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Unveiling the Lessons Learned from the PHROG Study

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The PHROG study investigated the safety and effectiveness of an investigational medication for preventing hypoglycemia in people with type 1 diabetes who had the condition for over five years.

dr prayley looking over a study

Q and A with Richard Pratley,MD
Medical Director | AdventHealth Diabetes Institute
Senior Investigator and Diabetes Program Lead | AdventHealth Translational Research Institute
Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

What was the goal of the PHROG study?
Dr. Pratley: The goal was to see if this medication could improve the body's response to low blood sugar or hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia is a condition in which the body's main energy source, glucose, falls below healthy levels. It can happen in anyone with Type 1 diabetes, but the PHROG study explored how it might affect those who have had Type 1 diabetes for an extended period.

Did the study find any benefits from the medication?
Dr. Pratley: Unfortunately, the study results did not show any positive effects of the medication on patients. While the study medication wasn't successful, it highlights our ongoing research to help people with diabetes manage hypoglycemia.

Does this mean the PHROG study was a failure?
Dr. Pratley: Not at all. Even though the medication didn't work as hoped, the study was valuable. It contributes to the overall knowledge about Type 1 diabetes and potential treatment approaches.

What key takeaways did researchers gain from the PHROG study?
Dr. Pratley: First, the study suggests that the receptor targeted by the medication might be less functional in patients with long-standing Type 1 diabetes. Secondly, its findings suggest researchers need to explore other targets within the pancreatic islets for future treatment strategies to prevent hypoglycemia.

Is there any ongoing research based on the learnings from PHROG?
Dr. Pratley: The CLEAR study is the next step. This NIH-funded study will focus on patients with Type 1 diabetes who experience hypoglycemia without the usual warning symptoms (impaired awareness). It will investigate the combined effects of an advanced insulin pump system and educational interventions to help manage hypoglycemia.

What do you want people with Type 1 diabetes to know about the PHROG study results?
Dr. Pratley: I believe the PHROG study underscores the ongoing efforts to address complications of Type 1 diabetes. It also highlights the importance of research volunteers who contribute significantly to developing new treatments.

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