The American Diabetes Association’s 78th Scientific Sessions will feature results from more major diabetes trials than any year in recent memory. From environmental factors that may impact the development of type 1 diabetes in the young to late-stage macrovascular complications in the elderly, researchers will be opening rich data repositories and presenting unexpected conclusions at this year’s meeting, which will be held June 22-26 in Orlando, Florida.
“Scientific Sessions is the premier diabetes research conference meeting in the world,” said Maureen Gannon, PhD, Chair of the Scientific Sessions Meeting Planning Committee. “It’s a unique combination of clinical research, basic science, education, policy, and this year more clinical trial results than we usually see. This is the one meeting where you can get the very latest in basic science all the way through to the most recent developments in caring for patients on the front lines of diabetes.”
One of the longest awaited trials is The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY) study, with 13 years of data and still counting. The prospective study is following more than 8,500 children from birth through age nine at high risk for developing type 1 diabetes based on family history. Initial TEDDY results of environmental exposures and pathogens that may increase risk for the development of type 1 diabetes during childhood will be discussed on Saturday, June 23.
On Sunday, June 24, early findings from the first 15 years of data from the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT) will be released. VADT is tracking the progression of macrovascular complications of type 2 diabetes in more than 1,300 veterans during the later stages of the disease.
Another trial, Restoring Insulin Secretion, has logged seven years of data comparing three regimens in adolescents and young adults with prediabetes or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Baseline data and early findings on the use of metformin with and without insulin to prolong or restore insulin secretion in children will be presented on Monday, June 25.
The latest data on sodium-glucose cotransporter (SGLT) inhibition in type 1 diabetes will be presented on Tuesday, June 26. This important symposium will be presented at the conclusion of the Scientific Sessions with no concurrent sessions, allowing for maximum attendance. Researchers will reveal the latest study results regarding the three SGLT inhibitors heading toward submission for Food and Drug Administration approval for type 1 diabetes.
Another program highlight is the Scientific Sessions’ first mini symposium on gender gaps in science. The Monday session grew out of The Women’s Interpersonal Network of the American Diabetes Association (WIN ADA). WIN ADA is the Association’s members-only network for female clinicians, scientists, educators, and other health professionals in the field of diabetes. The group’s goals are to strengthen the voice and presence of women in diabetes research and clinical practice; to recognize the significant contributions of women to improving the lives of people affected by diabetes; and to provide development and networking opportunities to women of all career stages to help them achieve their full potential. Additionally, WIN ADA aims to increase research efforts on women’s health and diabetes and sex as a biological variable in diabetes.
“More than 1,000 women have signed up for WIN ADA to date,” Dr. Gannon said. “We are interested in helping women with careers in diabetes research, education, and clinical care through networking opportunities and award nominations. Traditionally, women have been lacking in high level awards. We are emphasizing the study of gender differences in clinical trial outcomes and in basic science research, and making sure that researchers are aware of the need to include women in experiments, studies, trials, and work teams.”
Other cutting-edge sessions can be found throughout the 78th Scientific Sessions program. During a symposium on Friday, June 22, researchers will present the latest findings on the role of exosomes in signaling between different organs and organ systems. Another Friday symposium will examine the evolving role of metformin as first-line therapy for type 2 diabetes.
A Saturday symposium will explore the evolving, do-it-yourself revolution in diabetes, looking at how patient interactions with technology have changed the way caregivers communicate and deliver care. Another Saturday symposium will explore the emerging role of genetic testing in type 1 diabetes.
A Sunday session will examine the often-unrecognized metabolic conditions in gestational diabetes.
Monday offers the always-popular update on clinical trials in type 1 diabetes and a look at the newest findings in islet function in type 1 diabetes. A Tuesday session will feature new data on the multigenerational effects of maternal and paternal exercise on metabolic health.
“I’m excited about the variety we have in the program this year,” said Dr. Gannon, Professor and Vice Chair of Medicine and Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, and Cell and Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University. “This is the place for cutting-edge information for anybody who is involved in diabetes research or patient care.”