Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Clinical Trial Methodology

As the current chair of the Research and Training Division, I would like to convey that the AAAAI membership would like the NHLBI to consider the following in the development of its strategic plan:

 

Are the current methodologies for clinical trials still the best practices for conducting efficient clinical trials?

Submitted by (@wheeze)

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 : Mitchell Grayson on behalf of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Embedding Clinical Trials in Learning Health Systems

What are the best methods for using genotype information and other EMR data to randomize heart, lung, blood, sleep patients to different treatment strategies? One big challenge is how to consent patients for this sort of trial. Must patients be consented separately for every such trial or could there be blanket consent for participating in the learning health care model? This would also require a paradigm shift in how ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

If successful this approach should enable the conduct of cheap pragmatic trials that are fueled by data from clinical care. The integration into clinical care helps assure efficiency and generalizability of results.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The advent of electronic medical records and the explosion of big data technology has made it possible to gain access to and analyze data in a manner that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. This is already going on in other fields.

Health care systems are increasingly using "big data" approaches to track outcomes in the patients treated with different strategies and drugs, and apply the knowledge gained from outcomes in previous patients to inform decision making in subsequent patients ("learning"). This approach could be used to personalize treatment. A recent example from cancer is to genotype lung tumors, and tailor the treatment of a new patients to drugs producing good results in patients with similar tumor genotypes. When two or more treatments produce similar results, one could randomize. Cardiovascular disease presents a challenge in using genotyping information to personalize treatment, because the manifestations are the results of complex genetic and environmental risk factors.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Number of clinical scientists

How can we insure that there are sufficient numbers of clinical scientists over the next 20 years?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : American Thoracic Society member

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Comparison of CAC-based Strategy versus AHA/ACC Guidelines

There is a need for a randomized primary prevention trial comparing the effectiveness of cholesterol treatment strategies based on a high CAC score versus the AHA/ACC 10-year cardiovascular disease risk tool. Include cost-effectiveness as well as clinical effectiveness as endpoints.

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Improve targeting of statins to high-risk patients without prior CV disease.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

New guidelines issued last year. Statin and recently ezetimibe are proven to be safe and efficacious.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Clinical Research for HIV/AIDS and HLB Health and Diseases

What HIV/AIDS-related clinical research can NHLBI support in the next 5-10 years on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV-related heart, lung, and/or blood (HLB) diseases in adults and children to improve heart, lung, and blood health outcomes in HIV infections?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Remarkable progress in anti-retroviral therapy (ART) has increased survival in the HIV population and significantly reduced mother-to-child transmission of HIV both in resource-rich and resource-limited settings. However, this enhanced longevity is now associated with an increasing burden of chronic diseases, such as coronary artery disease (CAD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and chronic anemia. In patients with HIV, there may be a complex interplay between the processes of inflammation, traditional risk factors, and the adverse effects of ART. Additionally, the long-term effects of in utero exposure to HIV and antiretroviral drugs in HIV-exposed but uninfected children on HLB diseases is unknown.

Furthermore, HIV control or possibly even HIV cure could result from developing novel cell therapies, especially hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplants, and might also result from early use of antiretroviral therapy in acutely HIV-infected individuals. Finally, other unique NHLBI research activities and resources could be leveraged for HIV/AIDS-related research.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

• Collaborations between HIV and HLB investigators that have been facilitated by the NHLBI investments, including three RFAs.

 

• The Berlin patient has provided the proof of concept that HIV infection can be eradicated, that is, sterilizing cure can be achieved, through HSC transplantation in combination with other therapies;

 

• Recent studies have shown that early identification of HIV infection and treatment of infected individuals with anti-retroviral therapy as soon as possible can significantly limit the size of the HIV reservoirs even if such early treatment may not be able to completely prevent the establishment of HIV reservoirs; routine blood donor screening for both anti-HIV antibodies and HIV RNA among blood donors offers unique opportunities to identify acute HIV infections.

 

• For other NHLBI research activities and resources that could be leveraged: data and specimens are available in the NHLBI repositories as well as repositories of NHLBI investigators.

 

 

For HLB comorbidities of HIV infection, the challenges include:

 

• Closer collaboration and leverage of resources available

 

For HIV cure, the challenges include:

 

• Generation of HIV-resistant HSCs in adequate quantity for transplantation;

 

• Efficiency of homing and expansion of HIV-resistant HSC transplants, replacing HIV-infected cells, and immune reconstitution by HSC transplants

 

• Safety of HSC transplantation with needed GVHD to eliminate HIV-infected resting T cells

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

How can we increase the pharmaceutical clinical research of targeted therapies in pediatric PAH patients, including encouraging

Clinical research, especially randomized pharmaceutical clinical trials, poses many unique challenges compared to research in adult subjects. In pulmonary arterial hypertension, a disease characterized by high blood pressure of the lungs with increased pulmonary vascular resistance leading to right ventricular failure, there are 12 FDA-approved PAH-targeted therapies for adults. None of these medications are currently ...more »

Submitted by (@katherinek)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a heterogeneous condition generally characterized by high blood pressure in the lungs and increased pulmonary vascular resistance that leads to right heart failure if left untreated. Though some causes of PAH are seen in both adult and pediatric populations, some etiologies are seen exclusively in pediatric populations, including persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, lung hypoplasia, and alveolar capillary dysplasia. Despite these differences in disease etiology, and known physiologic differences in pediatric populations, inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) in the acute setting is the only approved medication for PAH treatment in children. A number of issues have decreased pediatric PAH pharmaceutical research, including protection of the pediatric population as vulnerable subjects, principle of scientific necessity, balance of risk and potential benefit, parental consent/child assent, and feasibility of pediatric clinical trial design and implementation. Encouraging clinical trials of existing adult medications and potentially emerging, novel agents specifically for pediatrics—either through direct sponsorship or regulatory incentives—would not only lead to better outcomes for pediatric PAH patients, but potentially to a better and more comprehensive characterization of the developing pulmonary vascular system and right ventricle.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Several challenges exist for addressing this critical challenge. First, there are a number of differences between conducting clinical research in pediatric populations compared to adult populations. This not only includes the broad items referenced above, but items as noted by Rose and colleagues related to clinical trial design and analysis including (1) accepted age-matched normal ranges for laboratory values; (2) requirements for the validation of clinical endpoints for the assessment of efficacy and safety; and (3) standards for long-term safety monitoring and pharmacovigilance (Rose K, et al. NEJM 2005). Sponsorship of this type of clinical research is a second concern, which could either be mitigated by direct support from the National Institutes of Health of pediatric PAH clinical trials or in regulatory changes incentivizing pediatric clinical research in rare diseases.

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

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Research in new methods for large simple trials

We need new ideas in how to make clinical trials more efficient and cost effective. (Randomized) comparison of different methods for accrual might be of interest; blinded versus unblinded trials; behavioral controls versus placebo controls or usual care controls might be explored.

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

This will aid our discussions of appropriate trials to fund.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

We need some answers in order to continue to fund the best possible trials with our limited resources.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Transforming Transplantation with Reprogramming Immune System Cells (RISC)

Can we "reprogram" the immune system to improve outcomes of heart, lung, and hematopoietic cell transplants? While NIAID is a major funder of immunology research, we are a major contributor to stem cell research. Our resources could be combined, where NIAID would support this approach for autoimmune diseases, and we would support work in tolerance for transplants. If the NCI also wants to collaborate on co-stimulatory ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

This innovative and transformative proposal could improve tolerance to many different types of transplants.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

In 2002, Hochedlinger and Jaenisch (Nature 415:1035-1038) created a mouse by nuclear transplantation from a mature B-cell. This was proof of principle that the immune system can be reprogrammed entirely. Since then there has been little work in this area, but Reprogramming Immune System Cells (RISC) is risky but promising.

A second approach involves mechanisms that cancer cells use to evade immune detection. While most cancer research works to restore immune competence for therapy, the basic biology of evading immune detection could be exploited to improve tolerance. These approaches could be tested in an animal model in 5 years.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Tools for Clinical Research

Clinical trials are at a crossroads. They are too expensive, take too long, and often can't recruit adequately. A critical challenge is to develop tools that can change the cost, time, and recruiting practices for clinical trials.

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Developing tools to facilitate and streamline the day-to-day performance of clinical trials would help investigators and NHLBI alike. Trials would recruit more quickly, at less cost. We could, therefore, potentially fund more trials. In addition, if we have common templates, this would facilitate a number of things ranging from peer review to IRB submissions, and would also be beneficial to new investigators by providing a framework for them to use.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Some of it will involve 'just doing it' - for example, we have the capability now to require common protocol and informed consent formats. We have sufficient data to develop performance milestones and implement them. The hardest part will be figuring out how to develop pools of patients, or with which organizations to collaborate in order to achieve this. However, 5-10 years should be ample for this and related activities.

For example, we need to emulate and collaborate with other organizations in figuring out how to identify large numbers of patients willing to participate in our trials. We need performance milestones and metrics, and we need tools like common templates for protocols and informed consent forms that all NHLBI-funded trials would use.

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

New Clinical Research Methodologies for Rare Diseases

What innovative methodologies applicable to small cohorts and rare outcomes can better ensure the success of clinical and implementation studies in the rare diseases affecting heart, lung, blood, and sleep?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Efficient translation of clinical observation into discovery science, and, particularly, the timely translation of potential therapeutic target identification into the treatment of rare diseases has been impeded by the reality that rare disease populations are often too small to be studied using “classical” epidemiology, clinical trial, and implementation science methodology. Overcoming these barriers will require both the adaptation of current clinical research methods and the development of novel methodologies. The requirement for better methods in rare disease clinical science will become even more urgent with time as systems biology more specifically defines and sub-characterizes ‘common’ heart, lung, blood, and sleep disease populations

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

This problem has been recently addressed through special initiatives in the application of small trial methodology into the planning and design of clinical trials in rare hemostatic disorders and sickle cell disease. Furthermore, small clinical trial methodologists have begun to populate the CTSAs and Regulatory Agencies. Their expertise in clinical trial design and biostatistical methods, and their creative ideas can be brought to bear in the clinical trials required to advance NHLBI scientific priorities.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Risk-benefit of oral hypoglycemic medication in type 2 diabetes

Is an increase in macrovascular endpoints outweighed by the benefit in microvascular end points in new oral type 2 diabetes drugs?

 

It would go against the current regulatory paradigm in type 2 diabetes. Although drug companies do not like the current paradigm, they would prefer to go back to the pre-rosiglitazone state of affairs, in which new drugs had only to prove that they lowered blood glucose and HbA1c.

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Trials along this line would create a new and more rational paradigm to evaluate the cardiovascular safety of new oral hypoglycemic agents in type 2 diabetes in the context of their incremental benefit in preventing microvascular complications.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Some of the newer oral meds for treating type 2 diabetes, starting with rosiglitazone, have shown no benefit on clinical macrovascular end points, particularly heart failure. The FDA has responded to this by requiring new drugs to undergo large non-inferiority trials demonstrating that these drugs cause no more than a 30% increase in macrovascular endpoints as a precondition for approval. Yet there is no requirement that microvascular events (renal dysfunction and failure, neuropathy, retinopathy and visual loss) even be documented in these trials. So we are allowing new agents like alogliptin and sitogliptin to be marketed without any direct evidence that they do anything good for patients other than lowering glucose and HbA1c levels and with some evidence of adverse CV effects. While it is reasonable to assume that surrogates like lower glucose and HbA1c will translate to reduction in microvascular events, this assumption is based on old studies using different classes of drugs in a different disease population and environment. Even if HbA1c and glucose remain good qualitative surrogates, there is no way to quantitatively compare benefits versus risks of new hypoglycemic drugs compared to placebo or other drugs. Novel statistical methods to look at weighted composites of microvascular and macrovascular endpoints would enable the key question of net benefit to be addressed with a reasonable sample size.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

ASCVD Risk and Treatment Options

There is little evidence about the best ways in which to effectively communicate atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk to patients so that they clearly understand the potential benefits and harms of treatments in order to make informed decisions about their care. A shift toward shared decision-making and tailored treatment makes it imperative that effective risk communication strategies be developed and ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

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

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