Collaborative Research Project: Towards Personalised Medicine for Prediabetes
Researchers from Garvan and the Weizmann Institute are working together to understand how different types of prediabetes can be distinguished in patients – with the aim of improving treatment and stemming the global epidemic of type 2 diabetes.
“Previously, it hasn’t been possible to identify the different forms of prediabetes, or to tailor treatments to specific patients – but our study proposes to change that,” says Dr Dorit Samocha-Bonet.
In the first instance, the study will recruit 150 volunteers. Researchers will measure a host of parameters including body fat, liver fat, blood parameters, physical activity, sleep patterns, diet and – importantly – the individual’s genome sequence and the genome sequence of gut microbes, which gives a readout of each individual’s ‘microbiome’.
Participants will then receive one of three randomised treatments. The study will measure treatment success by comparing patterns of glucose levels in the blood before and after the treatments.
Researchers will next develop algorithms that predict a prediabetic individual’s response to treatment, and trial their predictive power in a separate smaller cohort of 45 individuals with prediabetes.
The study will leverage Garvan’s considerable expertise in the measurement of metabolic readouts in people at its Clinical Research Facility; and the Weizmann Institute’s remarkable track record in uncovering how our ‘microbiome’ affects our metabolic response.
“Ultimately, we hope to make it possible to readily identify an individual’s prediabetes subtype in order to guide an optimal treatment to prevent diabetes,” says Dr Samocha-Bonet.
Identifying which individuals with prediabetes will respond to a medication, and which will not