External artificial pancreas research project

The diabetic children’s foundation and camp carowanis: partners in this unique large scale study

The results of the artificial pancreas research project phase that took place at Camp carowanis last summer have been released. To date, the device tested by the research team of Doctors Rémi Rabasa-Lhoret and Laurent Legault at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) has proven to be efficient for blood sugar levels control. This represents an important breakthrough in diabetes research and a real sign of hope for type 1 diabetic youth.

This represents an important breakthrough in diabetes research and a real sign of hope for type 1 diabetic youth.

The artificial pancreas is a promising new technology to alleviate diabetes related complications, since it provides a better control over Type 1 Diabetes while significantly reducing risks of hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia during the night.

Since 2011, the IRCM team has worked relentlessly to develop and test the device. The research objective was to compare three hypoglycaemia prevention strategies at night:

  1. Treatment with pump;
  2. Artificial pancreas with insulin only;
  3. Artificial pancreas with insulin and glucagon.

Part of the research was conducted last summer at Camp Carowanis. The team’s onsite work was strongly based on ethics, rigor and transparency, while careful attention was paid to the wellness of the campers. More than thirty children and teenagers with Type 1 Diabetes were chosen to take part in the study, with the prior consent of their parents.

Tests were done overnight and therefore did not interrupt the main activities of the Camp’s (i.e. fun, friendships and sports.) During nine consecutive nights, the 33 participants were hooked up to a continuous blood glucose-monitoring device and placed under one of the three control strategies. Blood glucose levels were recorded every five minutes in order to allow the researchers to analyse and measure performance.

On November 27 2014, the team proudly announced its results in an article published in the specialized scientific journal, The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. The team also presented its results during a special IRCM conference held on December 3rd. We will monitor with great interest the future steps of this exciting study.