Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Support for Cardiothoracic Surgery and Pediatric Heart Clinical Trial Networks

Continued and expanded support for the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CTSN) and Pediatric Heart Network (PHN) is essential as both design, conduct, and analyze multiple, collaborative clinical trials that evaluate surgical interventions, and related management approaches for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. To date both networks have reported on and developed a portfolio of studies which need continued ...more »

Submitted by (@meaton)

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 work and support provided to date have allowed for the creation of an infrastructure for both the CTSN and PHN. Each network is now providing valuable results to the cardiothoracic surgery specialty which will allow an increase in quality patient care in the years and decades to come. The continued support is essential for the success of these networks as any reduction will limit the resources available for site participation and ultimately results. Due to the existing infrastructure for each network, the financial burden associated with de-funding and then restarting the networks in future years would be at least triple the financial commitment currently in place.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Conducting multi-center clinical trials is a substantial financial commitment but a vital part for the future of the cardiothoracic surgery specialty.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Matt E.

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151 up votes
43 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Cardiometabolic Disease Risks Associated with Sleep Deficiency

How does insufficient sleep duration, irregular timed sleep schedules, and poor sleep quality contribute to the pathophysiology of lung, heart and blood diseases?

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 :

Sleep deficiency and untreated sleep disorders threaten the health of 20-30 percent of US adults through an increased risk of stroke, hypertension, diabetes, inflammatory disease, and all-cause mortality. Developing the scientific evidence-base of validated interventions will enhance the management of cardiometabolic and pulmonary risks to health, present new opportunities for secondary prevention, and reduce associated burden on health care systems.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Improving sleep health through informed public recognition of decision-relevant science, and relatively low cost therapies for management of sleep disorders are available for immediate assessment of impact in appropriate clinical trials to demonstrate efficacy and effectiveness.

Discovery research advances implicate an array of cellular sleep and circadian mechanisms in pathophysiological pathways leading to cardiometabolic and pulmonary disease.

 

Irregular and disturbed sleep impairs cellular biological rhythm in all tissues and organs leading to oxidative stress, unfolded protein responses, and impaired cell function. The pathophysiological findings juxtaposed with epidemiological evidence of disease risk indicate that sleep deficiency contributes to an erosion of health across the lifespan over and above the effects of aging.

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

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94 net votes
122 up votes
28 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Multicenter trials of therapies for rare diseases.

Infrastructure for performing research in rare diseases should be enhanced to allow efficient accrual to multicenter trials.

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 :

Many of the malignant and non-malignant blood diseases that fall under the purview of the NHLBI are uncommon though, in aggregate, important contributors to the burden of disease in the US population. Although in some areas, like blood and marrow transplantation (BMT), there exists an infrastructure for multicenter trials, in many areas there does not. This makes testing potentially effective therapies very difficult. The large increase in the number of national BMT trials following the implementation of that network indicates the effectiveness of the approach, which could be expanded to include cellular therapies and other novel approaches.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The current R01 process does not lend itself to efficient and rapid implementation of trials to test new approaches or to the time needed to complete trials that focus on long-term survival and quality of life endpoints. Even within the existing transplant network, efficiencies could be gained by infrastructural enhancements like a common IRB or government-assisted contracting (i.e., CRADAs), a streamlined process for protocol review (e.g. a one- versus two-step process), etc. Additionally, enhanced ability to collaborate with other organizations or institutes, without undue bureaucratic burden, would allow better use of NIH funds so that more trials could be done.

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

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80 net votes
114 up votes
34 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Biomarkers of Pulmonary Hypertension

What are informative and clinically relevant biomarkers of pulmonary hypertension (PH)?

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 research emphasis would help identify novel pulmonary hypertension biomarkers of disease risk and progression that can be used for early detection or as outcome measures in prevention trials or treatment of PH, which is a disease currently still not curable with high mortality rate.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

NHLBI Division of Lung Diseases just launched the multi-center PVDOMICS research program last September that will enroll ~1,500 patients in the next 5 years for deep phenotyping PH. PVDOMICS will provide a perfect foundation and platform for this proposed featured study about informative and clinically relevant biomarkers of PH, and make answering this proposed question more feasible in the next 5-10 years.

Although significant advances in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension have been made in the past two decades, currently pulmonary hypertension remains a devastating disease without many clinically relevant and specific biomarkers available. Novel new informative and clinically relevant pulmonary hypertension biomarkers would greatly help advance the subtype-specific early diagnosis and precision treatment of this disease that could potentially decrease the mortality of PH.

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

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75 net votes
87 up votes
12 down votes
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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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66 net votes
76 up votes
10 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Can Psychological Science Improve Weight Loss?

Will sensitivity to the psychological aspects of obesity, including lifestyle priorities and motivations, improve the efficacy of long-term effectiveness of weight loss and obesity prevention interventions?

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 :

A primary focus on principles of psychology may result in significantly improved control of the obesity epidemic. Effective interventions could reduce the risk of diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension. This research could also affect clinical practice guidelines for weight loss and obesity treatment.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Psychological science has been successful in developing effective treatments for a number of conditions, including sleep disorders, depressive symptoms, anxiety and phobias. Many of the behavioral principles employed in such interventions (e.g., cognitive restructuring, motivational methods) could be translated for the prevention and treatment of obesity within a reasonable time frame. Additional attention should be directed to the needs of population subgroups in which obesity is most prevalent.

In their Viewpoint article on weight loss intervention research, Pagoto and Appelhans (JAMA, 2013, see attachment) question whether a continued focus on dietary factors in research on weight loss and obesity is warranted. Their commentary raises the importance of attention to the individual psychological characteristics that influence adherence to weight loss interventions rather than dietary composition.

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

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51 net votes
104 up votes
53 down votes
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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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44 up votes
13 down votes
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Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Training of Clinical & Translational Scientists

Although the NCRR and NIGMS used to have a mechanism to train new generation of clinical & translational scientists, this program was stopped. Why?

What is the possibility of other institutes to come up with the priority of funding resources in this regard?

Submitted by (@dkagr0)

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 view of the health care models, strong control of insurance companies in determining the remuneration, lack of protective time for qualified clinicians to continue their research, no incentive to the institute for promoting such activities, lack of available tenure-track jobs, pool of effective and well-trained clinical & translational researchers is decreasing rapidly. Even though NIH invests resources to train MD-PhD students, a very minor pool of these graduates continue curiosity and passion in advancing new knowledge and discovering newer approaches.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

1. Additional resources must be developed by NHLBI, NIAID, NIDDK and other major institutes to support this endeavor.

2. Institutes/medical schools who provide protective time to their faculty to continue their efforts in clinical & translational research, must be acknowledged and incentivized.

3. There has been no effective way of measuring outcomes from such investments. All of us must take ownership in utilizing the resources more effectively and more productively.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Devendra K. Agrawal, PhD

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31 net votes
38 up votes
7 down votes
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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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24 net votes
37 up votes
13 down votes
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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Improving Representation of the Elderly in Clinical Research

There is a need to optimize long-term cognitive and functional outcomes in the aging population during and after cardiothorasic surgery, including the development of simple, objective tools to enable risk stratification for vulnerability to neurocognitive deficit. First, cardiothoracic surgical trials and clinical studies should be more "age-representative" and reflect the increasing proportion of the aging population. ...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 :

Many answers would result from including the elderly in ongoing and planned clinical research and trials.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

This population is growing rapidly and available to be studied.

Elderly patients as a group face higher acute risks for complications and death following cardiothoracic surgery or coronary interventions, yet may also gain more long-term benefits from surgery due to their more severe disease. The balance between risks and benefits of surgery may be different in the older patient than in their younger counterparts. Major randomized trials that defined the “standard” for the field (e.g., CASS, VA cooperative, RITA, BARI, STICH) often failed to enroll many, if any, patients aged 75 years or older. The Joint NHLBI-AATS Working Group (http://aats.org/CME/2011-AATS-NHLBI-Symposium.cgi) identified several areas of high priority for cardiothoracic surgery research in the elderly.

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

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24 net votes
37 up votes
13 down votes
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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Behavioral and Clinical Researcher Interactions

A critical challenge is the need to bring together basic behavioral scientists interested in understanding human behavior at a fundamental level, including how and why people become motivated and capable of undertaking behavioral changes, with clinical researchers interested in developing and testing new strategies for tackling resistant behavioral problems such as obesity and non-adherence.

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

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

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Obesity and non-adherence are two of the most important yet challenging behavioral problems contributing to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. One way to address this challenge is to fund a network of “behavior change labs,” each of which bring together teams of basic behavioral scientists who are investigating the bases of behavior and behavior change with clinical researchers interested in designing, optimizing and testing novel ideas for tackling the difficult behavior problems of obesity and non-adherence to cardiac medications.

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

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20 net votes
52 up votes
32 down votes
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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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15 net votes
27 up votes
12 down votes
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