Trial begins for new device that tackles both diabetes and obesity


Posted on Tuesday 6 August 2013
Lena with the Endobarrier device before it was fitted

Lena with the Endobarrier device before it was fitted

A Guy’s and St Thomas’ patient is the first in London to undergo a ground-breaking treatment as part of a clinical trial for patients who have combined Type 2 diabetes and obesity, or ‘diabesity’. Lena Daly, 53, underwent this pioneering procedure at King’s College Hospital yesterday (Monday 5 August).

The device could offer an alternative to using medications alone or weight loss (bariatric) surgery. Lena is only the second patient in the UK to take part in this trial.

The procedure involves inserting an ‘Endobarrier’ (a thin, flexible plastic device) just below the stomach. This prevents food from coming into contact with the first two feet of small intestine, and should lead to considerable weight loss and improved diabetes control. Fitting the Endobarrier does not require surgery and the procedure is reversible as the device can be removed after a year. This aim of the procedure is to ‘kick start’ the change in a patient’s lifestyle they need.

Dr Barbara McGowan, diabetes and endocrinology consultant and study lead for Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “Despite our best efforts, many patients remain overweight and their diabetes isn’t well controlled. This device offers hope to patients who have run out of other medical options, so we are really excited to be involved in this trial.

“If it works, it will help break the cycle of problems these patients have – but it will also be a safe and cost effective new treatment for the NHS to offer. Because it does not involve surgery, patients will not have to stay in hospital, will need less time to recover and will be at less risk of infection.”

Professor Stephanie Amiel, one of the Principal Investigators for the trial and Professor of Diabetic Medicine at King’s College Hospital and King’s College London, says: “Diabetes and obesity are growing problems in the UK and around the world. People living with these conditions can face serious risks to their health, including increased risk of premature heart attack and stroke. We are exploring the potential of this device as another option for patients to help them on the road to better health."

This is the UK’s first NHS study into the device, and several NHS trusts are involved to ensure the results will be relevant throughout the UK. The trial is led by Birmingham’s City Hospital with centres in London (King’s College Hospital and Guy’s and St Thomas’) and Glasgow (Glasgow Royal Infirmary).

Dr Piya Sen Gupta, an Association of British Clinical Diabetologists’ (ABCD) Research Fellow, who is conducting the study, says: “This trial presents an exciting opportunity for patients with combined diabetes and weight problems, who currently have limited treatment options, to kick start their way back to health.”

At present, diabetes accounts for 10% of NHS spending – this is predicted to increase to 17% by 2035. The cost of complications associated with Type 2 diabetes is estimated to be more than three times the cost of treatment.

For more information about the study contact diabetesresearch@gstt.nhs.uk or 020 7188 8472, reference REVISE-Diabesity.

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