Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Optimizing Cardiovasular (CV) Prevention Medicine Use

Heart attacks and strokes cause substantial morbidity and mortality, while implementation of cholesterol and other CV prevention guidelines remain low. Proposed NCQA on-statin in the last year among those with DM was 46% in national field testing, and about 75% in Kaiser Permanente (KP). KP has had some success overcoming barriers to statin, aspirin, and blood pressure medicine adherence. If the nation as a whole is ...more »

Submitted by (@ronald.d.scott)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Improving treatment rates to CV guidleines improves the population health and can be cost saving to the system. Currently statin use among DM and in those with ASCVD Risk >= 7.5% is about 40%. If treatment improved to 60 or 80% many CV avents would be averted and downstream cost savings.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

KP has achieved blood pressure control rates of about 90% demonstrating possibility of high control / treatment rates. Improving treatment rates where there is a treatment gap in cost saving CV prevention should be a priority.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Ronald D Scott, MD. Kaiser Permanente Integrated Cardiovascular Health Team

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3 up votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Inflammation: what is the role of the blood microbiome?

Blood is not continuously sterile. Data from dental studies, blood donors, and random blood cultures document that "normal" human blood often harbors microbes. Sepsis only occurs when immunological regulatory systems fail. Growing evidence link subclinical, potentially transient bacteremia to cardiovascular and other diseases. Could many of the diseases associated with inflammatory markers represent either continuous ...more »

Submitted by (@kevinfiscella)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

A central scientific question is whether the blood microbiome has immunologic significance or not. Does it represent a largely incidental, trivial finding or does it represent an important source for immunologic activity?

 

This change in scientific paradigm could have major implications for research including providing a unifying explanation for unexplained phenomena including potential mechanisms related to disparate conditions including CVD, HTN, preterm births, CNS disorders, auto-immune diseases, etc. For example, the inflammation associated with obesity may result from differences in not only the micriobiome of the GI tract but also blood. Transient bacteremia might also explain effects of psychologic stress, smoking, and diet via permeability effects via other microbiomes.

 

Historically, transient, subclinical bacteremia has been regarded as an incidental finding of little consequence outside of selected conditions e.g. bacterial endocarditis and severe immune suppression. The concept that subclinical, transient bacteremia (and potentially very low level viremia) have both beneficial (adaptive immunity) and harmful (inflammatory) significance creates new directions for research and ultimately new targets for intervention including regulators of permeability on various barriers between different microbiomes. e.g blood and GI tract, or blood and oral cavity etc.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

One challenge is methodologic. Standard blood cultures miss low level and/or transient bacteremia. New approaches, e.g. 16 rDNA PCR etc offer promise but advances in methods are needed to capture potentially intermittent phenomena.

 

Another challenge is that the blood microbiome is likely polymicrobial and potentially dynamic with bursts of different microbes resulting from different sources e.g. oral cavity,skin, GI tract, UG tract, lung etc. Like other microbiomes, it is probably more of an ecological system embedded within other micorbiome systems. Methods need to account for for the potential large diversity in blood microbes with likely differing significance including potential competition and synergy between different microbes whether intra or extracellular.

 

A third challenge relates to the potential longitudinal and developmental implications. Potentially blood microbiome effects are relatively small, but cumulative and developmentally sensitive.This will require longitudinal studies in humans (and animal models) including studies done during pregnancy and other critical developmental periods.

 

A final challenge is modeling. This includes disentangling effects from established human microbiomes from the blood and establishing directions of effects between blood microbiomes and immune activity. Methods applicable to complex adaptive systems with non-linear, time dependent effects are likely required.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Kevin Fiscella, MD, MPH

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15 net votes
25 up votes
10 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Genome Editing and Gene Therapy

There is a critical need for the establishment of strategies that will determine the efficacy, safety, and toxicity of genome editing techniques specifically in hematologic diseases.

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Inherited monogenic hematologic diseases such as hemophilia, beta-thalassemia and sickle cell disease are prime targets for future application of genome editing technology. However, studies are still needed to advance our understanding of the biology of genome editing as well as determine which other disorders are amenable to genome editing correction. Emphasis on preclinical research that focuses on determining the accuracy, safety and efficiency of this technology in order to help minimize off-target mutations and reduce toxicity, is essential for effective translation of this technology into the clinic. Once preclinical efficacy is established, support will be needed for clinical vector production, toxicity testing of the vectors/reagents used, and the performance of clinical trials. The gene correction strategies developed for inherited disorders will also be attractive for other hematologic diseases, and autoimmune disorders like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and type I diabetes). There is also a critical need for supporting preclinical validation studies, scale-up and GMP cell manufacturing, all of which could be shared infrastructures across multiple diseases in the NHLBI portfolio.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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69 net votes
87 up votes
18 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Develop alternatives for patients for whom routine red cell transfusion is unavailable or impractical

There is a compelling need to advance research to understand the physiology governing the safety and efficacy of hemoglobin-based oxygen therapeutics functioning outside the red cell.

Submitted by (@chintamani.atreya)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Adequate numbers of red blood cells are required to sustain human life. Neurocognitive deficits and mortality in acutely anemic humans increase significantly at a hemoglobin level of below 5 g/dL even in the absence of significant cardiovascular disease. At extremely low hemoglobin levels, alternative treatments (supplemental or hyperbaric oxygen, sedation, muscle paralysis and mechanical ventilation) are of only limited benefit and are not without risk. Several classes of patients cannot be routinely transfused with red blood cells. These classes of patients for whom blood is not an option would include patients who will not accept transfusion for religious or personal reasons, patients who due to multiple prior transfusions have developed red cell antibodies without the option for compatible red cells, and massive trauma patients needing treatment in a remote location. The development of cell-free hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers, stable at room temperature and not requiring cross-matching prior to transfusion as a red cell substitute, has been a sought after goal for several decades, yet to date all attempts have met with failure during clinical trials. There is a compelling need to advance research to understand the physiology governing the safety and efficacy of hemoglobin-based oxygen therapeutics functioning outside the red cell.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Multiple physiologic insults and adverse events seen with earlier modified hemoglobins, compared to banked red blood cells, have been described and are now better, but not completely, understood. Advances in hemoglobin modification could allow for successful use in a variety of clinical scenarios with life-saving results. Additional clinical indications could be investigated and established, such as identification of clinical situations where additional oxygen delivery could modulate the effects of chronic ischemic conditions. In addition, the hemoglobin molecule could be modified to deliver additional therapeutic benefit.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Office of Blood Research and Review, CBER, FDA

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8 net votes
13 up votes
5 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Re-evaluating Hemoglobin Thresholds for Red Blood Cell Transfusion Decisions

Are there specific conditions where a liberal transfusion strategy results in lower 30-day mortality as compared to a restrictive transfusion strategy?

Submitted by (@nareg.roubinian)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

 Clinical trial data show that in multiple patient populations, a 7 to 8 g/dL hemoglobin threshold for red blood cell transfusion is safe. However, equipoise for transfusion thresholds persists in patients with ischemic heart disease and acute neurological conditions where a higher hemoglobin level may decrease ischemic injury to myocardial and cerebral tissues, respectively. Alternatively, liberal red blood cell transfusion may be associated with adverse outcomes such as pulmonary edema or increased rates of heart failure. In other populations, it is possible that even lower transfusion thresholds than 7 g/dL would be safely tolerated. On the other hand, if a 7 g/dL threshold is found to be superior to a lower threshold, this would establish a minimal appropriate threshold to initiate red blood cell transfusion.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Multicenter clinical trials that utilize markers of oxygen consumption are needed to answer these questions. A pilot study in patients with acute myocardial infarction demonstrated that recruitment was feasible for clinical scenarios in which equipoise exists. An international setting where the safety and availability of the blood supply remain significant issues may be best suited to answer the question of whether transfusion thresholds lower than 7 g/dL are safe.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Nareg Roubinian, MD and Naomi Luban, MD for the 2015 NHLBI State of the Science in Transfusion Medicine

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-4 net votes
22 up votes
26 down votes
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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Mechanism of dietary polysaccharide/ sugars in averting CVD and cancer

CQ

Submitted by (@mayaraman)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Non-communicable diseases and their preventive measure are always of interest. But we always, face side-effects because of these new applications. And at times, these techniques fail.

Diet today is a attractive area of discussion. Everyday, we read or hear that control of diet has cured severe conditions.

In fact, as the saying goes, we are what we eat. Today, scientific communities can lay emphasis on the researches concerning these topics. Dietary polysaccharides/ polyphenols etc. have a promising role in deciding our health. We can include these in our diet but the mechanism of the action of these factors in preventing diseases has not be explored in detail. The role of specific factors in diet at specific sites, may assist in pin-point treatment with better results and no side-effects. Can this topic be considered for research!

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Challenges include creating teams of researchers with basic research expertise and experienced researchers to collaborate and come up with plans to understand the action of system and to design strategies utilizing dietary carbohydrates to have healthier and long term benefits.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Raman M

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-8 net votes
6 up votes
14 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Transplantation across HLA barriers in aplastic anemia

Allogeneic stem cell transplantation is curative in aplastic anemia with much less intrinsic toxicity than transplantation in hematologic malignancies. The recent BMT-CTN trial demonstrated 97% survival at one year with little subsequent decline. However patients without matched related or unrelated donors have graft-rejection rates of up to 50%. Preliminary data from the Netherlands suggests that anti-thymocyte globulin ...more »

Submitted by (@jantin)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The use of umbilical cord blood or haploidentical donors has proven effective in patients with hematologic malignancies, but in non-malignant disorders outcomes are limited by graft rejection. Overcoming rejection in this context would be applicable to other non-malignant disorders such as thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, and other congenital disorders of hematopoiesis.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

It will require a large coordinated network like BMT-CTN to obtain sufficient patients studied in a uniform fashion to provide consistent reproducible data. .

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Joseph Antin

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110 net votes
137 up votes
27 down votes
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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Epigenetics and Genomics

There is a need to target epigenetic mechanisms as new treatment options for hematologic disorders.

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Advances in the field of epigenetics and the understanding of various epigenetic mechanisms has provided a completely new ensemble of therapeutic targets for treating hematologic disorders – both non-malignant and malignant. These mechanisms have enormous implications for understanding the molecular underpinnings of the normal orderly development of hematologic disorders. Although one of the greatest challenges in effectively treating hematologic disorders is the diversity of molecular abnormalities that underlie a disease, there are a number of common threads emerging, including alterations in proteins that function through epigenetic mechanisms. Additional research focusing on epigenetic alterations and emerging targets is needed to identify the role of such proteins in the development of hematologic disorders in order to design potential targeted treatments to counter their effects. This research will further lay the groundwork for precision medicine, and will help to provide more insight on potentially critical determinants of responsiveness to therapeutic regimens.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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-2 net votes
13 up votes
15 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Genome Profiling

What structural changes need to be implemented in the health-care community in order to support the use of genomic information in clinical trials and drug development for hematologic diseases?

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

In various blood disorders, including hematologic malignancies, there are both inherited and somatic genetic alterations that contribute to predisposition, transformation, disease progression, responsiveness to therapy, and treatment complications. The presence of such genetic alterations underscore the need for the identification of rare but traceable mutations as well as the integration of such genomic information into clinical trials. By implementing a few structural changes in the healthcare sector, a clinical trial infrastructure can be established that accounts for proper application of sequencing technology. Some examples include the creation of genome diagnostic networks that address accrual of sufficient patients, procurement of suitable tumor/non-tumor material for sequencing, as well as pharmacodynamic and correlative biology studies in hematologic diseases.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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11 net votes
22 up votes
11 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Would patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) benefit from background anticoagulation in addition to their PAH-targe

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a complex, progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure in the lungs. For several decades, oral anticoagulation has been recommended by some societies for patients with a specific form of PH called pulmonary arterial hypertension. However, the evidence currently supporting this recommendation is very limited. To date, no prospective randomized clinical trial has been completed ...more »

Submitted by (@katherinek)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The evolution of the anticoagulation recommendation in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a relatively logical one at face value. Early in the modern era of PAH management, a “thrombosis” in the small pulmonary arteries was identified and described; studies since then have demonstrated hypercoagulability in patients with severe disease. Together, these observations led to a theory that in-situ thrombosis contributed to the PAH disease progression and a belief that anticoagulation should be beneficial. The empirical evidence currently supporting this recommendation comes mostly from a retrospective cohort study of the European COMPERA PH registry and a systematic review of 7 retrospective cohort studies that are at least 10 years old—2 of which did not suggest a survival benefit—and in a time where only 4 of the widely used PAH-targeted therapies were approved by the FDA. Purely based on observational evidence with a number of potential biases, warfarin (Coumadin) is widely used in PAH management to this day. Warfarin in this patient population is not without its risks, as some subgroups of PAH patients are at increased risk of bleeding complications based on their disease process alone. Assessing the true benefit of this widely used background therapy could allow clinicians and patients to more accurately weigh the risks and burden of anticoagulation with a true understanding of the survival benefit.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Addressing this compelling question is indeed feasible through an NIH-sponsored randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of anticoagulation in patients with certain types of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Katherine Kroner, Michael Patrick Gray, PHA

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62 net votes
68 up votes
6 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Improving blood supply by giving a pig a human bone marrow transplant from a universal donor

What do you think of giving a pig a human bone marrow transplant from a universal donor? The pig could produce blood for human use! Although the pig will eventual die of an autoimmune disease its life can be prolonged with all the new autoimmune medicines we have and/or the pig can be engineered to overexpress PDL1 (or a similar autoimmune suppressor). Additionally even if each pint of blood made this way might be ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : John D Marano

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-26 net votes
11 up votes
37 down votes
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