Research: Diabetes Program

Our research activities address a variety of aspects of diabetes and cancer:

  • Randomized controlled trials of the impact of treatment of hyperglycemia on the outcomes of treatment for cancer
  • Relation of metabolism to development of cancer and its response to treatment
  • Validation of algorithms for treatment of hyperglycemia in patients with cancer
  • Metabolic consequences of cancer and its treatment

Following upon initial research by the late Mary Ann Weiser, M.D., Department of General Internal Medicine, in hyperglycemia and acute lymphoid leukemia, ongoing research and quality improvement projects of the Endocrine faculty include the following:

  • Study of Prevalence, Severity and Implications of Hyperglycemia in MDACC Patients - Pankaj Shah, M.D.
  • Insulin Drip Protocol to Attain Glycemic Targets in ICU - Victor Lavis, M.D., advisory to the Department of Critical Care Medicine
  • Demonstration Project for Treatment of Inpatient Hyperglycemia with Scheduled Insulin - Victor Lavis, M.D, Pankaj Shah, M.D., and Naifa Busaidy, M.D., with General Internal Medicine and Department of Clinical Effectiveness
  • Hyperglycemia and Survival in Pancreatic and Colonic Cancer - Naifa Busaidy, M.D.

Clinical and translational research activities under development include:

  • Trial of intensive glycemic control in bone marrow transplantation inpatients - Victor Lavis, M.D., with faculty of Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Multi-center University of Texas-wide study of the utility of continuous interstitial glucose monitoring in ICU patients during intravenous infusion of insulin - Naifa Busaidy, M.D.
  • Feasibility study of intensive management of hyperglycemia in patients with pancreatic cancer - Naifa Busaidy, M.D.
  • Endocrinology faculty participation in the Multidisciplinary Research Program in Diabetes initially led by the late Mary Ann Weiser, M.D., Ph.D., and now by Sai-Ching J. Yeung, M.D., Ph.D., of General Internal Medicine

Epidemiological studies have shown that people with elevated blood sugar are predisposed to develop certain cancers. Research at MD Anderson has shown that, among people with acute lymphoid leukemia or pancreatic cancer, elevated blood sugar is associated with shorter remission and survival. The Diabetes Program faculty plans to collaborate with cancer specialists at MD Anderson in research studies to address whether metabolic control can improve responses to treatment of these and other cancers.

Diabetes Program