Bethesda, MD (May 14, 2021) – The combination of a minimally invasive endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) with the diabetes drug semaglutide can, according to selected studies, cause additional significant weight loss for patients who are not eligible for invasive weight loss surgery for presentation at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) 2021.
“As the global obesity rate continues to rise, so will the number of people seeking bariatric surgery to treat their condition,” said Dr. Anna Carolina Hoff, lead researcher on the study and founder and clinical director of Angioskope Brazil, São José dos Campos. “Surgical interventions are some of the most successful ways to help patients lose weight, but they can lead to complications. Our study shows that patients may not need to undergo invasive surgery to achieve similar results.”
In a double-blind study, researchers randomized 61 patients undergoing ESG into two groups, with a group of 29 receiving semaglutide – an injectable glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor known to stimulate weight loss – starting one month after the procedure. Another group of 29 patients received a placebo given with similar pen pens. Three patients were lost to follow-up care. Participants were monitored for body weights and composition every month, and blood tests were performed every three months.
Patients who received semaglutide lost an average of 26.7 percent of their total body weight compared to the control group, who lost an average of 19.6 percent of their total body weight. The semaglutide group lost 86.3 percent of their excess weight – the amount of weight patients had to lose to achieve a normal BMI – compared to 60.4 percent for the control group. The semaglutide group also lost 12.7 percent by weight of their body fat compared to 9 percent for the control group. Eventually glycated hemoglobin (Hb1Ac) levels fell by 0.95 for the semaglutide group and by 0.61 for the controls.
Surgical interventions such as laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy are associated with increased costs and a higher risk of complications such as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. These surgeries are typically limited to those with a BMI of at least 35 with comorbidities or those with a BMI over 40. ESG can be done at an earlier stage of the disease and at a lower BMI, so more patients can get the treatment they need before their disease progresses. Treating obese patients earlier can help reduce death and comorbidities, as well as lower the costs associated with treating these conditions.
“ESG has been available to patients for years, but has not always been as successful as surgical options in helping patients lose weight,” said Dr. Hope “We now have a minimally invasive procedure that, when combined with semaglutide, can be just as effective and made available to even more people looking to lose a significant amount of weight.”
ESG is performed by inserting a device through the patient’s throat into the stomach, where an endoscopist uses sutures to shrink the stomach. This helps patients lose weight by limiting the amount they can eat. Patients are candidates for ESG if they have a BMI of 30 or greater and diet and exercise have not helped them lose weight, or if they are not candidates for surgery or if they do not want to have surgery.
The researchers warn that the long-term durability of the treatment has yet to be determined.
Details on the DDW presentation
Dr. Hoff will report data from the study, “Semaglutide Associated with Endoscopic Pod Gastroplasty: Taking Endoscopic Bariatric Procedure Results to the Next Level,” Abstract Su548, on Sunday, May 23 at 12:15 pm EDT. For more information on featured studies, as well as a timeline for the availability of featured researchers, please visit http://www.ddw.org/press.
The Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) is the largest international meeting of doctors, researchers and scientists in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. DDW is a joint project of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the Institute of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT) Voll virtual meeting May 21-23, 2021. The meeting will present more than 2,000 abstracts and hundreds of lectures on the latest advances in GI research, medicine, and technology. More information is available at http://www.ddw.org.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the correctness of the press releases published on EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of information via the EurekAlert system.