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Clinical Trial Summary

Diabetes is a disorder of high blood glucose, that tends to get worse; over time, patients need more and more drugs. This pattern is caused by overwork of the body's insulin-producing β-cells, because patients' glucose levels are typically above normal; if the investigators kept glucose levels normal - reducing β-cell work - the investigators might be able to keep the disease from getting worse. This trial is aimed to show that adjusting the drugs to keep glucose levels normal, can help to preserve β-cell function compared to usual diabetes care, possibly reduce the tendency to develop the eye and kidney complications of diabetes, and might also be more cost-effective than usual care.


Clinical Trial Description

I. RATIONALE AND SPECIFIC AIMS CHANGING THE NATURAL HISTORY OF TYPE 2 DIABETES - "CHANGE" STUDY I.A. RATIONALE The investigators will test the hypothesis that maintenance of normoglycemia can prevent the typical worsening of hyperglycemia in early type 2 diabetes (DM) compared to usual care. Progression of hyperglycemia is mediated by loss of β-cell function, which will be mitigated by normalizing glucose levels, reducing the "excitotoxicity" leading to dedifferentiation and apoptosis. When lifestyle change or Rx reduced progression from prediabetes (PreDM) to DM, there was no "catch-up" after trials ended - cumulative DM remained less than in controls, consistent with a change in the natural history. Reaching normal glucose is beneficial regardless of the intervention: in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), PreDM subjects who achieved normal glucose levels only once, had 56% less DM in the DPP Outcomes Study [DPPOS] - similar in lifestyle change, metformin, and control groups. But if treatment is begun too late, even 10 kg weight loss may not lead to DM remission. I.B. FEATURES OF THE APPROACH - easy to translate into practice. This study will be novel: 1) Aim for normal glucose, instead of testing Rx or mechanisms [as in STOP DIABETES, DPP, and RISE], since lowering glucose per se improves β-cell function. 2) Start early in the natural history, instead of late [as in ACCORD, ADVANCE, and VADT], allowing use of Rx with a low risk of hypoglycemia; severe hypoglycemia was unusual in ORIGIN, where DM duration was only 5.5 years. 3) Target early DM instead of PreDM [DREAM, DPP, ACT NOW, and STOP DIABETES], allowing use of Rx FDA approved for DM. 4) Accelerated stepped intensification of Rx to keep glucose normal, vs. < 10% reaching a normal OGTT 3 times in the DPP, only 15% reaching a normal OGTT with metformin over 2 years in RISE, and lack of normalization in other studies. I.C. AIMS - assess effect size, β-cell function, retinopathy, nephropathy, CGM, cost-effectiveness. Methods: To ensure separation of treatment arms, the investigators will study DM expected to progress. 126 adults will be randomized to ensure that 102 complete the study, allowing for dropouts, 1/3 in each of 3 groups: (i) A1c 6.0-6.9%, no Rx; (ii) A1c 6.0-6.9%, on metformin; (iii) A1c 7.0-7.4%, on metformin. All will have DM by OGTT + 1 hour OGTT glucose ≥155 mg/dl to increase the risk of progression. After a 2-week run-in to establish tolerance to metformin (if not on it already) and adherence to self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG), all will have a lifestyle intervention [VA MOVE!, similar to the DPP], and HbA1c and 2 weeks of continuous glucose monitoring (Abbott CGM) every 3 months. Randomization will be 1:1 within each group, to intensive Rx: adding Rx if SMBG levels are > goal (<100 mg/dl premeal and <130 postmeal) ≥3x/week 2 weeks in a row after ≥4 weeks of maximum tolerated dosage (MTD) of Rx; metformin (if not on it already), + TZD pioglitazone, + GLP-1 RA semaglutide, + SGLT-2 empagliflozin, + glargine insulin; or control Rx: adding Rx in the same order, based on HbA1c every 3 months; initial added Rx for HbA1c ≥7.0%, subsequent Rx for HbA1c ≥7.5% [similar to use in GRADE and typical VA practice]. Outcomes: Over 2.5 years, plus a 3-month washout, the investigators will quantitate (i) effect size - differences in HbA1c with intensive Rx vs. controls - from the Rx paradigm, expected to be 5.2-5.6% vs. 6.5-7.4%, respectively; and (ii) β-cell function [in 3-hour OGTTs with modeling as in RISE], since trends with intensive vs. control Rx post-washout may indicate whether β-cell function is likely to be sustained, consistent with the conclusions of the RISE Consortium. The investigators will also explore (iii) retinopathy (blinded evaluation of fundus photographs); (iv) nephropathy (microalbuminuria and eGFR); (v) whether CGM after ≥3 weeks of MTD could be substituted for SMBG in identifying need for intensification, and (vi) cost-effectiveness. I.D. HYPOTHESIZED CLINICAL IMPACT OF EARLY DIAGNOSIS AND KEEPING GLUCOSE NORMAL: Evidence from DM prevention and intervention studies allows us to predict that keeping glucose normal will be safe - and longterm benefits will include reduced complications, mortality, and costs. II. SIGNIFICANCE If a definitive trial demonstrates that keeping glucose normal sustains β-cell function, a change in practice to include this model of intensive Rx should improve both health, and healthcare system resource use and costs. The next step would be to plan a study of impact on renal and retinal outcomes - since lifestyle interventions are now widespread, the Rx classes used have a low risk of hypoglycemia and are going off patent, and this experience in overcoming clinical inertia should facilitate implementation. III. EXPERIMENTAL PLAN The investigators have a simple design; instead of mechanisms such as insulin action and secretion, eligibility, screening, and interventions will be based only on glucose and HbA1c, to facilitate translation to routine clinical practice. The goals are to (i) establish effect size (differences in HbA1c), (ii) determine if β cell function can be sustained, and (iii) explore retinopathy, nephropathy, cost effectiveness, and potential substitution of CGM for SMBG, to help define the sample size for a subsequent multicenter study. IV. INTERVENTIONS IV.A. LIFESTYLE CHANGE SUPPORT - FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS The VA's "MOVE!" group lifestyle change program is modeled after the DPP, with similar goals - 7% weight loss for those with BMI >25, and >150 minutes a week of exercise. Other recommendations to PCPs will be per ADA DM guidelines, similar to the VADT - BP, lipid control, etc. IV.B. CONTROL Rx - INTENSIFICATION BASED ON HbA1c LEVELS, DETERMINED EVERY 3 MONTHS (see below). IV.C. INTENSIVE Rx - INTENSIFICATION BASED ON SMBG, DONE AN AVERAGE OF ONCE A DAY (see below). V. POTENTIAL IMPACT ON CLINICAL PRACTICE This study (and a follow-up multicenter study) are aimed to change medical practice. If the studies are positive as expected, screening to find early DM, and management aimed at normal glucose, should become routine. Moreover, since hyperglycemia in usual care reaches HbA1c levels much higher than in controls [insulin is frequently begun when HbA1c is >9%], the real-world difference from intensive Rx [HbA1c 5.2-5.6%] would be correspondingly greater, with a greater impact on health, resource use, and costs. Years of lower glucose, through "legacy effects", should reduce DM complications and costs, particularly in high-risk groups - with potential benefit to individuals, health care systems, and society. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05040087
Study type Interventional
Source Foundation for Atlanta Veterans Education and Research, Inc.
Contact Mary K Rhee, MD, MSCR
Phone 404-321-6111
Email [email protected]
Status Recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date September 2021
Completion date June 2026

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