Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Clinical Trial Aims to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes in Youth through Medication

May 22, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA - May 22, 2013 - A clinical trial being conducted at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC will examine whether type 2 diabetes can be prevented or slowed in high-risk youth by treating them with diabetes medications before they have the full-blown disease.

The Restoring Insulin Secretion Study: RISE Pediatric Medication Study (RISE) is currently enrolling overweight/obese adolescents who have prediabetes or have been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. RISE will examine the effects of two medications: metformin and insulin. The expectation is that the use of these medications before diabetes has developed will preserve or enhance the body's ability to produce insulin, the hormone that is crucial to maintaining normal blood sugar levels.

"RISE aims to identify young people who are at high risk for developing diabetes and then treat them with medications for a few months to prevent its development," said Silva Arslanian M.D., pediatric endocrinologist and diabetologist, chief, Weight Management and Wellness Center at Children's Hospital, professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and principal investigator of RISE. "We also want to try to determine if those with a short duration of diabetes of a few months might benefit from treatment with these medications. In both cases, the goal is to attempt to prevent loss of, or even restore, insulin secretion by the pancreas."

"Our findings from the Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth (TODAY) trial indicate that type 2 diabetes may be more difficult to treat in teenagers than in adults," said Dr. Arslanian, who has been the principal investigator of the Pittsburgh site for the TODAY trial for the past 12 years. "Unlike adults, their disease seems to be more aggressive and less responsive to available standard treatments. It is imperative that we build upon our findings from the TODAY trial to find treatment alternatives so these young people can stay healthier longer."

Children's Hospital is one of four sites recruiting adolescents and young adults for participation in the RISE pediatric medication study; the others are Yale University, Indiana University and Children's Hospital Colorado.

The RISE study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, is currently recruiting participants to take part in the research study at the Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research Center (PCTRC) at Children's Hospital. The PCTRC is a unique multidisciplinary setting that gives physicians the opportunity to investigate childhood diseases in a controlled environment in both an inpatient and outpatient basis. To be eligible for the study, participants must be between 10 and 19 years of age, have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes for less than six months, and be overweight. 

RISE is supported under NIH grants U01DK94430, U01DK94431, U01DK94406, U01DK94438 and U01DK94467.

For more information about this study, please contact a member of the RISE study team at 412-692-5846 or visit  

Andrea Kunicky, 412-692-6254,

Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919,