Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Translational research supporting stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease

Translational research supporting stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease, including: core laboratories for preclinical IND-enabling studies (e.g., PACT), and clinical trials networks for evaluating promising new treatments (e.g., CCTRN).

Submitted by (@judith.l.bettencourt)

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 most cost effective scientific procedure ever utilized to answer the risk benefit question posed by a new intervention to be used in humans is a clinical trial. Major clinical trials are their most effective when planted in controversial ground (MRFIT, CAST, ALLHAT). Like these studies, which were caught in a controversial dynamic of uncertainties and disparate sets of expectations, a clinical trial network to assess cell therapy is precisely what is needed.

Experienced researchers recognize the current inimical environment of cell therapy. Now - as before - some forces argue that new therapy offers no benefits, while other equally vehement constituents contend that the benefits of therapy are so great, and the risks so small, that the treatment requires little if any regulation and should be available at once to the US public. Each side provides thunder, but little light.

It is precisely in this contentious environment where passions argue beyond the data that clinical trials are required. Their construction of the most objective view of the strengths and weaknesses of the intervention comes at a cost, but the answers these well designed and concordantly executed studies provide is the clearest illuminations of the benefits and risks of human cell therapy.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Based on the unmet clinical needs in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and the compelling early evidence for the promise of cell therapy, NHLBI created the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network in 2007. Now in its ninth year, the Network has completed three major clinical trials in cell therapy. It has published 35 manuscripts in prestigious clinical journals including JAMA, Circ, and Circ Research. Its biorepository has published two manuscripts relating baseline phenotype findings to measures of left ventricular function. A fourth clinical trial is underway assessing the effect of cell therapy on peripheral vascular disease. The Network is also proceeding with the largest effort to assess the effect of CSC cells in patients with heart failure - the first clinical trial that will assess the effect of combined cell therapy in heart failure patients. In addition, CCTRN will study the effect of allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells in patients with anthracycline-induced cardiomyopathy. Each of these protocols is NHLBI and FDA approved.

CCTRN’s reputation of conducting and then promulgating the results of high quality clinical trials makes it the most effective mechanism to assess the benefits of cell therapy in cardiovascular disease. It is important to continue to fund the infrastructure already in place to ensure its continued high quality operation and its place as the cornerstone of cardiovascular clinical cell therapy research in the United States.

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Single nucleotide polymorphisms, microarray and sickle cell disease

Do SNPs account for any of the variability seen in the phenotypic expression of sickle cell disease? Can microarray analysis be used to map these SNPs, promoting refined care plans for those living with sickle cell disease?

Submitted by (@sicklecellwarrior)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Multiple Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) have previously been identified in the mu opioid receptor and it is estimated that millions might exist throughout the genome. Drastic phenotypic variability exists among patients in the sickle cell community. Do SNPs account for any of this variability and can this information be used to more effectively treat sickle cell disease.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Sickle Cell Warriors, Inc. community members

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18 net votes
32 up votes
14 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Disease Severity Biomarkers for Sickle Cell Disease

Can we identify biomarkers that can predict sickle cell disease severity?

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 :

Identifying reliable biomarkers that can predict severity of sickle cell disease could help doctors and patients make better decisions about a wide range of clinical decisions, including weighing the risks vs. benefits of bone marrow transplantation, chemotherapeutic manipulation of Hb F level, and gene therapy, all of which have potentially life-threatening complications.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Scientific advances make it feasible to identify biomarkers of disease severity. However, identifying biomarkers with good sensitivity and specificity is likely to be a challenge.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : The Sickle Cell Association of New Jersey

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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

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Implementation science research to reduce adverse effects of SCD

From various publications and reports, we have characterized the risks associated with sickle cell disease (SCD) and understand many of the barriers for treatment of SCD in LMICs. How can implementation science research be used to reduce the negative outcomes of SCD in low/middle income countries?

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 :

• Reduction of deaths and negative outcomes associated with SCD and in LMICs

• Provide the evidence base that supports culturally relevant implementation strategies that reduce deaths associated with SCD in LIMCs

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

• Yes

, this is feasible

• Common goals and deliverables between NHLBI and partners will need to be identified

• Partnerships can be with international organizations, Ministries of Health and other partners

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

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18 net votes
31 up votes
13 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Pulmonary Complications of Sickle Cell Disease

What are the risk factors and components of clinical course associated with progression to restrictive lung disease, and what approaches to treatment can limit this progression?

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 :

RLD is a major risk factor for death in adults, but there is minimal knowledge of the sequelae of contributing factors. There is no longitudinal study to demonstrate the risk factors, determinants, biological. A cross sectional study of adults could determine prevalence of lung function abnormalities, obstructive and restrictive, using standardized testing and understand the factors associated with the presence of these abnormalities. This study could be associated with a clinical trial of treatment of RLD with outcomes of symptom reduction as well as improvement of the restriction.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : ATS Member

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1 net vote
2 up votes
1 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Implications of Sickle Cell Trait

What are the healthcare implications of sickle cell trait?

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 :

Millions of people in the U.S and throughout the world have sickle cell trait, yet other than its impact on athletes and the recent finding that it may significantly raise the risk of chronic kidney disease, little is known about the trait’s effect on the health of those who carry it. Additional research is needed to further elucidate the implications of sickle cell trait alone, in combination with other genetic tendencies or in response to certain environmental factors. Findings can be used to provide evidence-based clinical guidance for the millions of people who may be affected

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Addressing this question is feasible. Obtaining sufficient long-term data to answer these questions may be challenging.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : The Sickle Cell Association of New Jersey

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Improving Community-Based Care for Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell treatment centers are located throughout the United States, primarily in urban areas, and play an invaluable role. However, there is a critical need to identify and educate primary care providers who can provide routine and preventive care, but will also know when to consult with/refer to hematologists and other appropriate providers when necessary.

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 :

For the first time, comprehensive guidelines addressing the management of sickle cell disease were issued in 2014 by the NHLBI. (Previous guidelines were not comprehensive.) The 2014 guidelines, which address issues such as health maintenance and the treatment of acute and chronic complications, are based on a systematic review of available evidence; consensus of an expert panel; and published, vetted guidelines by other organizations when evidence was unavailable or insufficient. These guidelines can provide a solid overview of the knowledge essential for the care of people with sickle cell disease.

 

Identifying primary care providers who can provide routine and preventive care but at the same time are knowledgeable about sickle cell disease, should be a more efficient, less costly method of provide important health services to people with sickle cell disease and should ultimately improve the health and well being of this population, particularly for people who do not live near a sickle cell center.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Addressing this question is very feasible. However, for a variety of reasons, including misconceptions about patients with the condition, it may be challenging to recruit large numbers of primary care providers.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : The Sickle Cell Association of New Jersey

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9 net votes
9 up votes
0 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Family centered interventions in sickle cell

Sickle cell is a genetic disease with lifelong health consequences for affected individuals and their families. Interventions for individuals with sickle cell must be patient and family-centered.

Submitted by (@coretta.jenerette)

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 : International Association of Sickle Cell Nurses and Physician Assistants, Inc.

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18 net votes
20 up votes
2 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Durable Tissue-Engineered Cardiac Valves

For replacement valves to achieve durable success, what are the best cell type(s), scaffold design, imaging approaches, and scalable manufacturing approaches?

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 :

Successfully meeting this challenge would lead to replacement heart valves that would not require lifelong anticoagulant medication. For younger patients, it would also eliminate revision surgeries as the implanted valves would grow with the patient over time.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Tissue engineered valves have already been developed, but their durability must be increased. Cues can be drawn from the successes of other engineered tissues where long-term mechanical strength has been achieved.

Currently, valve replacement utilizes prosthetic and bio prosthetic materials. However, tissue engineered valves offer the prospect of living cardiovascular tissue substitutes in order to overcome the shortcomings of current prosthetic and bioprosthetic materials. Early prototypes have demonstrated satisfactory initial function, but competence deteriorates over time. Initial clinical demonstrations could target the right side of the circulation, such as the pulmonary valve in patients with congenital defects and the repair of the tricuspid valve, since these applications lack catastrophic hemodynamic consequences for valve failure.

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

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20 up votes
12 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

The Importance of the Microbiome in Recovery after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Do modifications in the recipient gut or lung microbiome affect development of tolerance and immunologic recovery after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) and can re-institution of a more normal microbiome lead to improved outcomes?

Submitted by (@marymh)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

HCT leads to profound changes in the host microbiome. Some small studies indicate that differential recovery of the gut microbiome is associated with differential outcomes, including graft-versus-host disease and mortality. Less is known about the pulmonary microbiome. Better understanding of the role of the microbiome in facilitating posttransplant recovery could lead to easily administered interventions and provide important insights into the role of different subpopulations of the microbiome on the health of all people.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Preclinical and clinical studies of this area would be greatly facilitated by a microbiome repository linked to high quality clinical data and would provide opportunity for insight into the role of the microbiome in health and disease.

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

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117 net votes
152 up votes
35 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

How can we more safely deliver stem cells to Sickle Cell patients

Newer therapies using gene correction, rather than gene addition, are needed for sickle cell disease. Even with this potential advantage, there needs to be a way to safely deliver gene corrected HSC to the sickle cell patient. Chemotherapy is poorly tolerated, and often is the reason patients do not choose the BMT option. What is the status of other less toxic non myeloablative approaches, and how can they best be ...more »

Submitted by (@freddigoldman)

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

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

would open up opportunities for more patients to get cured of their sickle cell disease without co morbidity of the BMT process

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Need to develop animal models and also newer marrow niche clearing agents.

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67 up votes
16 down votes
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