Clinical trial developments in Heart Disease research
In the United States, approximately 30.3 million adults are diagnosed with heart disease, and about 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year. This makes it the leading cause of death in the United States with 1 out of 4 deaths. This makes it even more important that scientists are constantly researching for new solutions and treatments for these conditions.
In the United States, there are currently 1,300 active and/or recruiting research studies in all major cities across the country. Today, we are looking into what heart diseases there are and into the most promising clinical trials in 2020.
The term ‘Heart Diseases’
It is important to know that heart disease is an umbrella term and stands for a variety of different diseases and heart events that people are living with. Coronary heart disease, which stands for deformities of the heart that have been present since birth; arrhythmia, which is an irregular heartbeat; heart failure, and myocardial infarct (heart attack) are some examples of heart diseases. All of these diseases affect different parts of the organ and can occur in different ways.
Breakthrough for Acute Atrial Fibrillation
Acute atrial fibrillation (AF) is a rapid, irregular activity of the atrial (the heart’s upper chamber), which can spontaneously resolve itself within 24 to 48 hours in more than 50% of the cases. In a current RAFF2 clinical trial, researchers looked at nearly 400 patients with acute AF. The patients were randomly assigned to pharmacologic cardioversion with intravenous procainamide (a medication of the antiarrhythmic class used for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias) followed by electrical cardioversion if necessary or placebo infusion followed by electrical cardioversion if necessary. The rate of conversion to normal sinus rhythm was comparable and researchers said that they would prefer electrical cardioversion because of the shorter time needed monitoring and avoidance of potential antiarrhythmic drug side effects.
Testing of benefits of colchicine in the treatment of acute MI
In a clinical trial with over 4700 patients, researchers have looked at the efficacy and safety of colchicine for patients with acute myocardial infarction (MI) as anti-inflammatory therapy. Researchers found, by using colchicine, the risk of death from cardiovascular causes resuscitated cardiac arrest, MI or stroke was 25% lower in the colchicine group. However, researchers still need more evidence stating that MI is also a primary driver for these lower rates and future clinical trials will be in place to find this out.
Vericiguat for heart failure with a reduced ejection fraction
Guanylate cyclase stimulators, a type of targeted therapy usually used to treat people with pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure), have shown to be a potential therapy for patients that have experienced heart failures. In a research trial with over 5000 high-risk patients with chronic heart failure, researchers were testing the role of Guanylate cyclase stimulators compared with a placebo. The results showed, that the stimulators reduced the rate of composite endpoint of hospitalization for heart failure and death over a time frame of 11 months. Even though this is a breakthrough in heart disease research, further clinical trials are necessary to define the clinical indications and protocols for the stimulator used in patients with heart failure.
Making a difference for medical innovation
Now more than ever, we see how essential clinical research is in order to drive clinical innovation and to save the lives of millions of people. Do you want to be part of medical history and make a difference for your community? Clinical trials need volunteers in order to test new treatments effectively and bring them to the mass market. If you want to learn more about clinical trials, the benefits, and risks and see if this would be something for you, please visit our clinical trial education website here.