Penn Medicine has partnered with CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute, an Arkansas hospital, to expedite heart surgery clinical trials in an area with a particularly high mortality rate for heart disease.

John Kopp of the Philly Voice reports that this partnership is part of a more comprehensive program aligning five medical institutions that specialize in conducting cardiothoracic surgery research with qualified institutions that have done little clinical research.

The Problem

The hospitals involved in this program are located in regions, such as the South, where there are large numbers of underserved areas with high incidence of cardiac, disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. For example, Arkansas, reports Kopp, has the third-highest mortality rate from heart disease in the entire nation based on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.  Conditions, such as obesity, rampantly lead to a risk of heart disease which remains the leading cause of death.

Cardiac Surgery Innovation

There have been a number of breakthroughs in cardiac surgical procedure—including new approaches and technologies—however, clinical trials that validate these approaches have not kept pace.  Clinical trial enrollment challenges are part of the hold-up.

Accelerate Cardiac Surgery Clinical Trials

Penn Medicine will work with St. Vincent for the next several years to conduct clinical research studies in a mission to test new investigational products, surgical interventions, and cardiovascular practices, reports the Philly Voice.

The Funding Source

The clinical research programs will be funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and is part of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network’s Linked Clinical Research Centers project.

Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network

The goal of the CTSN is to foster a culture of rigorous scientific comparisons and to promote the evaluation of newer surgical techniques, devices, innovative pharmaceutical, and bioengineered products directed at improving cardiovascular disease outcomes in adult populations.

With support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the CTSN provides the infrastructure to develop, coordinate, and conduct multiple collaborative proof-of-concept studies and interventional protocols to improve cardiovascular disease outcomes. Our network enables interdisciplinary research teams led to evaluate therapies and techniques as they move from laboratory science to broad clinical use.

Lead Research/Investigator

Dr. Michael Acker, Penn Medicine, chief of cardiovascular surgery

Call to Action: If you are interested in cardiac surgical clinical research, we encourage you follow this Penn Medicine-led initiative. TrialSite News will monitor the studies for those interested patients. For clinical sponsors interested in partnering with the CTSN, we include contact information. Our TrialSite Network matching service can make an introduction if you are interested.

Source: Philly Voice

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