rastogi Kalyani, an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the guide’s managing editor:

 “It offers almost instant, at-a-glance access to the latest consensus guidelines and expert opinions on a broad spectrum of topics in diabetes care. Hopkins’ mission is to share its knowledge with the world and this is a practical way to do that.”

Upcoming diabetes events:

Annual International Conference on Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism-Research and Therapy
Dates: December 13-14, 2010 Venue: Santa Clara, California, USA

 Diabetes and Obesity Drug Discovery & Therapy, 3rd International Conference on Drug Discovery and Therapy, February 7 – 10, 2011, Dubai, UAE.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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