Dr Ravi Retnakaran, endocrinologist & clinician-scientist, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada
Current therapies for type 2 diabetes are not able to stop the progressive deterioration of pancreatic beta-cell function that drives the natural history of the condition.
A new meta-analysis study conducted on patients in US and Canada, by a team of scientists led by Dr Ravi Retnakaran, endocrinologist & clinician-scientist, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada, focuses on the early use of insulin therapy to improve beta-cell function and stop the deterioration of these cells, promising a new ray of hope to tackle the disease more efficiently.
"The concept is that, early in the course of type 2 diabetes, the dysfunction of the beta-cells is largely reversible. Thus, we are interested in short-term intensive insulin therapy early in the course of type 2 diabetes, so that we can put this disease into ‘remission' so to speak," opined Dr Ravi.
The therapy has been studied in various settings around the world. The study has been published in Lancet Diabetes journal in 2013, showing that the therapy can consistently improve beta-cell function and the action of insulin in the body, when applied in patients with recently-diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
"Furthermore, it could induce remission of diabetes wherein patients could maintain glucose control off anti-diabetic medications for some time thereafter," Dr Ravi said.