Diabetes Program

The mission of the Diabetes Program at the Department of Endocrine Neoplasia & Hormonal Disorders at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is to provide research-driven consultations, treatment, education and prevention services in the early identification and clinical care of MD Anderson patients with diabetes mellitus.

Through the Diabetes Program, we propose to achieve several goals linked to improving quality of care, lowering costs of care and contributing to the development of standards of care for patients with diabetes/hyperglycemia and cancer. Goals of the program include:

  • To improve institutional standards of care for both inpatients and outpatients with diabetes mellitus/hyperglycemia
  • To educate the multidisciplinary professional community in early diagnosis and optimal treatment of patients with diabetes mellitus and identification of previously undiagnosed diabetes
  • To improve the outcomes of these patients through decreased morbidities, improved survival, reduced hospital length of stay and increased patient satisfaction
  • To improve the long-term health of MD Anderson patients with previously untreated diabetes by arranging for follow-up diabetes management consonant with current standards of care
  • To develop opportunities for research that can help define a new standard of care for patients with diabetes and cancer
  • To affect prevention by assessing diabetes mellitus, obesity and insulin resistance as risk factors for cancer
  • To assess the role of diabetes mellitus, obesity and insulin resistance as an impaired response to the treatment of cancer

Diabetes affects an estimated 21 million Americans, with seven million unaware that they have the disease. Nationally, the projected frequency of diabetes mellitus in the year 2010 is expected to increase by 35% compared with 1995.

Many studies have demonstrated both long and short-term health risks associated with hyperglycemia in patients with and without a prior history of diabetes mellitus. Recent research at MD Anderson and elsewhere has demonstrated that higher blood glucose concentration is an independent risk factor associated with poor outcomes in cancer patients.

The Diabetes Program strives to provide consultation and management of inpatient hyperglycemia, improve diabetes care for patients who are undergoing treatment at MD Anderson, work with departments of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Effectiveness towards implementation of best practices for the management of diabetes and to develop educational programs for other health care providers. Endocrinology consultations for both inpatients and outpatients identified with diabetes/hyperglycemia are conducted by clinical faculty, nurse practitioners, and endocrinology fellows.