Clinico-Biological Medico-Surgical Emergency:Diabetes & Cancer
Diabetes mellitus is a complex metabolic disorder associated with an increased risk of microvascular and macrovascular disease; its main clinical characteristic is hyperglycaemia.
The last century has been characterised by remarkable advances in our understanding of the mechanisms leading to hyperglycaemia.
The central role of insulin in glucose metabolism regulation was clearly demonstrated during the early 1920s, when Banting, Best, Collip and Macleod successfully reduced blood glucose levels and glycosuria in a patient treated with a substance purified from bovine pancreata.
The next 30 years were characterised by pivotal progress in the field of immunology that were instrumental in demonstrating an immune-mediated loss of insulin-secreting β-cells in subjects with 'insulin-dependent' diabetes.
With the advancement of our cellular and molecular understanding of diabetes, a more pathophysiological classification that overcomes the historical and simple 'glucocentric' view could result in a better patient phenotyping and therapeutic approach.