Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Reducing CV events in breast cancer survivors -knowledge gaps

Identifying breast cancer survivors at high risk for CV morbidity and mortality to allow targeting of management strategies to reduce CV events and thereby improve overall cancer-related survival.

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 :

Chemotherapy for breast cancer stages I-III is known to be associated with or induce cardiotoxicity. Over 35% of these women develop progressive fatigue and exercise intolerance, and heart failure limiting their daily activities and frequently interfering with their ability to return to work. CV disease are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for those surviving beyond 5 to 8 years from their breast cancer diagnosis. The excess of CV morbidity and mortality in these patients threatens to offset reductions in cancer-related survival. Identifying breast cancer survivors at high risk for CV morbidity and mortality could allow targeting of cardiovascular disease reducing therapeutic interventions.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

creating a multisite registry of women with Stage 1-3 breast cancer scheduled to receive chemotherapy and a control population women of similar demographic and CV risk profile without neoplasia, would allow to collect data at baseline and during/after cancer treatment related modern therapy, pre/post treatment functional status, including fatigue, behavioral and psychosocial risk factors and quality of life, and serum biomarkers indicative of myocardial injury, fibrosis, and heart failure.

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

Voting

-1 net votes
5 up votes
6 down votes
Active

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)

Voting

69 net votes
87 up votes
18 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Gene Therapies to Revitalize/Regenerate Cardiac Function

There is a need to examine the use of recombinant DNA to the heart for correction of genetic abnormalities or restoration of normal signaling pathways to prevent heart failure. However, gene therapy is a complex process and more studies are needed in which tissue targeting, route of delivery, regulation of target gene expression, therapeutic dose, and identification of robust biomarkers are further investigated.

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 :

Successful gene therapy could restore or improve the condition of heart failure patients, especially when medications have been unsuccessful.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

There have already been human trials of gene therapy in heart failure patients with positive outcomes.

Improvements in cardiac revascularization and medical therapies have significantly reduced cardiovascular-related deaths; however, the number of patients developing heart failure (HF) has steadily increased. One explanation is that surgery and medical therapies are palliative, but do not address the molecular pathogenesis of HF.

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

Voting

-18 net votes
8 up votes
26 down votes
Active

Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Translational Research for HIV/AIDS and HLB Health and Diseases

What are the best inroads for the NHLBI to support innovative approaches in the next 5-10 years, especially blood cell therapies based on hematopoietic stem cell and novel gene therapy approaches to control or even cure HIV infection?

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 :

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.

• Transplantation of HSC including engineered cells has the potential to eradicate HIV reservoirs for HIV cure: the Berlin patient treated with HSC transplant remains free of HIV and is still the only patient cured of HIV infection as of today;

• Identification of acute HIV infections through routine blood donor screening and early anti-retroviral therapy for identified HIV-infected donors can limit or even prevent the establishment of HIV reservoirs.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

• 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 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;

 

• Efficiency in replacing HIV-infected cells, including CD4+ resting cells as the major HIV reservoirs, with HIV-resistant HSCs following transplantation;

 

• Efficiency in immune reconstitution by HSC transplants;

 

• Safety of HSC transplantation with needed GVHD to eliminate HIV-infected resting T cells while avoiding irreversible damage to the host.

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

Voting

-16 net votes
15 up votes
31 down votes
Active

Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Develop Targeted Therapeutics to Treat Venous Thrombosis and Inflammation in Venous Thromboembolism

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) afflicts nearly a million Americans yearly, has a mortality of 6-12% and has costs of more than $15 billion. Current treatment regimens, systemic anticoagulation and compression stockings, fail patients in multiple ways: risk of major bleeding episodes; failure of clot resolution in up to 50% of patients; failure to prevent the development of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) in up to 40% of ...more »

Submitted by (@chanduvem)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is a common disease with established treatment regimens that have been repeatedly proven to fail patients. The disease process affects a million Americans, and projections are that this will increase to 1.82 million by 2050. VTE affects a wide range of the U.S. population including young pregnant women, cancer patients ,hospitalized patients and the ever expanding elderly sector. Despite recent advances the incidence of the disease is unchanged and treatment failures include failure to resolve clot, failure to prevent long-term recurrence and failure to treat vein wall inflammation which results in the development of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) in up to 40% of patients. There are significant complications from the approved systemic treatment regimens including bleeding from anticoagulation therapy and potentially fatal complications from inferior vena cava filters. In cases of severe chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), a common sequela of VTE, quality of life survey results mirror those of chronic lung disease, coronary disease and debilitating arthritis. The cost of VTE is nearly $15.5 billion in the U.S. alone. PTS significantly affects patients and up to 42% of patients lose workdays with a cost per patient of $11,667 and a cost to the overall system of $16 billion. Addressing this critical challenge will help to decrease mortality and morbidity in a large, active sector of the U.S. population and save the healthcare system billions.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

This critical challenge comes at an opportune time as multiple platforms for targeted therapies have been tested, proven to be efficacious and nearing approval for use in patients. Basic science research in venous thrombosis has advanced significantly with well established in-vitro and in-vivo models. Furthermore, significant work has been done to reveal multiple targets for clot resolution and for the treatment of vein wall inflammation. Thus the critical information is known and therapeutics available to make addressing this challenge highly feasible.

There will be challenges to addressing this clinical need. The first challenge may be developing and/or identifying the most relevant animal model. There are multiple established animal models and these may need to be modified to provide the best simulation of the clinical situation being addressed. Secondly, there are multiple delivery platforms that would be suitable to this project including nanomedicine based therapies. These would have to be optimized and tested in this research realm and then would need FDA approval . Lastly, following pre-clinical studies it will take large scale clinical studies to prove the efficacy and then require re-education to adopt this approach in the treatment of patients with thrombosis. Fortunately understanding and addressing these challenges will ultimately result in an improved therapy for patients with venous thromboembolism.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Chandu Vemuri

Voting

4 net votes
6 up votes
2 down votes
Active

Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Arrhythmia Therapies Based on Understanding Mechanisms

There is a need to translate these new insights of genetic, molecular, cellular, and tissue arrhythmia mechanisms into the development of novel, safe, and new therapeutic interventions for the treatment and prevention of cardiac arrhythmias.

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 :

Reduced socioeconomic burden of cardiac arrhythmias. Development of new technologies and recognition of new arrhythmia mechanisms.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Several studies have already recognized the unexpected antiarrhythmic effects of some therapies intended for other cardiovascular disease. For example statins, aldosterone blockers, and possibly some essential fatty acids may reduce arrhythmia burden in patients receiving these interventions. Clinical trials should be developed to demonstrate the efficacy of these interventions, and arrhythmia endpoints, including those for atrial fibrillation and sudden cardiac death, should be incorporated into other large clinical trials. Research into novel antiarrhythmic might focus on (a) drug development; (b) cell/gene-based therapy and tissue engineering; and (c) improvements in development and use of devices and ablation to prevent or inhibit arrhythmic electrical activity. Continued research might also focus on targeting of upstream regulatory cascades of ion channel expression and function. Continued antiarrhythmic strategies might include the exploration of novel delivery systems (e.g., utilizing advances in nanotechnology and microelectronics), biological pacemakers, AV node repair/bypass, and treatment and/or reversal of disease-induced myocardial remodeling and tachyarrhythmias. Evaluation of new therapies should include a cost analysis. Studies in both children and adults with congenital heart are needed. New interventions might include new pharmacologic approaches as well as advances in electrophysiologic imaging and improved approaches to ablation.

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

Voting

51 net votes
86 up votes
35 down votes
Active

Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Deriving Cardiac Elements from Pluripotent Human embryonic Stem Cells for Heart Reconstitution

to date, the existing markets lack a clinically-suitable human cardiomyocyte source with adequate myocardium regenerative potential, which has been the major setback in developing safe and effective cell-based therapies for regenerating the damaged human heart in cardiovascular disease.

Submitted by (@xuejunparsons)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Given the limited capacity of the heart for self-repair or renewal, cell-based therapy represents a promising therapeutic approach closest to provide a cure to restore normal heart tissue and function for CVD. There is no evidence that adult stem/precursor/progenitor cells derived from mature tissues, such as bone marrow, cord blood, umbilical cord, mesenchymal stem cells, patients’ heart tissue, placenta, or fat tissue, are able to give rise to the contractile heart muscle cells following transplantation into the heart. Despite numerous reports about cell populations expressing stem/precursor/progenitor cell markers identified in the adult hearts, the minuscule quantities and growing evidences indicating that they are not genuine heart cells and that they give rise predominantly to non-functional smooth muscle cells rather than functional contractile cardiomyocytes have caused skepticism if they can potentially be harnessed for cardiac repair. In recent years, reprogrammed or trans-differentiated adult cells, as a result of being backed by excess sum of government and private funding, have been rekindled as the adult alternates. However, major drawbacks such as abnormal gene expression, accelerated aging, immune rejection, not graftable, and extremely low efficiencies, have severely impaired the utility of reprogrammed or trans-differentiated somatic cells as viable therapeutic approaches.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Opportunity: Derivation of pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) from the IVF leftover embryos has brought a new era of cellular medicine for the heart. The intrinsic ability of a hESC for both unlimited self-renewal and differentiation into clinically-relevant lineages makes it a practically inexhaustible source of replacement cells for human tissue and function restoration. Therefore, it has been regarded as an ideal source to provide a large supply of functional human cells to heal the damaged or lost tissues that have naturally limited capacity for renewal, such as the human heart and the human brain. Although a vast sum of NHLBI funding has been spent on looking for adult alternates, such as reprogramming and trans-differentiation of fibroblasts or mature tissues, so far, only human cardiac stem/precursor/progenitor cells derived from embryo-originated hESCs have shown such cellular pharmacologic utility and capacity adequate for myocardium regeneration in pharmaceutical development of stem cell therapy for the damaged human heart.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Xuejun Parsons

Voting

-33 net votes
10 up votes
43 down votes
Active

Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Current State of Regenerative Medicine: Moving Stem Cell Research from Animals into Humans for Clinical Trials

Realizing the developmental and therapeutic potential of pluripotent human embryonic stem cell (hESC) derivatives has been hindered by the inefficiency and instability of generating clinically-relevant functional cells from pluripotent cells through conventional uncontrollable and incomplete multi-lineage differentiation.

Submitted by (@xuejunparsons)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Realizing the developmental and therapeutic potential of pluripotent human embryonic stem cell (hESC) derivatives has been hindered by the inefficiency and instability of generating clinically-relevant functional cells from pluripotent cells through conventional uncontrollable and incomplete multi-lineage differentiation. Conventional approaches rely on multi-lineage inclination of pluripotent cells through spontaneous germ layer differentiation, resulting in inefficient, incomplete, and uncontrollable lineage-commitment that is often followed by phenotypic heterogeneity and instability, hence, a high risk of tumorigenicity. In addition, undefined foreign or animal biological supplements and/or feeders that have typically been used for the isolation, expansion, and differentiation of hESCs may make direct use of such cell-specialized grafts in patients problematic.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Opportunity: Recent technology breakthroughs in hESC research have overcome some major obstacles in bringing hESC therapy derivatives towards clinical applications, including establishing defined culture systems for derivation and maintenance of clinical-grade pluripotent hESC and lineage-specific differentiation of pluripotent hESC by small molecule induction. Such milestone advances and medical innovations in hESC research enable direct conversion of pluripotent hESC into a large supply of homogeneous populations of clinical-grade hESC neuronal and heart cell therapy products for developing safe and effective stem cell therapies. Currently, these hESC neuronal and cardiomyocyte therapy derivatives are the only available human cell sources with adequate capacity to regenerate neurons and contractile heart muscles, vital for CNS and heart repair in the clinical setting.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Xuejun Parsons

Voting

-21 net votes
13 up votes
34 down votes
Active

Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

The Designation of Human Cardiac Stem Cell therapy Products for Human Trials or First-in-Human Studies

For successful pharmaceutical development of cardiac stem cell therapy, the human cardiac stem cell therapy product must meet certain commercial criteria in plasticity, specificity, and stability before entry into clinical trials.

Submitted by (@xuejunparsons)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

For successful pharmaceutical development of cardiac stem cell therapy, the human cardiac stem cell therapy product must meet certain commercial criteria in plasticity, specificity, and stability before entry into clinical trials. Moving stem cell research from current studies in animals into human trials must address such practical issues for commercial and therapeutic uses: 1) such human stem cells or their cardiac derivatives must be able to be manufactured in a commercial scale; 2) such human stem cells and their cardiac derivatives must be able to retain their normality or stability for a long term; and 3) such human stem cells must be able to differentiate or generate a sufficient number of functional or contractile cardiomyocytes for repair. Those practical issues are essential for designating any human cardiac stem cells as a human cardiac stem cell therapy product for investigational new drug (IND)-filing and entry into clinical trials. So far, the therapeutic effects, if any, of human cardiac stem cells in the existing market, including those derived from patients’ heart tissues, were mediated by protective or tropic mechanism to rescue dying host cardiomyocytes, but not related to myocardium regeneration.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Opportunity: Recent breakthrough stem cell technologies have demonstrated the direct pharmacologic utility and capacity of pluripotent human embryonic stem cell (hESC) therapy derivatives for human CNS and myocardium regeneration and, thus, have presented the hESC cell therapy derivatives as a powerful pharmacologic agent of cellular entity for a wide range of CNS and heart diseases. The hESC cardiomyocyte cell therapy derivatives by novel small molecule induction provide a large scale of high quality human cardiomyocyte source for myocardium regeneration and, thus, meet the designation of human stem cell therapy products in plasticity, specificity, and stability for commercial development and human trials or first-in-human studies in cardiovascular diseases.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Xuejun Parsons

Voting

-14 net votes
12 up votes
26 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Cellular therapy of Blood Diseases

Can modification of either autologous or allogeneic immune cells allow effective treatment of blood diseases and infection with acceptable rates of toxicity?

Submitted by (@marymh)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Although targeted therapy is generally applied to the use of small molecules that target specific genes or proteins of diseased cells, it is now possible to target immune cells against specific diseases through genetic modification. This provides desired antigen-specificity to powerful cell-mediated cytotoxicity effects. Small studies show impressive results both in blood cancers and viral infections refractory to other therapies. Toxicity and efficacy vary with the diseases being treated and the cell products used. In addition, new approaches to genetically-modify blood stem cells are being evaluated to prevent viral infection, i.e. HIV, or correct hematopoietic stem cell derivatives, and these approaches could cure diseases for which good treatments are not currently available.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Both preclinical and clinical studies are needed to identify optimal cell types and gene constructs, use of “universal” donors, and magnitude and durability of clinical effects. Effective infrastructure to provide the right cells at the right time is necessary to test clinical efficacy.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Mary Horowitz

Voting

98 net votes
122 up votes
24 down votes
Active

Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

A Program of Research in the Prevention of Chronic Heart Failure

There is a need to address chronic heart failure (HF) through improved identification of patients at risk for HF and of patients with pathological ventricular remodeling who have minimal evidence of clinical HF, and more focused and individualized pharmacologic and lifestyle treatments and monitoring of patients with HF risk. Approaches would include big data collection, omics, statistical modeling, and focused clinical ...more »

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 :

Substantially reduce the age-adjusted incidence and population burden of chronic heart failure.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The big data and omics revolutions have made it feasible to collect and analyze a variety of data in large numbers of persons within a relatively short time. A very large sample size provides excellent statistical power. Also, the public health and economic magnitude of the problem create the urgency needed to address the critical challenge expeditiously.

Chronic heart failure (HF) is easily the most common and growing cardiovascular cause of hospitalization and impaired functional status and quality of life in the U.S. and much of the world. This is the case despite improved pharmacologic and lifestyle treatment of HF, as well as improved control of blood pressure in the general population. While some HF in the very elderly may reflect the aging process, the epidemiology suggests that most incident cases could be prevented or postponed for years. Also, there are major ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in the incidence of HF.

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

Voting

17 net votes
28 up votes
11 down votes
Active

Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Exploring Future Cardiovascular Medicine: Heart Precursors Directed from Human Embryonic Stem Cells for Myocardium Regeneration

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major health problem and the leading cause of death in the Western world. Currently, there is no treatment option or compound drug of molecular entity that can change the prognosis of CVD.

Submitted by (@xuejunparsons)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The human stem cell is emerging as a new type of pharmacologic agent of cellular entity that is much more complex in structure, function, and activity than the conventional drug of molecular entity, which is usually comprised of simple chemicals or compounds. Since the etiologies of most diseases that involve both molecular and cellular processes are much more complex than simple chemicals or molecules, conventional chemical drugs are often severely limited by the molecular entity of the compound that usually targets or blocks certain pathological molecular pathways, which would otherwise be harmful to common molecular pathways shared in normal cellular processes of vital tissues and organs, thus, cause severe toxic side effects that may outweigh the benefits. For instance, a drug for weight loss may cause severe damage to the heart. In addition, the therapeutic effects of conventional drugs of molecular entity provide only temporary or short-term symptomatic relief but cannot change the prognosis of disease. As a result, millions of molecular leads generated in mainstream of biomedical research from animal studies and studies of other lower organisms have vanished before even reach clinical trials, or for a few lucky ones, in clinical trials. In the last few decades, despite of many animal leads, no drug of molecular entity has ever been approved by FDA as a new treatment for heart disease and failure for humans.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Opportunity: In contrast, the human stem cell has the potential for human tissue and function restoration that the conventional drug of molecular entity lacks. The ability of a human stem cell, by definition, to both self-renew and differentiation makes it a practically inexhaustible source of replacement cells for many devastating or fatal diseases that have been considered as incurable, such as neurodegenerative diseases and heart diseases. The pharmacologic activity of human stem cells is measured by their extraordinary cellular ability to regenerate the tissue or organ that has been damaged or lost, such as the heart in the case of human cardiac stem cells. Therefore, the pharmacologic utility of human stem cells cannot be satisfied only by their chaperone activity, if any, to produce trophic or protective molecules to rescue existing endogenous host cells that can simply be accomplished by a drug of molecular entity. The embryo-originated human embryonic stem cells (hESC) are not only pluripotent, but also incredibly stable and positive, proffering unique revenue to generate a large supply of cardiac lineage-committed stem/precursor/progenitor cells as well as functional cardiomyocytes as adequate human myocardial grafts for cell-based therapy. Currently, the hESC cardiomyocyte therapy derivatives provide the only available human cell sources with adequate capacity to regenerate the contractile heart muscles, vital for heart repair in the clinical setting.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Xuejun Parsons

Voting

-19 net votes
9 up votes
28 down votes
Active