JDRF Launches On-Line Service to Connect People with Type 1 Diabetes with Clinical Trial Information

Just got this information from JDRF:

Clinical Trials Connection Goes On-Line at www.trials.jdrf.org

NEW YORK, NY, July 29, 2009 – The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide and the largest charitable funder and advocate of type 1 research, announced today that it has launched an on-line service for people with type 1 diabetes and their families to easily find information about clinical trials for drugs, treatments, and therapeutics for diabetes and its complications.

The on-line service, JDRF’s Clinical Trials Connection, will enable people to search the database of trials of the National Institutes of Health (including JDRF-funded trials) that involve diabetes cures and treatments to get information, make comparisons, and – if they are interested – directly contact trial centers. It is available at www.trials.jdrf.org.

Through this web site, people can provide criteria like the type of trial they are interested in, how long they have had diabetes, and how far they’d be willing to travel, and the site will let them know about studies that match those characteristics. Clinical Trials Connection can help them search for trials, compare one trial with another, and update them on new trials that might match their interest. Plus, the service provides contact information for the researchers conducting the trial, so people interested in trials can contact them directly for more information, after discussing options with their healthcare provider.

The quickly increasing number of clinical trials, and the overall progress in diabetes research, make it harder for people with diabetes to keep up-to-date on what trials are available, and to make decisions on whether or not to participate in a study. People tell JDRF a simple-to-use service to find and compare trials would be a significant benefit to them; in fact, more than 5,000 people have pre-registered for the site.

At the same time, Clinical Trials Connection will help advance JDRF’s research agenda, which is funding more human clinical trials than ever before, but finding it tougher and tougher to enroll participants in a timely and cost-efficient way.

Over its almost 40 years of history, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International has funded more than $1.3 billion in research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes, accelerating the pace of science leading to a cure to the point where it is today funding more than 40 human clinical trials of drugs, compounds, and therapeutics.

But what should be terrific news for the almost 3 million people in the U.S. with this life-long autoimmune disease, is only bittersweet, as diabetes researchers are finding it difficult to recruit enough participants to take part in trials quickly and cost-effectively.

Among a number of ways to promote the free service, JDRF is focusing one of its public service announcement advertisements on encouraging people to take part in the search for a cure by finding out about clinical trial opportunities. The theme of the campaign is “What does hope look like?” The answer is that it looks like children and adults with type 1 diabetes taking an active role in science leading to a cure.

The campaign includes 60-second and 30-second television and radio spots, as well as print, billboard, and online banner ads. They feature Mary Tyler Moore, the International Chairman of JDRF who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an adult, and a group of children, teens, and adults with diabetes who have taken part in clinical trials. The campaign launched earlier this year.

The ads direct people with type 1 diabetes and their families to JDRF’s Clinical Trials Connection.

In type 1 diabetes, the immune systems stops a person’s pancreas from producing insulin, the hormone that enables people to get energy from food. To survive, people with type 1 diabetes must test their blood sugar levels multiple times per day by pricking their fingers to draw blood, and then administering insulin through multiple daily injections, or the use of a continuous infusion insulin pump.

While trying to balance insulin with the amount of food eaten (which raises blood sugar) and exercise (which lowers blood sugar), people with type 1 diabetes must constantly be prepared for potential life-threatening low or high blood sugar levels. Just as devastating, the long-term complications of diabetes include blindness, heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, nerve damage and amputations. While usually diagnosed in childhood, type 1 diabetes can also be diagnosed in adults.