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Type 1 Diabetes - TrialNet e-news - April 2010

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Oral Insulin Prevention Study surpasses midway enrollment goal - Thousands more need to be screened

With 220 participants, the Oral Insulin Prevention Study recently surpassed the halfway mark to its anticipated enrollment goal. However, thousands more people will need to be screened to enroll the 100 to 200 more study participants who are needed. That’s because only four or five people out of every 100 screened will actually have type 1 diabetes autoantibodies, and even a smaller number will have the specific autoantibodies needed for this study.

This study is testing whether one insulin capsule (taken by mouth) every day can prevent or delay type 1 diabetes in a very specific group of at-risk persons. In an earlier study conducted by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), oral insulin showed promising benefits in people with higher levels of specific autoantibodies. This is the group of individuals that researchers are targeting with this new study.

Early results of the NIDDK study suggested that oral insulin might delay type 1 diabetes for about 4 years in people with the specific autoantibodies. Further study of the data suggests the delay might be up to 10 years. If diabetes can be delayed, even for a few years, those at risk may be able to postpone the difficult challenges of trying to control their glucose levels and development of serious complications. Such a delay would be especially beneficial in younger children.

Evan Wright

Evan Wright, one of 220 participants in the Oral Insulin Prevention Study, loves the little perks, but his Mom says her reward is peace of mind.

Participants in the Oral Insulin Study will be tested for type 1 diabetes every 6 months. Because of their participation in the study, if participants develop diabetes, they will most likely be diagnosed before any symptoms are present. Close monitoring and early diagnosis were two key factors in Steve and Kelly Wright’s decision to enroll their son, Evan, when he was 9 years old.

Kelly says, "Evan loves the little perks—even breakfast following his appointment. My reward is peace of mind—that if he develops type 1 diabetes, we’ll know early on."

"The staff at Indiana University has been phenomenal. Both my husband, who has type 1 diabetes, and I are very familiar with hospitals, and when we saw how the staff treated our son, we were very impressed. They really go all out to make it a good experience."

Now age 12, Evan is a 5th grade student, competitive swimmer, member of the Indianapolis Children's Choir, an avid reader, and a collector of video gaming systems, old and new, which he purchases with money he earns himself. 

Thank you to Evan and all the people who have joined the Oral Insulin Prevention Study, as well as everyone who is taking part in type 1 diabetes research.

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