DALLAS -- Like millions of diabetics, Sue Thompson pricks her finger several times a day to check her blood sugar.
When the numbers are off, she draws up an injection of insulin for yet another needle stick.
It Is a real pain.
"To eliminate the injection would be a plus in my life," said Thompson, who has suffered from type 2 diabetes for a decade.
Researchers in Dallas are studying an experimental therapy that would do just that and eliminate the injection for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics: inhalable insulin.
It is the same medicine, but in powder form that a patient breathes in through their mouth.
Baylor Dr. Priscilla Hollander is leading the Dallas clinical trial.
She believed the sheer convenience of inhalable insulin will make managing diabetes easier.
"So overall their blood sugars will be much better and more consistent," said Dr. Hollander, an endocrinologist. "And so their control will be much better."
Hollander also said inhalable insulin better mimics what natural insulin cells in the body do.
"It has a little quicker action," Dr. Hollander said. "So it comes in a little more quickly like our own insulin cells do."
It sounds good to Sue Thompson, who like millions of diabetics, is sick of needles.
The Baylor Endocrine Center is one of the sites participating in the trial. Investigators are seeking patients, 18 years of age or older, who:
- Have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes for more than one year
- Are nonsmokers or have ceased smoking for more than six months
- Have HbA1c levels between 7.5% and 10.0%
- If they are type 1, have been taking maintenance/mealtime insulin therapy for at least three months with a fasting plasma glucose (FPG) of less than 220 mg/dL, or
- If they are type 2, have taken only metformin or two or more oral diabetes medications for at least three months
Patients who are interested in enrolling or learning more about the study can call 214-818-7155 or visit the website.