Digestive Embroidery

Resurfacing the Duodenum to Treat Diabetes?

Bariatric surgery is clearly the most effective option for reversing type 2 diabetes, but for many people, it’s tough to make that leap. So the quest is on to find a less intimidating treatment that delivers the same benefits. A new study in Diabetes Care points to resurfacing the duodenum as a promising possibility.

The current study is what scientists and biotech companies like to call a “proof of concept” study. That means it’s simply a first look to see if a new technology has any chance of working. Much more must be done to prove that the technology is safe and effective.

In a study of 39 patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes, Harith Rajagopalan and colleagues found that resurfacing the duodenum with balloon catheters could lead to improved glycemic control and less medication use after six months. Francesco Rubino commented on the findings:

Because surgery is not suitable as mass treatment for the hundreds of millions of patients suffering from diabetes, less invasive approaches that harness the mechanisms of major surgery and reproduce some of its beneficial effects could provide a real opportunity for improvement of diabetes care. The early results with Revita DMR are quite encouraging in this regard,

Fractyl Laboratories is developing the system of catheters used for this study under the Revita DMR brand name.

Weight loss after this procedure was minimal, an average of about five pounds after six months. And the weight loss was not linked to improvement in diabetes, so this procedure is working by another mechanism.

Remember, this is just a proof of concept study. This thing might work, but much work remains to prove that it does. Fingers crossed.

Click here to read the study and here to read more from MassDevice.

Digestive Embroidery, photograph © Hey Paul Studios / flickr

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August 16, 2016