Men with Type 2 diabetes are needed for a study looking at a new treatment to correct low testosterone levels.
Volunteers aged 18-60 would receive injections of a hormone which researchers from the Churchill Hospital in Oxford have found can boost the body’s production of testosterone.
Testosterone levels are often low in men with type 2 diabetes and this is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular problems.
Symptoms of low testosterone can include tiredness, decreased exercise capacity and decreased libido.
The hormone which controls the release of testosterone in the brain is called kisspeptin.
It was scientists in Hershey’s, the chocolate town in America who discovered the kisspeptin gene. They named their hormone ‘kisspeptin’ after their town’s most famous product – Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses.
Research has shown a man-made long-acting version of kisspeptin hormone can increase testosterone levels.
Now researchers want to carry out a further study to decide on the amount to give and how often to give it, either once or twice weekly. This is so the drug can be evaluated further in future, larger studies.
The research is supported by the NIHR Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), set up by the Government in 2007 to quickly apply research to NHS care.
Dr Jyothis George, principal investigator for the BRC’s translational research group, said: “We are using a long-acting form of the natural hormone called kisspeptin to stimulate the body’s own production of testosterone.
“Current testosterone treatments increase the blood levels of testosterone above normal, often with side effects. Our approach aims to avoids this”
Phil Bacon, 58, of Marston, Oxford, who has Type 2 diabetes, received the drug once a week for four weeks as part of the trial.
Mr Bacon, a scientist, said: “I would always say ‘yes, get involved’. This is the only way science evolves and develops. I think it is a citizen’s duty to test these things.”
Taking part involves having injections in the skin near your belly button using a small needle – similar to injections such as insulin. Injections will be given for four weeks once or twice per week.
Participants would need to attend the Churchill’s OCDEM Clinical Research Unit frequently, for about six weeks. Most visits will be short morning visits, with a few long visits.
On completion of the study participants will be paid £1,900 or £2,700 for those who attend some additional long visits. Travel expenses will also be reimbursed.
Apply to take part now by calling Jo Milton on 01865 857246 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.