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Posts Tagged ‘New England Journal of Medicine’


Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Reviewer and Curator

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2013-12-08/larryhbern/Developments-in-the-Genomics-and-Proteomics-of-Type-2-Diabetes-Mellitus-and-Treatment-Targets

Researchers Solve a Mystery about Type 2 Diabetes Drug

AB SCIEX TripleTOF® and QTRAP® technologies support breakthrough medical study.
Published: Friday, November 22, 2013
Researchers from St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, in collaboration with researchers at McMaster University in Canada, are reportedly the first to discover how the type 2 diabetes drug metformin actually works, providing a molecular understanding that could lead to the development of more effective therapies. Mass spectrometry technologies from AB SCIEX played a critical role in the analysis that led to this breakthrough finding.  The research is published in this month’s issue of the journal Nature Medicine.
Doctors have known for decades that metformin helps treat type 2 diabetes.  However, questions had lingered for more than 50 years whether this drug, which is available as a generic drug,
  • worked to lower blood glucose in patients by directly working on the glucose.
People with type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar levels and have trouble converting sugar in their blood into energy because of low levels of insulin. For treating this condition, metformin is considered the most widely prescribed anti-diabetic drug in the world.
Until now, no one had been able to explain adequately how this drug lowers blood sugar. According to this new study, the drug works by reducing harmful fat in the liver. People who take metformin reportedly often have a fatty liver, which is frequently caused by obesity.
“Fat is likely a key trigger for pre-diabetes in humans,” said Professor Bruce Kemp, PhD, the Head of Protein Chemistry and Metabolism at St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research.  “Our study indicates that
  • metformin doesn’t directly reduce sugar metabolism, as previously suspected, but instead
  •  reduces fat in the liver, which in turn allows insulin to work effectively.”
The breakthrough in pinning down how the drug functions began with the researchers making
  • genetic mutations to the genes of two enzymes, ACC1 and ACC2,
in mice, so they could no longer be controlled.  What happened next surprised the researchers:
  • the mice didn’t get fat as expected,
but Associate Professor Gregory Steinberg, PhD at McMaster University noticed that
  • the mice had fatty livers and a pre-diabetic condition.
Then the researchers put the mice on
  • a high fat diet and they became fat, while metformin
  • did not lower the blood sugar levels of the mutant mice.
The findings are expected to help researchers better directly target the condition, which affects over 100 million people around the world, according to published reports. It is also believed that with the mystery of metformin solved, the application of the drug could go beyond just diabetes and potentially be used to treat other medical conditions.
“AB SCIEX mass spectrometry solutions help researchers explore big questions and conduct breakthrough studies, such as this remarkable type 2 diabetes study,” said Rainer Blair, President of AB SCIEX.   “In order to understand disease at the molecular level, researchers need the sensitive detection and reproducible quantitation provided by AB SCIEX tools. We enable the research community to solve biological mysteries and rethink the possibilities to transform health.
For the research conducted by the Australian and Canadian researchers, the analysis at the molecular level was optimized on AB SCIEX instrumentation, including the AB SCIEX TripleTOF® 5600 and the AB SCIEX QTRAP® 5500 system.
The TripleTOF system, with its high-speed, high-quality MS/MS capabilities,
  • was used for the discovery of key proteins and phosphopeptides.
The QTRAP system, with its high sensitivity MRM (multiple reaction monitoring) capabilities,
  • was used for quantitation of metabolites, including nucleotides and malonyl-CoA. 

Bardoxolone Methyl in Type 2 Diabetes and Stage 4 Chronic Kidney Disease

D de Zeeuw, T Akizawa, P Audhya, GL Bakris, M Chin, ….,and GM Chertow, for the BEACON Trial Investigators
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is the most important cause of progressive chronic kidney disease in the developed and developing worlds. Various therapeutic approaches to slow progression, including
  • restriction of dietary protein,
  • glycemic control, and
  • control of hypertension,
have yielded mixed results.1-3 Several randomized clinical trials have shown that
  • inhibitors of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system significantly reduce the risk of progression,4-6 although
  • the residual risk remains high.7
None of the new agents tested during the past decade have proved effective in late-stage clinical trials.8-12
Oxidative stress and impaired antioxidant capacity intensify 
  • with the progression of chronic kidney disease.13
In animals with chronic kidney disease,
  • oxidative stress and inflammation
  • are associated with impaired activity of the nuclear 1 factor (erythroid-derived 2)–related factor 2 (Nrf2) transcription factor.
The synthetic triterpenoid bardoxolone methyl and its analogues are the most potent known activators of the Nrf2 pathway. Studies involving humans,14 including persons with type 2 diabetes mellitus and stage 3b or 4 chronic kidney disease, have shown that
  • bardoxolone methyl can reduce the serum creatinine concentration for up to 52 weeks.15
We designed the Bardoxolone Methyl Evaluation in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: the Occurrence of Renal Events (BEACON) trial to test the hypothesis that
  • treatment with bardoxolone methyl reduces the risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or death from cardiovascular causes
among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and stage 4 chronic kidney disease.

Methods

Study Design and Oversight

The BEACON trial was a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, international, multicenter trial of
  • once-daily administration of bardoxolone methyl (at a dose of 20 mg in an amorphous spray-dried dispersion formulation), as compared with placebo.
Participants were receiving background conventional therapy that included 
  • inhibitors of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system,
  • insulin or other hypoglycemic agents, and, when appropriate,
  • other cardiovascular medications.
The trial design and the characteristics of the trial participants at baseline have been described previously.16,17
Reata Pharmaceuticals sponsored the trial. The trial was jointly designed by employees of the sponsor and the academic investigators who were members of the steering committee. The steering committee, which was led by the academic investigators and included members who were employees of the sponsor, supervised the trial design and operation. An independent data and safety monitoring committee reviewed interim safety data every 90 days or on an ad hoc basis on request. The sponsor collected the trial data and transferred them to independent statisticians at Statistics Collaborative. The sponsor also contracted a second independent statistical group (Axio Research) to support the independent data and safety monitoring committee. The trial protocol was approved by the institutional review board at each participating study site. The protocol and amendments are available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org. The steering committee takes full responsibility for the integrity of the data and the interpretation of the trial results and for the fidelity of the study to the protocol. The first and last authors wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All the members of the steering committee made the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Study Population

Briefly, we included adults with 
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus and
  • an estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 15 to <30 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 BSA.
  1. Persons with poor glycemic control,
  2. uncontrolled hypertension, or
  3. a recent cardiovascular event (≤12 weeks before randomization) or
  4. New York Heart Association class III or IV heart failure were excluded.
Additional inclusion and exclusion criteria are listed in Table S1 in the Supplementary Appendix, available at NEJM.org. All the patients provided written informed consent.

Randomization and Intervention

 Randomization was stratified according to study site with the use of variable-sized blocks. The steering committee, sponsor, investigators, and trial participants were unaware of the group assignments. After randomization,
  • patients received either bardoxolone methyl or placebo.
The prescription of all other medications was at the discretion of treating physicians, who were encouraged to adhere to published clinical-practice guidelines. Patients underwent event ascertainment and laboratory testing according to the study schema shown in Figure S1 in the Supplementary Appendix. Ambulatory blood-pressure monitoring was performed in a substudy that included 174 patients (8%).
The statistical analysis plan defined the study period as the number of days from randomization to a common study-termination date. In the case of patients who were still receiving the study drug on the termination date, data on vital events were collected for an additional 30 days.
Outcomes
 The primary composite outcome was ESRD or death from cardiovascular causes. We defined ESRD as
  • the need for maintenance dialysis for 12 weeks or more or kidney transplantation.
If a patient died before undergoing dialysis for 12 weeks, the independent events-adjudication committee adjudicated whether the need for dialysis represented ESRD or acute renal failure. Patients who declined dialysis and who subsequently died were categorized as having had ESRD. All ESRD events were adjudicated. Death from cardiovascular causes was defined as death due to either cardiovascular or unknown causes.
The trial had three prespecified secondary outcomes —
  1. first, the change in estimated GFR as calculated with the use of the four-variable Modification of Diet in Renal Disease study equation, with serum creatinine levels calibrated to an isotope-dilution standard for mass spectrometry;
  2. second, hospitalization for heart failure or death due to heart failure; and
  3. third, a composite outcome of nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, hospitalization for heart failure, or death from cardiovascular causes.

The events-adjudication committee, whose members were unaware of the study assignments, evaluated whether

  • ESRD events,
  • cardiovascular events,
  • neurologic events, and
  • deaths
met the prespecified criteria for primary and secondary outcomes (described in detail in the Supplementary Appendix).
Statistical Analysis
We calculated that we needed to enroll 2000 patients on the basis of the following assumptions:

  • a two-sided type I error rate of 5%, an event rate of 24% for the primary composite outcome in the placebo group during the first 2 years of the study,
  • a hazard ratio of 0.68 (bardoxolone methyl vs. placebo) for the primary composite outcome,
  • discontinuation of the study drug by 13.5% of the patients in the bardoxolone methyl group each year, and
  • a 2.5% annual loss to follow-up in each group.

Under these assumptions, if 300 patients had a primary composite outcome, the statistical power would be 85%.

We collected and analyzed all outcome data in accordance with the intention-to-treat principle. We calculated Kaplan–Meier product-limit estimates of
  • the cumulative incidence of the primary composite outcome.
We computed hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals with the use of Cox proportional-hazards regression models with adjustment for

  • the baseline estimated GFR and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio.

We performed analogous analyses for secondary time-to-event outcomes. Given the abundance of early adverse events, we also report discrete cumulative incidences at 4 weeks and 52 weeks.

For longitudinal analyses of estimated GFR, we performed mixed-effects regression analyses using

  1. study group,
  2. time,
  3. the interaction of study group with time,
  4. estimated GFR at baseline,
  5. the interaction of baseline estimated GFR with time, and
  6. urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio as covariates, and
  7. we compared the means between the bardoxolone methyl group and the placebo group.
We adopted similar approaches when examining the effects of treatment on other continuous measures assessed at multiple visits. Since the between-group difference in the primary composite outcome was not significant,
secondary and other outcomes with P values of less than 0.05 were considered to be nominally significant.
Statistical analyses were performed with the use of SAS software, version 9.3 (SAS Institute). Additional details of the statistical analysis are provided in the Supplementary Appendix.

Results

Patients

From June 2011 through September 2012, a total of 2185 patients underwent randomization, including 1545 (71%) in the United States, 334 (15%) in the European Union, 133 (6%) in Australia, 87 (4%) in Canada, 46 (2%) in Israel, and 40 (2%) in Mexico. Figure S2 in the Supplementary Appendix shows the disposition of the study participants.
As shown in Table 1Table 1Baseline Characteristics of the Patients in the Intention-to-Treat Population., the patients were diverse with respect to age, sex, race or ethnic group, and region of origin;
  • diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy were common conditions among the patients,
  • as was overt cardiovascular disease.
See Table S2 in the Supplementary Appendix for a more detailed description of the characteristics of the patients at baseline; Figure S3 in the Supplementary Appendix shows the distribution of baseline estimated GFR and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio.
Drug Exposure
The median duration of exposure to the study drug was 7 months (interquartile range, 3 to 11) among patients randomly assigned to bardoxolone methyl and
  • 8 months (interquartile range, 5 to 11) among those randomly assigned to placebo.
Figure S4 in the Supplementary Appendix shows the time to discontinuation of the study drug. Table S3 in the Supplementary Appendix shows the reasons that patients discontinued the study drug and the reasons that patients discontinued the study.
  • The median duration of follow-up was 9 months in both groups.

Outcomes

Primary Composite Outcome
A total of 69 of 1088 patients (6%) randomly assigned to bardoxolone methyl and 69 of 1097 (6%) randomly assigned to placebo had a primary composite outcome (hazard ratio in the bardoxolone methyl group vs. the placebo group, 0.98; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.70 to 1.37; P=0.92) (Figure 1AFigure 1Kaplan–Meier Plots of the Time to the First Event of the Primary Outcome and Its Components.).
  • Death from cardiovascular causes occurred in 27 patients randomly assigned to bardoxolone methyl and in 19 randomly assigned to placebo (hazard ratio, 1.44; 95% CI, 0.80 to 2.59; P=0.23) (Figure 1B).
  • ESRD developed in 43 patients randomly assigned to bardoxolone methyl and in 51 randomly assigned to placebo (hazard ratio, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.55 to 1.24; P=0.35) (Figure 1C).

One patient in each group died from cardiovascular causes after the development of ESRD. The mean (±SD) estimated GFR

  • before the development of ESRD was 18.1±8.3 ml per minute per 1.73 m^2 in the bardoxolone methyl group and
  • 14.9±4.0 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 in the placebo group.
Secondary Outcomes
During the study period, 96 patients in the bardoxolone methyl group had heart-failure events (93 patients with at least one hospitalization due to heart failure and 3 patients who died from heart failure without hospitalization),
  • as compared with 55 in the placebo group (55 patients with at least one hospitalization due to heart failure and
  • no patients who died from heart failure without hospitalization) (hazard ratio, 1.83; 95% CI, 1.32 to 2.55; P<0.001) (Figure 2AFigure 2Kaplan–Meier Plots of the Time to the First Event of the Discrete Secondary Outcomes.).
A total of 139 patients in the bardoxolone methyl group, as compared with 86 in the placebo group, had
  • a composite outcome event of nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, hospitalization for heart failure, or death from cardiovascular causes (hazard ratio, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.31 to 2.24; P<0.001) (Figure 2B).
Incidences of Composite Outcomes and Rates of Death from Any Cause
The cumulative incidences of the primary composite outcome and of the two secondary composite outcomes at 4 weeks and at 52 weeks are shown in Table S4 in the Supplementary Appendix. The rates of death from any cause are shown in Figure S5 in the Supplementary Appendix. From the time of randomization to the end of follow-up, 75 patients died: 44 patients in the bardoxolone methyl group and 31 in the placebo group (hazard ratio, 1.47; 95% CI, 0.93 to 2.32; P=0.10). The causes of death are listed in Table S5 in the Supplementary Appendix.

Estimated GFR

Patients randomly assigned to placebo had a significant mean decline in the estimated GFR from the baseline value (−0.9 ml per minute per 1.73 m2; 95% CI, −1.2 to −0.5), whereas those randomly assigned to bardoxolone methyl had a significant mean increase from the baseline value (5.5 ml per minute per 1.73 m2; 95% CI, 5.2 to 5.9). The difference between the two groups was 6.4 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 (95% CI, 5.9 to 6.9; P<0.001) (Figure 3AFigure 3Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR), Body Weight, and Urinary Albumin-to-Creatinine Ratio.).
Physiological Variables
Physiological variables are shown in Table S6 in the Supplementary Appendix. The mean body weight remained stable in the placebo group
  • but declined steadily and substantially in the bardoxolone methyl group (Figure 3B).
There was a significantly smaller decrease from baseline in mean systolic blood pressure in the bardoxolone methyl group than in the placebo group (between-group difference, 1.5 mm Hg [95% CI, 0.5 to 2.5]), and
  • the mean diastolic blood pressure increased from baseline in the bardoxolone methyl group whereas it decreased in the placebo group (between-group difference, 2.1 mm Hg [95% CI, 1.6 to 2.6]).
Blood-pressure results from the substudy in which ambulatory blood-pressure monitoring was performed were similar in direction but were more pronounced (between-group difference of 7.9 mm Hg [95% CI, 3.8 to 12.0] in systolic blood pressure and 3.2 mm Hg [95% CI, 1.3 to 5.2] in diastolic blood pressure).
  • Heart rate also increased significantly in the bardoxolone methyl group, as compared with the placebo group (between-group difference, 3.8 beats per minute; 95% CI, 3.2 to 4.4).
Other Laboratory Variables
Data on laboratory variables are shown in Table S7 in the Supplementary Appendix.
  • The urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio increased significantly in the bardoxolone methyl group, as compared with the placebo group (Figure 3C).
  • Serum magnesium, albumin, hemoglobin, and glycated hemoglobin levels decreased significantly in the bardoxolone methyl group, as compared with the placebo group.
  • The level of B-type natriuretic peptide increased significantly by week 24 in the bardoxolone methyl group, as compared with the placebo group.
Adverse Events
The rates of serious adverse events are summarized in Table 2Table 2Most Commonly Reported Serious Adverse Events in the Intention-to-Treat Population. Serious adverse events occurred more frequently in the bardoxolone methyl group than in the placebo group (717 events in 363 patients vs. 557 events in 295 patients). There were 11 neoplastic events in the bardoxolone methyl group and 10 in placebo group. The most commonly reported adverse events are summarized in Table S8 in the Supplementary Appendix.

Discussion

The current trial was designed to determine whether bardoxolone methyl, an activator of the cytoprotective Nrf2 pathway, would reduce the risk of ESRD
  • among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and stage 4 chronic kidney disease
  • who were receiving guideline-based conventional therapy.
The trial was terminated early because of safety concerns, driven primarily by an increase in cardiovascular events in the bardoxolone methyl group. Bardoxolone methyl did not lower the risk of ESRD or of death from cardiovascular causes, although too few events occurred during the trial to reliably determine the true effect of the drug on the primary composite outcome.
Given the truncated duration of the trial and the number of adjudicated events (46% of the events planned), and assuming no change in any of the original assumptions, we estimated the conditional power of the trial to be less than 40%. Although patients treated with bardoxolone methyl had a significant increase in the estimated GFR, as compared with those who received placebo,
  • there was a significantly higher incidence of heart failure and of the composite outcome of nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, hospitalization for heart failure, or death from cardiovascular causes in the bardoxolone methyl group.
  • There were numerically more deaths from any cause among patients treated with bardoxolone methyl than among those in the placebo group.
Bardoxolone methyl is among the first orally available antioxidant Nrf2 activators. A small previous study showed that bardoxolone methyl
  • reduced inflammation and oxidative stress13 and
  • induced a decline in the serum creatinine level.
In the 52-Week Bardoxolone Methyl Treatment: Renal Function in CKD/Type 2 Diabetes (BEAM) trial,15 227 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and an estimated GFR of 20 to 45 ml per minute per 1.73 m2
  • had a significant increase in the estimated GFR (mean change, 8.2 to 11.4 ml per minute per 1.73 m2, depending on the dose group)
  • that was sustained over the entire trial period.
Muscle spasms and hypomagnesemia were the most common adverse events;
  • there was no increase in the rate of heart failure or other cardiovascular events.
The current trial was designed to determine whether the change in estimated GFR that we anticipated on the basis of the results of the BEAM trial would translate into a slower progression toward ESRD. Although in the current trial ESRD developed in fewer patients in the bardoxolone methyl group than in the placebo group, the early termination of the trial precludes conclusion of the effect on ESRD events.
The mechanism linking bardoxolone methyl to heart failure is unknown. Since an excess in heart-failure events was unanticipated, echocardiography was not performed routinely before randomization. Although weight declined significantly in the bardoxolone methyl group, we were unable to determine whether there was loss of body fat, intracellular (skeletal muscle) water, or extracellular (interstitial) water.
The fall in serum albumin and hemoglobin levels may reflect hemodilution caused by fluid retention.
Bardoxolone methyl also increased blood pressure.
An increase in preload due to volume expansion and an increase in afterload (as reflected by increased blood pressure),
  • coupled with an increase in heart rate,
  • constitute a potentially potent combination of factors that are likely to precipitate heart failure in an at-risk population.
The rise in the level of B-type natriuretic peptide with bardoxolone methyl
  • is consistent with an increase in left ventricular wall stress owing to one or more of these mediators or to unrecognized factors such as
  • impaired diastolic filling of the left ventricle.
After recognizing the initial increase in heart-failure events, the independent data and safety monitoring committee tried to identify
  • clinical characteristics that were associated with patients who were at elevated risk for heart failure
  • after the initiation of bardoxolone methyl therapy (with the possibility of modifying eligibility criteria or otherwise altering the trial),
but the committee was unable to do so. Other, noncardiovascular adverse events were also observed more frequently among patients exposed to bardoxolone methyl than among those who received placebo. Whether the effects of Nrf2 activation, or one or more counterregulatory responses, rendered this particular population vulnerable, is unknown. Zoja et al.18 found an increase in albuminuria and blood pressure along with weight loss in Zucker diabetic fatty rats treated with an analogue of bardoxolone methyl; these effects were not observed in other studies in Zucker diabetic fatty rats or other rodent models or in 1-year toxicologic studies in monkeys.19-21
Why were these adverse effects identified in the current trial and not in the BEAM trial?
  1. First, the number of patient-months of drug exposure in the current trial was roughly 10 times that in the BEAM trial.
  2. Second, the population in the present trial had more severe chronic kidney disease than did the population in the BEAM trial.
Observational studies have shown significantly higher rates of death and cardiovascular events, including heart failure,
  • among patients with stage 4 chronic kidney disease than among patients with stage 3 chronic kidney disease.22
Finally, our trial used an amorphous spray-dried dispersion formulation of bardoxolone methyl at a fixed dose rather than at an adjusted dose. We chose the 20-mg dose and the specific formulation used in the BEACON trial
  1. on the basis of four phase 2 studies of chronic kidney disease (three studies used the crystalline formulation, and one used the amorphous formulation),
  2. a crossover pharmacokinetics study involving humans that used both formulations, and
  3. several studies in animals that used both formulations (Meyer C: personal communication),
to provide an activity and safety profile that was similar to that observed with 75 mg of the crystalline formulation, which was one of the dose levels tested in the BEAM trial.
In conclusion, among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and stage 4 chronic kidney disease, bardoxolone methyl did not reduce the risk of the primary composite outcome of ESRD or death from cardiovascular causes. Significantly increased risks of heart failure and of the composite cardiovascular outcome (nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, hospitalization for heart failure, or death from cardiovascular causes) prompted termination of the trial.
Alto, CA 93034, or at gchertow@stanford.edu.
Investigators in the Bardoxolone Methyl Evaluation in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: the Occurrence of Renal Events (BEACON) trial are listed in the Supplementary Appendix, available at NEJM.org.
Table 1. Baseline Characteristics of the Patients in the Intention-to-Treat Population.

Fig 1. Kaplan–Meier Plots of the Time to the First Event of the Primary Outcome and Its Components.

nejmoa1303154_f1   Kaplan–Meier Plot of Cumulative Probabilities of the Primary and Secondary End Points and Death.

Fig 2. Kaplan–Meier Plots of the Time to the First Event of the Discrete Secondary Outcomes

nejmoa1303154_f2  Kaplan–Meier Plot of Cumulative Probabilities of Acute Kidney Injury and Hyperkalemia
Fig 3.  Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR), Body Weight, and Urinary Albumin-to-Creatinine Ratio
Table 2  Most Commonly Reported Serious Adverse Events in the Intention-to-Treat Population

References

    1  Klahr S, Levey AS, Beck GJ, et al. The effects of dietary protein restriction and blood-pressure control on the progression of chronic renal disease. N Engl J Med 1994;330:877-884
    2  The ADVANCE Collaborative Group. Intensive blood glucose control and vascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med 2008;358:2560-2572
    3  Parving HH, Andersen AR, Smidt UM, Svendsen PA. Early aggressive antihypertensive treatment reduces rate of decline in kidney function in diabetic nephropathy. Lancet 1983;1:1175-1179
    4  Brenner BM, Cooper ME, de Zeeuw D, et al. Effects of losartan on renal and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes and nephropathy. N Engl J Med 2001;345:861-869
    5 Lewis EJ, Hunsicker LG, Clarke WR, et al. Renoprotective effect of the angiotensin-receptor antagonist irbesartan in patients with nephropathy due to type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med 2001;345:851-860
   6  Parving HH, Lehnert H, Brochner-Mortensen J, Gomis R, Andersen S, Arner P. The effect of irbesartan on the development of diabetic nephropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med 2001;345:870-878
    7  Heerspink HJ, de Zeeuw D. The kidney in type 2 diabetes therapy. Rev Diabet Stud 2011;8:392-402
    8  Pfeffer MA, Burdmann EA, Chen CY, et al. A trial of darbepoetin alfa in type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease. N Engl J Med 2009;361:2019-2032
    9   Parving HH, Brenner BM, McMurray JJ, et al. Cardiorenal end points in a trial of aliskiren for type 2 diabetes. N Engl J Med 2012;367:2204-2213
    10   Packham DK, Wolfe R, Reutens AT, et al. Sulodexide fails to demonstrate renoprotection in overt type 2 diabetic nephropathy. J Am Soc Nephrol 2012;23:123-130
Combined Angiotensin Inhibition for the Treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy
Linda F. Fried, M.D., M.P.H., Nicholas Emanuele, M.D., Jane H. Zhang, Ph.D., Mary Brophy, M.D., Todd A. Conner, Pharm.D., William Duckworth, M.D., David J. Leehey, M.D., Peter A. McCullough, M.D., M.P.H., Theresa O’Connor, Ph.D., Paul M. Palevsky, M.D., Robert F. Reilly, M.D., Stephen L. Seliger, M.D., Stuart R. Warren, J.D., Pharm.D., Suzanne Watnick, M.D., Peter Peduzzi, Ph.D., and Peter Guarino, M.P.H., Ph.D. for the VA NEPHRON-D Investigators
N Engl J Med 2013; 369:1892-1903November 14, 2013DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1303154
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Background
Combination therapy with angiotensin-converting–enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) decreases proteinuria; however, its safety and effect on the progression of kidney disease are uncertain.
Methods
We provided losartan (at a dose of 100 mg per day) to patients with type 2 diabetes, a urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (with albumin measured in milligrams and creatinine measured in grams) of at least 300, and an estimated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) of 30.0 to 89.9 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 of body-surface area and then randomly assigned them to receive lisinopril (at a dose of 10 to 40 mg per day) or placebo. The primary end point was the first occurrence of a change in the estimated GFR (a decline of ≥30 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 if the initial estimated GFR was ≥60 ml per minute per 1.73 m2 or a decline of ≥50% if the initial estimated GFR was <60 ml per minute per 1.73 m2), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or death. The secondary renal end point was the first occurrence of a decline in the estimated GFR or ESRD. Safety outcomes included mortality, hyperkalemia, and acute kidney injury.
Results
The study was stopped early owing to safety concerns. Among 1448 randomly assigned patients with a median follow-up of 2.2 years, there were 152 primary end-point events in the monotherapy group and 132 in the combination-therapy group (hazard ratio with combination therapy, 0.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.70 to 1.12; P=0.30). A trend toward a benefit from combination therapy with respect to the secondary end point (hazard ratio, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.58 to 1.05; P=0.10) decreased with time (P=0.02 for nonproportionality). There was no benefit with respect to mortality (hazard ratio for death, 1.04; 95% CI, 0.73 to 1.49; P=0.75) or cardiovascular events. Combination therapy increased the risk of hyperkalemia (6.3 events per 100 person-years, vs. 2.6 events per 100 person-years with monotherapy; P<0.001) and acute kidney injury (12.2 vs. 6.7 events per 100 person-years, P<0.001).
Conclusions
Combination therapy with an ACE inhibitor and an ARB was associated with an increased risk of adverse events among patients with diabetic nephropathy. (Funded by the Cooperative Studies Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development; VA NEPHRON-D ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00555217.)
A complete list of investigators in the Veterans Affairs Nephropathy in Diabetes (VA NEPHRON-D) study is provided in the Supplementary Appendix, available at NEJM.org.
Figure 1  Kaplan–Meier Plot of Cumulative Probabilities of the Primary and Secondary End Points and Death.
Figure 2 Kaplan–Meier Plot of Cumulative Probabilities of Acute Kidney Injury and Hyperkalemia

The End of Dual Therapy with Renin–Angiotensin–Aldosterone System Blockade?

Nov 14, 2013       de Zeeuw D.  (Editorial)
 N Engl J Med 2013; 369:1960-1962
Treatment aimed at multiple risk factors and specific markers such as glucose level, blood pressure, body weight, cholesterol levels, and albuminuria has been the main focus to slow cardiovascular and renal risk among patients with diabetes. Among the agents used, those that interrupt the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) have shown protection that extends beyond decreasing blood pressure. In part, these additional effects may be explained by a decrease in albuminuria.1 Therefore, angiotensin-converting–enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin II–receptor blockers (ARBs) have become first-choice drugs in patients with diabetes. Despite some success, the residual cardiovascular and renal risk among patients with diabetes remains

Diabetes: Mouse Studies Point to Kinase as Treatment Target

Published: Nov 24, 2013
By Kristina Fiore, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Targeting a pathway that plays a major role in both hepatic glucose production and insulin sensitivity may eventually help treat type 2 diabetes, researchers reported.
In a series of experiments in mice, researchers found that inhibition of the kinase CaMKII — or even some of its downstream components — lowered blood glucose and insulin levels, Ira Tabas, MD, PhD, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues reported online in Cell Metabolism.
The pathway is activated by glucagon signaling in the liver, and appears to have roles in both insulin resistance as well as hepatic glucose production in the liver.
In an earlier study, Tabas and colleagues showed that inhibiting the CaMKII pathway lowered hepatic glucose production by suppressing p38-mediated FoxO1 nuclear localization.
In the current study, they found CaMKII inhibition suppresses levels of the pseudo-kinase TRB3 to improve Akt-phosphorylation, thereby improving insulin sensitivity.
Thus this single pathway targets “two cardinal features of type 2 diabetes — hyperglycemia and defective insulin signaling,” the researchers wrote.
“When we realized we had one common pathway that was responsible for these two disparate processes that, in essence, comprises all of type 2 diabetes, we though it would be an ideal target for new drug therapy,” Tabas told MedPage Today.
Tabas and colleagues conducted several experiments to evaluate the CaMKII pathway.
In one experiment in obese mice, they found that

  • no matter how CaMKII was knocked out, it led to lower blood glucose levels and lower fasting plasma insulin levels in response to a glucose challenge.

The improvements also occurred

  • when they knocked out downstream processes, including p38 and MAPK-activating protein kinase 2 (MK2).

“Thus liver p38 and MK2, like CaMKII, play an important role in the development of hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia in obese mice,” they wrote.
In further analyses, the researchers discovered

  • deleting or inhibiting any of these three elements ultimately improved insulin-induced Akt-phosphorylation in obese mice —
  • an important part of improving insulin sensitivity.

And unlike the effects on hepatic glucose production, these changes didn’t occur through effects on FoxO1.
Instead, inhibiting the CaMKII pathway suppressed levels of the pseudo-kinase TRB3, which likely occurred because of suppression of ATF4

  • all of which led to an increase in Akt-phosphorylation and insulin sensitivity.

Indeed, when mice were made to overexpress TRB3, the improvement in phosphorylation disappeared, “indicating that

  • the suppression of TRB3 by CaMKII deficiency is causally important in the improvement in insulin signaling,” they wrote.

As a result, there “appear to be two separate CaMKII pathways,

  • one involved in CaMKII-p38-FoxO1 dependent hepatic glucose production, and
  • the other involved in defective insulin-induced p-Akt,” they wrote.

The findings suggest the possibility of a drug that can target both hyperglycemia and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes, they said.

Association Between a Genetic Variant Related to Glutamic Acid Metabolism and Coronary Heart Disease in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes

Lu Qi; Qibin Qi; S Prudente; C Mendonca; F Andreozzi; et al.
JAMA. 2013;310(8):821-828.     http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2013.276305.

Importance

Diabetes is associated with an elevated risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Previous studies have suggested that the genetic factors predisposing to excess cardiovascular risk may be different in diabetic and nondiabetic individuals.

Objective

To identify genetic determinants of CHD that are specific to patients with diabetes.

Design, Setting, and Participants

We studied 5 independent sets of CHD cases and CHD-negative controls from the Nurses’ Health Study (enrolled in 1976 and followed up through 2008), Health Professionals Follow-up Study (enrolled in 1986 and followed up through 2008), Joslin Heart Study (enrolled in 2001-2008), Gargano Heart Study (enrolled in 2001-2008), and Catanzaro Study (enrolled in 2004-2010). Included were a total of 1517 CHD cases and 2671 CHD-negative controls, all with type 2 diabetes. Results in diabetic patients were compared with those in 737 nondiabetic CHD cases and 1637 nondiabetic CHD-negative controls from the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study cohorts. Exposures included 2 543 016 common genetic variants occurring throughout the genome.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Coronary heart disease—defined as fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass grafting, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, or angiographic evidence of significant stenosis of the coronary arteries.

Results

A variant on chromosome 1q25 (rs10911021) was consistently associated with CHD risk among diabetic participants,

  • with risk allele frequencies of 0.733 in cases vs 0.679 in controls (odds ratio, 1.36 [95% CI, 1.22-1.51]; P = 2 × 10−8).

No association between this variant and CHD was detected among nondiabetic participants, with risk allele frequencies of 0.697 in cases vs 0.696 in controls (odds ratio, 0.99 [95% CI, 0.87-1.13]; P = .89),

  • consistent with a significant gene × diabetes interaction on CHD risk (P = 2 × 10−4).

Compared with protective allele homozygotes, rs10911021 risk allele

  • homozygotes were characterized by a 32% decrease in the expression of the neighboring glutamate-ammonia ligase (GLUL) gene in human endothelial cells (P = .0048).
  • A decreased ratio between plasma levels of γ-glutamyl cycle intermediates pyroglutamic and glutamic acid was also shown in risk allele homozygotes (P = .029).

Conclusion and Relevance

A single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs10911021) was identified that was significantly associated with CHD among persons with diabetes but not in those without diabetes and was functionally related to glutamic acid metabolism, suggesting a mechanistic link.

Adipocyte Heme Oxygenase-1 Induction Attenuates Metabolic Syndrome In Both Male And Female Obese Mice

Angela Burgess1,2, Ming Li2, Luca Vanella1, Dong Hyun Kim1, Rita Rezzani4, et al.

1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43614
2Department of Pharmacology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595
3Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595
4Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
5Department of Pediatrics and Center for Applied Genomics, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
6The Rockefeller University, New York, New York 10065

Hypertension. 2010 December ; 56(6): 1124–1130.    http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.110.151423

Abstract

Increases in visceral fat are associated with
  • increased inflammation,
  • dyslipidemia,
  • insulin resistance,
  • glucose intolerance and
  • vascular dysfunction.
We examined the effect of the potent heme oxygenase (HO)-1 inducer, cobalt protoporphyrin (CoPP), on regulation of adiposity and glucose levels in both female and male obese mice. Both lean and obese mice were administered CoPP intraperitoneally, (3mg/kg/once a week) for 6 weeks. Serum levels of
  1. adiponectin,
  2. TNFα,
  3. IL-1β and
  4. IL-6, and
  5. HO-1,
  6. PPARγ,
  7. pAKT, and
  8. pMPK protein expression
were measured in adipocytes and vascular tissue . While female obese mice continued to gain weight at a rate similar to controls, induction of HO-1 slowed the rate of weight gain in male obese mice. HO-1 induction led to lowered blood pressure
levels in obese males and females mice similar to that of lean male and female mice.
HO-1 induction also produced a significant decrease in the plasma levels of IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β and fasting glucose of obese females compared to untreated female obese mice. HO-1 induction
  • increased the number and
  • decreased the size of adipocytes of obese animals.
HO-1 induction increased adiponectin, pAKT, pAMPK, and PPARγ levels in adipocyte of obese animals. Induction of HO-1, in adipocytes was associated with
  • an increase in adiponectin and
  • a reduction in inflammatory cytokines.
These findings offer the possibility of treating not only hypertension, but also other detrimental metabolic consequences of obesity
  • including insulin resistance and dyslipidemia in obese populations
  • by induction of HO-1 in adipocytes.
Introduction
Moderate to severe obesity is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular complications and insulin resistance in humans1, 2 and animals3, 4. Cardiovascular risk is specifically associated with increased intra-abdominal fat. Women in their reproductive years have a higher BMI than males, which largely reflects increased overall subcutaneous adipose tissue or “gynoid” obesity, this is not associated with increased cardiovascular risk5. However, due to increases in visceral fat with aging, after the age of 60 the fat distribution in females more closely resembles that in males6. Increased androgen levels also often occur after the menopausal transition. These changes in visceral fat content and androgen levels correlate with both central obesity and insulin resistance and are an important determinant of cardiovascular risk7.
Heme oxygenase (HO) catalyzes the breakdown of heme, a potentially harmful pro-oxidant, into its products biliverdin and carbon monoxide, with a concomitant release of iron (reviewed in8). While HO-2 is expressed constitutively, HO-1 is inducible in response to oxidative stress and its induction has been reported to normalize vascular and renal function9–11. Further, induction of HO-1 slows weight gain, decreases levels of TNF-α and IL-6 and increases serum levels of adiponectin in obese rats and obese diabetic mice4, 9, 12.
The association observed between HO-1 and adiponectin has led to the proposal of the existence of a cytoprotective HO-1/adiponectin axis4, 13. Previously, L’Abbate et al,14 have shown that induction of HO-1 is associated with a parallel increase in the serum levels of adiponectin, which has well-documented
  1. insulin-sensitizing,
  2. antiapoptotic,
  3. antioxidative and
  4. anti-inflammatory properties.
Adiponectin is an abundant protein secreted from adipocytes. Once secreted, it mediates its actions by binding to a set of receptors, such as
  • adipoR1 and adipoR2, and also
  • through induction of AMPK signaling pathways15, 16.
In addition, increases in adiponectin play a protective role against TNF mediated endothelial activation17.
In this study, we evaluated the effect of CoPP, a potent inducer of HO-1,
  • on visceral and subcutaneous fat distribution in both female and male obese mice.
We show for the first time a resistance to weight reduction upon administration of CoPP in female obese mice but
  • a significant decrease in inflammatory cytokines.
Despite continued obesity,
  1. CoPP normalized blood pressure levels,
  2. decreased circulating cytokines, and
  3. increased insulin sensitivity in obese females.
CoPP treatment of obese mice
  • increased the number and
  • reduced the size of adipocytes.
CoPP treatment of both male and female obese mice reversed the reduction in adiponectin levels seen in obesity. This study suggests that in spite of continued obesity,
  • HO-1 induction in female obese mice serves a protective role against obesity associated metabolic consequences via expansion of healthy smaller insulin-sensitive adipocytes.

Results

Effect of induction of HO-1 on body weight, appearance, and fat content of female and male obese mice. Previously, we have shown CoPP treatment results in the prevention of weight gain in several male models of obesity including obese and db/db mice and Zucker fat rats4, 12. We extended our studies to examine the effect of CoPP on weight gain in female obese mice. CoPP-treatment prevented weight gain in male obese mice when compared to age-matched male controls (Figure S1). The revention of body weight gain was accompanied by a
reduction in visceral fat in male obese mice. However, female obese mice administered CoPP did not lose weight but continued to gain weight at the same rate as untreated female obese mice (Figure S1). This was in spite of food intake being comparable between the two
groups. CoPP administration decreased subcutaneous fat content in both obese males and females (p<0.05; p<0.05, respectively). CoPP produced a decrease (p<0.05) in visceral fat in male but not in female obese mice when compared to untreated obese mice (Figure S1D).
We examined adipocyte size by haematoxilin-eosin staining in both lean, obese and CoPP treated obese female mice (Figure 1A, upper panel). CoPP treatment resulted in a decrease in adipocyte size (p<0.05) compared to untreated obese animals (Figure 1A, lower left panel). We then examined the number of adipocytes in lean, obese and CoPP-treated obese female mice. The number of adipocytes (mean±SE) in lean, obese and CoPP-treated obese animals was 40.83±3.50, 18.33±1.80 and 32.00±1.67 respectively indicating that CoPP treatment of obese mice increased the number of adipocytes to levels similar to those in lean animals (Figure 1A, lower right panel). Similar results were seen in male animals.
The induction of HO-1 was associated with a reduction in blood pressure (BP). Systolic blood pressure in obese female mice was 142 ± 6.5 mm Hg compared to obese-CoPP treated, 109 ± 8.1 mm Hg, p<0.05. The value in obese female mice treated with CoPP is similar to the blood pressure seen in lean female mice (110 ± 9.6 mm Hg). The systolic blood pressure in obese male mice was 144± 4.5 mm Hg compared to obese-CoPP treated, 104 ± 3.6 mm Hg, p<0.05.
We further examined whether CoPP affects HO-1 expression in adipocyte using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. Immunostaining showed increased levels of HO-1 (green staining), located on the surface of adipocytes, after CoPP treatment (p<0.05), compared with female obese mice, Figure 1B. As seen in Figure 1C, HO-1 and

HO-2 levels in adipocyte isolated from lean, untreated female obese mice or female obese mice treated with CoPP. Densitometry analysis showed that HO-1 was increased
significantly in female obese mice treated with CoPP, compared to non-treated female obese mice, p<0.05, which is in agreement with immunohistochemistry results. This pattern of HO expression in obesity occurs in other tissues, including aortas, kidneys and hearts of male obese mice4, 13.
Effect of CoPP on HO-1 expression and HO activity in female and male obese mice
HO-1 protein levels were increased by CoPP treatments in liver and renal tissues similar to that seen in adipocytes. Western blot analysis showed significant differences  (p<0.05) in the ratio of HO-1 to actin in renal of male and female obese and lean mice (Figure S 2A). Obesity decreasd HO-1 levels in both sexes when compared to age matched lean animals.
In addition, HO-1 levels were significantly (p<0.05) lower in obese females compared to obese males (Figure S 2A). This reflects a less active HO system in both male and female
obese animals compared to age matched lean controls. Next, we compared the effect of CoPP on male and female HO-1 gene expression in adipocytes. CoPP increased HO-1
expression in both male and female obese animals compared to untreated obese animals (Figure S 2B, p<0.001 and p<0.001, respectively). Similar results of HO-1 expression were seen in liver tissues (Result not shown).
Effect of CoPP on cytokine levels in female and male obese mice
CoPP administration resulted in a significnt increase in the levels of plasma adiponectin in both female (p<0.001) and male obese (p<0.001) mice (Figure 2A). Untreated female obese animals exhibited a significant (p<0.05) increase in plasma IL-6 levels when compared to age-matched male obese mice (Figure 2B). CoPP decreased plasma IL-6 levels in both female and male obese mice (p<0.05A )p<0.01, respectively) when compared to untreated obese miec. Similar results were observed with plasma TNF-α and IL-1β levels (Figure 2C and 2D). These results indicate that though female obese mice exhibited elevated serum levels of inflammatory cytokines compared to male obese mice, CoPP acts with equal efficacy in both female and male obese animals in reducing inflammation while simultaneously increasing serum adiponectin levels (Figure 2). 

Effect of CoPP on blood glucose and LDL levels in female and male obese mice 

Fasting glucose levels were determined after the development of insulin resistance. CoPP produced a decrease in glucose levels in both fasting female (p<0.05) and male (p<0.001) obese mice when compared to untreated obese control animals (Figure 3A). CoPP reduced LDL levels in both male (p<0.01) and female (p<0.05) obese mice when compared to untreated obese controls (Figure 3B). Treatment with SnMP, increased LDL levels. In separate experiments two weeks apart, glucose levels and insulin sensitivity were determined after development of insulin resistance (Fig. 4A and B). Blood glucose levels in female obese mice were elevated (p<0.01) 30 min after glucose administration and remained elevated. In CoPP-treated female obese mice produced a decrease in glucose but not in the vehicle-treated female obese mice (p<0.01).

Effect of Obesity on Protein Expression Levels of pAKT, pAMPK, and PPARγ levels in female and male obese mice

Western blot analysis of adipocytes harvested from fat tissues,showed significant  differences in basal protein expression levels of pAKT and pAMPK in untreated female obese mice compared to untreated obese male mice. pAMPK levels were higher in obese females compared to obese males (Figure 5A, p< 0.05). This was also the case for pAKT protein levels, where increased levels of pAKT were seen in obese females compared to obese males (Figure 5B, p<0.05). CoPP treatment increased pAMPK and pAKT levels in bothe obese females and obese males. In addition, CoPP administration increased PPARγ levels, in both male (p<0.001) and female (p<0.05) obese mice (Figures 5C).

Discussion

In the current study, we show for the first time that induction of HO-1 regulates adiposity in both male and female animals via an increase in adipocyte HO-1 protein levels. A second novel finding is that induction of HO-1 was associated not only with a decrease in adipocyte cell size but with an increase in adipocyte cell number. Further, induction of HO-1 affects visceral and subcutaneous fat distribution and metabolic function in male obese mice differently than in female obese mice. Despite continued obesity, upregulation of HO-1 induced major improvements in the metabolic profile of female obese mice exhibiting symptoms of Type 2 diabetes including: high plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and low adiponectin levels. CoPP treatment resulted in increased serum adiponectin levels and decreased blood pressure. Adiponectin is exclusively secreted from adipose tissue, and its expression is higher in subcutaneous rather than invisceral adipose tissue. Increased adiponectin levels reduce adipocyte size and increase adipocyte number12, resulting in smaller, more insulin sensitive adipocytes. Adiponectin has recently attracted much attention because it has insulin-sensitizing properties that enhance fatty acid oxidation, liver insulin action, and glucose uptake and positively affect serum trglyceride levels18–21. Levels of circulating adiponectin are inversely correlated with plasma levels of oxidized LDL in patients with Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease, which suggests that low adiponectin levels are associated with an increased oxidative state in the arterial wall22. Thus, increases in adiponectin mediated by upregulation of HO-1 may account for improved insulin sensitivity and reduced levels of LDL and inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 levels) in both male and female mice.

 Females continued to gain weight in spite of the metabolic improvements. One plausible explanation for this anomaly is the direct effects of HO-1 on adiponectin mediating clonal expansion of pre-adipocytes. This supports the concept that expansion of adipogenesis leads to an increased number of adipocytes of smaller cell size; smaller adipocytes are considered to be healthy, insulin sensitive adipocyte cells that are capable of producing adiponectin23. This hypothesis is supported by the increase in the number of smaller adipocytes seen in
CoPP-treated female obese animals without affecting weight gain when compared to female obese animals. Similar results for the presence were seen in males indicating that this effect is not sex specific.
Upregulation of HO-1 was also associated with increased levels of adipocyte pAKT, and pAMPK and PPARγ levels. Previous studies have indicated that insulin resistance and  impaired PI3K/pAKT signaling can lead to the of endothelial dysfunction24. In the current study, increased HO-1 expression was associated with increases in both AKT and AMPK phosphorylation; these actions may protect renal arterioles from insulin mediated endothelial damage. By this mechanism, increased levels of HO-1 limit oxidative stress and facilitate activation of an adiponectin-pAMPK-pAKT pathway and increased insulin sensitivity. Induction of adiponectin and activation of the pAMPK-AKT pathway has been shown to provide vascular protection25, 26. A reduction in AMPK and AKT levels may also explain why inhibition of HO activity in CoPP-treated obese mice  increased inflammatory cytokine levels while decreasing adiponectin. The action of CoPP in increasing pAKT, pAMPK and PPARγ is associated with improved glucose tolerance and decreased insulin resistant.
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Do Novel Anticoagulants Affect the PT/INR? The Cases of  XARELTO (rivaroxaban) or PRADAXA (dabigatran)

Curators: Vivek Lal, MBBS, MD, FCIR, Justin D Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC

and

Article Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

UPDATED on 7/16/2019

More of Xarelto’s scripts came from Medicare Part D patients in Q2 of this year compared with last, according to J&J’s earnings presentation. And J&J was on the hook for a bigger share of patient costs in Medicare Part D’s donut hole. Congress implemented the donut hole change last year, forcing drugmakers to pay more to move patients out of the coverage gap.

Once J&J gets a few quarters ahead of those changes, Xarelto should start turning in more impressive growth percentages, Duato said. How? J&J plans to grow Xarelto’s market share and volume in existing uses, plus focus on launches in new indications, Duato said, though he didn’t specify exactly how it’ll pump up that volume.

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer’s rival drug Eliquis is surely facing some of the same issues—the donut hole provision, for instance—but its sales look much healthier. While BMS hasn’t yet released second-quarter results, it did report a 36% boost to U.S. Eliquis sales in the first quarter, to $1.2 billion. For comparison, J&J’s Xarelto posted a 6.3% decrease to $542 million for the same period in the U.S.

SOURCE

J&J execs have plenty to brag about in pharma. Why downplay Xarelto, Zytiga woes?

https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/j-j-strives-for-above-market-growth-despite-challenges-for-zytiga-xarelto?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWldFNE1EY3dNemhoWWpOaiIsInQiOiJcL1BuSDVXcWZmMDd6NE9YQjV0S2ZRSTVKMnpWb3dZXC9NS3Q3NWlyb3BWUlBpZEF3SjZpUWdtTWRvemhIQ0hBa0lxa0h4WEdSc1p4XC9oTTQ2cmVpSG10dGJSTmp3cmJOMWNlb2xPNXVFeExVZ3d6cHJFdkFDc052NkUxMWozWitEaiJ9&mrkid=993697

 

UPDATED ON 7/21/2016

Xarelto Lawsuits

The blood-thinner Xarelto can cause uncontrolled bleeding — a dangerous and possibly fatal side effect for which there is no antidote. Plaintiffs who say they were harmed by the drug and family members who lost loved ones to severe bleeding filed lawsuits against Bayer, the drug’s maker. They claim Bayer failed to warn them and manufactured a faulty drug.

SOURCE

https://www.drugwatch.com/xarelto/lawsuit/

 

UPDATED on 8/4/2014

A cost-analysis model for anticoagulant treatment in the hospital setting

 

Journal of Medical Economics

July 2014, Vol. 17, No. 7 , Pages 492-498 (doi:10.3111/13696998.2014.914032)

 

 

aJanssen Scientific Affairs, LLC,

Raritan, NJ

USA

bAnalysis Group, Inc.,

Boston, MA

USA

cGroupe d’analyse, Ltée,

Montréal, Québec

Canada

dJanssen Scientific Affairs, LLC,

Raritan, NJ

USA

 

Address for correspondence: 

Lynn Huynh, Associate

Analysis Group, Inc.,

111 Huntington Ave. Tenth Floor, Boston, MA 02199

USA. Tel.: 617-425-8189; Fax: 617-425-8001

 

Abstract

Background:

Rivaroxaban is the first oral factor Xa inhibitor approved in the US to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots among people with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT), treat pulmonary embolism (PE), reduce the risk of recurrence of DVT and PE, and prevent DVT and PE after knee or hip replacement surgery. The objective of this study was to evaluate the costs from a hospital perspective of treating patients with rivaroxaban vs other anticoagulant agents across these five populations.

Methods:

An economic model was developed using treatment regimens from the ROCKET-AF, EINSTEIN-DVT and PE, and RECORD1-3 randomized clinical trials. The distribution of hospital admissions used in the model across the different populations was derived from the 2010 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project database. The model compared total costs of anticoagulant treatment, monitoring, inpatient stay, and administration for patients receiving rivaroxaban vs other anticoagulant agents. The length of inpatient stay (LOS) was determined from the literature.

Results:

Across all populations, rivaroxaban was associated with an overall mean cost savings of $1520 per patient. The largest cost savings associated with rivaroxaban was observed in patients with DVT or PE ($6205 and $2742 per patient, respectively). The main driver of the cost savings resulted from the reduction in LOS associated with rivaroxaban, contributing to ∼90% of the total savings. Furthermore, the overall mean anticoagulant treatment cost was lower for rivaroxaban vs the reference groups.

Limitations:

The distribution of patients across indications used in the model may not be generalizable to all hospitals, where practice patterns may vary, and average LOS cost may not reflect the actual reimbursements that hospitals received.

Conclusion:

From a hospital perspective, the use of rivaroxaban may be associated with cost savings when compared to other anticoagulant treatments due to lower drug cost and shorter LOS associated with rivaroxaban.

 

SOURCE

http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3111/13696998.2014.914032

 

 

Introduction

Justin D Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC

The classic medication for chronic anti-coagulation is coumadin, but it is problematic. Coumadin impedes the production of coagulation proteins that depend on vitamin K (factors 7, 9, 10, and 2, in order of half-lifes, which range 2-72 hours). Consequently, a change in dose today does not have full impact for 2-3 days. Physicians and pharmacists have difficulties adjusting the dose to its target effect on the biomarker test International Normalized Ratio (INR). The therapeutic range is very narrow. A change in intake of leafy green vegetables can have profound impact (by changing intake of vitamin K). A change in virtually any medication or vitamin that can bind to albumin can also profoundly change the INR to a life-threatening level, because 80% of coumadin is inactivated by binding to albumin, and displacement of coumadin by other agents can boost the effective circulating amount. Those limitations, and the need for testing each month and each medication change have stimulated the development of alternatives. For example, rivaroxaban is a new anticogulant that focuses on factor 10 (factor X), deemed as good as coumadin without the need for the blood tests. In fact, INR test for rivaroxaban is misleading, as values may range as high at 7 (“DANGER”) at normal therapeutic dosing. The following reviews some of the data on that unexpected issue. Physicians not aware of this “false positive” have demanded stoppage of therapy due to the inapplicable spuriously high INR values.

UPDATED on 9/25

Dabigatran versus Warfarin in Patients with Mechanical Heart Valves

Dabigatran is an oral direct thrombin inhibitor that has been shown to be an effective alternative to warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation. We evaluated the use of dabigatran in patients with mechanical heart valves.

RESULTS

The trial was terminated prematurely after the enrollment of 252 patients because of an excess of thromboembolic and bleeding events among patients in the dabigatran group. In the as-treated analysis, dose adjustment or discontinuation of dabigatran was required in 52 of 162 patients (32%). Ischemic or unspecified stroke occurred in 9 patients (5%) in the dabigatran group and in no patients in the warfarin group; major bleeding occurred in 7 patients (4%) and 2 patients (2%), respectively. All patients with major bleeding had pericardial bleeding.

CONCLUSIONS

The use of dabigatran in patients with mechanical heart valves was associated with increased rates of thromboembolic and bleeding complications, as compared with warfarin, thus showing no benefit and an excess risk. (Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01452347 and NCT01505881.)

SOURCE

N Engl J Med 2013; 369:1206-1214 September 26, 2013 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1300615

UPDATED on 9/23

ESC: Edoxaban Bests Warfarin on Safety in VTE

By Peggy Peck, Editor-in-Chief, MedPage Today
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner
Action Points

AMSTERDAM — Edoxaban, a novel factor Xa inhibitor, met its primary endpoints in a trial that pitted it against warfarin for treatment of symptomatic venous thromboembolism (VTE).

Among more than 8,000 patients with deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), 130 (3.2%) of the patients treated with edoxaban had a recurrent, symptomatic VTE versus 146 (3.5%) warfarin-treated patients, a hazard ratio of 0.89 (95% CI 0.70-1.13, P<0.004 for non-inferiority), Harry R. Büller, MD, of the Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, reported in a Hot Line session at theEuropean Society of Cardiology meeting here.

The safety endpoint was bleeding (major or clinically relevant non-major bleeding), and in that analysis edoxaban was superior to warfarin, as 8.5% of the edoxaban patients had bleeding events versus 10.3% of the patients in the warfarin group (P=0.004 for superiority).

Moreover, edoxaban appeared to work best in the highest-risk patients — 938 patients with pulmonary embolism and right ventricular dysfunction assessed by N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels. In those patients, the recurrent VTE rate was 3.3% in the edoxaban group versus 6.2% in the warfarin group, Büller said.

Based on the results in that very high risk population, Büller predicted that clinicians treating those patients will consider that efficacy profile when selecting an oral Factor Xa inhibitor.

The study, from the Hokusai VTE Investigators, was simultaneously published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the highly competitive oral anticoagulant group, those numbers look good, but at first blush the two already approved Factor Xa inhibitors, rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and apixaban (Eliquis) looked better when they were studied in VTE.

In EINSTEIN-VTE, rivaroxaban had a recurrent symptomatic VTE rate of 2.1%, and 8.1% of patients met the safety endpoint.

Likewise, in another VTE trial — AMPLIFY-EXT — apixaban (2.5 mg or 5 mg twice a day) had a recurrent or VTE-related death rate of 1.7%, and 3.2% of the patients who received low-dose apixaban reached the safety endpoint, as did 4.3% of patients treated with 5 mg of apixaban.

Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, American College of Cardiology president-elect, praised the design of the trial, but he agreed that “for mortality benefit, apixaban does appear to have the edge.”

That apixaban benefit, O’Gara said, is militated by the fact that patients need to take the drug twice daily, while “edoxaban is once a day, as is rivaroxaban.”

Asked if there was a specific population that might benefit from edoxaban versus rivaroxaban or apixaban, O’Gara, who is director of clinical cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School, said the findings from the Hokusai researchers did not provide that answer.

The attempt at a cross-trial comparison drew harsh criticism from Elliott Antman, MD, principal investigator in a trial of edoxaban for prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (ENGAGE-AF).

Antman, who like O’Gara is a Harvard professor, said that comparing the edoxaban VTE results to EINSTEIN-VTE or AMPLIFY-EXT would only lead to false conclusions. “You could repeat the rivaroxaban trial 100 times and still not achieve data that can be compared.”

Stavros V. Konstantinides MD, PhD, of the Medical University in Mainz, Germany, who was the ESC discussant for the paper, said that, despite the advantage of once-daily dosing of edoxaban, “apixaban has the best safety profile so far.”

Moreover, unlike the VTE studies of apixaban and rivaroxaban, all patients in the Hokusai trial received heparin for 5 days. After that heparin run-in, patients were randomized to edoxaban or to warfarin. The median duration of heparin after randomization was 7 days.

Antman said that design best replicated real-world clinical practice, in which heparin is usually started before warfarin.

Buller noted that he was an investigator for the EINSTEIN-VTE study, “and after that the thinking was maybe we don’t need low molecular weight heparin, but now I think we need to reconsider that assumption.”

The Hokusai-VTE trial recruited 4,921 patients with DVT and 3,319 patients with PE. Patients initially were treated with heparin, and then were randomized to edoxaban (60 mg or 30 mg) or warfarin. There was an overlap of the heparin therapy when warfarin was started.

During a press conference, Keith Fox, MBChB, chair of the ESC scientific program, asked Buller if that overlap could have increased bleeding risk in the warfarin arm, thus introducing bias, but Buller said the overlap merely allowed warfarin to reach therapeutic range.

The edoxaban regimen “may be less handy, especially for early-discharge patients… [though] some doctors may feel more comfortable starting with low molecular weight heparin and then switching to edoxaban for the one-third of patients with severe PE,” Konstantinides said.

He added, “The NOACs [new oral anticoagulants] have shown efficacy and safety. Now, the test under real life conditions begins. They have to prove efficacy and safety there. I expect that. And they now must justify the high cost by showing … an improvement in patient treatment satisfaction and quality of life and, hopefully, a reduction in healthcare costs … with lower hospitalizations.”

The average age of patients in the Hokusai study was 56-57, and just over half were men.

Patients were enrolled from January 2011 through October 2012 at 439 centers in 37 countries.

About 40% of patients were treated for a year, and 80% of the edoxaban group was adherent to study treatment. Among the warfarin patients, average time in therapeutic range was 63.5%.

The study was supported by Daiichi-Sankyo, which is developing edoxaban.

Buller reported personal fees from Daichi Sankyo during the study, as well as grant support and personal fees from Bayer Health Care and Pfizer. He also received personnal fees from Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Isis Pharmaceuticals, and ThromboGenics outside the submitted work.

Antman has a research grant from Daiichi-Sankyo through Brigham and Women’s Hospital. O’Gara said he had no financial disclosures.

SOURCE

http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/ESC/41301?isalert=1#!

END of UPDATE

Introduction

Author: Vivek Lal, MBBS, MD, FCIR

Pathological thromboembolism, as seen in Myocardial Infarction or stroke, led to the use of low dose aspirin as an-antiplatelet drug, as a prophylaxis for subsequent intravascular thrombotic episodes.  Aspirin, an irreversible Cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor, resulted in a reduction of the production of Thromboxane A2, which in itself is a powerful vaso-constrictor and a platelet aggregator.   Certain limitation with the use of aspirin necessitated the search for newer anti-platelet drugs, with a quicker onset of action, quick termination of action on cessation of treatment, and minimal side effects like bleeding.  ADP inhibitors like Clopidogrel, which inhibits the ADP dependent activation of Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa receptors, was the next in the armamentarium of these drugs.  Later, oral anti-coagulants like coumadin (warfarin sodium) were added to anti-platelet approach, to tackle the overactive coagulation cascade in pathological intravascular thrombosis.  Warfarin is a drug which counters the effects of Vit-K on the synthesis of coagulation factors in the liver.  Thus, all green leafy vegetables, which contain high amounts of Vit-K, will interfere with the action of Warfarin.   Moreover, warfarin is extremely prone to drug interations, owing to its biotransformation by hepatic microsomal enzymes, which are also metabolizing many other drugs.  Thus, a therapeutic drug monitoring of warfarin action is mandatory, which, is a big limitation to its use.  The quest for pharmacologically superior oral anticoagulants, as compared to Warfarin, reached an important milestone with the discovery of two major drugs, Dabigatran and Rivaroxaban.  Both these drugs are Direct Thrombin Inhibitors, though the indications and adverse events are somewhat different.  This post will discuss Rivaroxaban pharmacology in brief, and address certain clinical issues.

Question: Does rivaroxaban or dabigatran affect the PT or INR? Can either be monitored using the PT or INR?

Response from Jenny A. Van Amburgh, PharmD, CDE

Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Clinical Professor, School of Pharmacy, Northeastern University; Director of the Clinical Pharmacy Team and Residency Program Director, Harbor Health Services, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

Warfarin is the most commonly used anticoagulant for the prevention of thrombosis or stroke. Because of a narrow therapeutic window, it requires regular coagulation monitoring of the prothrombin time (PT)/international normalized ratio (INR).[1] As such, the inconvenience of frequent blood draws remains a major burden. For the first time in over 50 years, 2 new oral anticoagulants, dabigatran, a direct thrombin inhibitor, and rivaroxaban, a factor Xa inhibitor, were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. While these anticoagulants carry similar side effects to warfarin, such as risk for gastrointestinal bleeding and intracranial hemorrhage, INR and PT monitoring are not required. How then are providers to gauge the safety and efficacy of the medication in a patient? Can clinicians monitor these medications with the conventional coagulation assays, or are they rendered useless?[1]

The effect of both dabigatran and rivaroxaban on commonly used coagulation assays has been evaluated in the literature, both in vitro and in vivo. The usefulness of these tests relates directly to the medications’ mechanisms of action. For both agents, the use of an INR to determine the effectiveness and safety is meaningless because INR is calibrated for use with vitamin K antagonists (such as warfarin) only.[1] Although use may be associated with an increase in INR, this increase does not relate to the effectiveness of therapy or provide a linear correlation of concentration and effect that is seen when measuring warfarin levels.[2,3] In some instances, point-of-care INR measurements have been drawn on patients using dabigatran; however, the results have failed to correlate to appropriateness in therapy and have varied greatly case by case.[4]

As dabigatran directly inhibits thrombin, PT measures lack the sensitivity to detect therapeutic levels.[1,5] Often, if this assay is measured in patients taking dabigatran, a subtherapeutic level is noted, regardless of concentration of dabigatran.[6] More appropriate assays for dabigatran may be activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), diluted thrombin time (TT), or ecarin clotting time (ECT). These tests are better able to capture changes throughout the clotting cascade. Using aPTT may underestimate high levels and could be used more as a qualitative assessment of activity instead of a quantitative assessment.[7] Where available and if desired, monitoring via the diluted TT or ECT has proved a more useful measure for dabigatran.[1]

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Information from Industry

Unlike dabigatran, studies have demonstrated a correlation between the levels of rivaroxaban and PT through inhibition of factor Xa, but not to the same extent as warfarin.[8] In some instances, the use of PT monitoring for this medication may be useful. A linear response between PT and rivaroxaban can be seen; however, the accuracy of the test improves when concentrations of rivaroxaban are higher. Additionally, the use of PT for monitoring rivaroxaban can be difficult because the measurement differs greatly depending on the reagent used to determine PT. Calibrating PT assays to assess rivaroxaban appropriately is an option currently being evaluated.[8]

In conclusion, the INR is not a viable option when assessing the use of dabigatran or rivaroxaban. Additionally, PT is not a viable option when monitoring a patient on dabigatran. However, PT may be an option for monitoring select patients on rivaroxaban until more reliable standardized tests are developed. Methods of measuring the effectiveness of these agents are currently being developed and tested; however, until they are made available, the existing tests may be adapted to be used in a more effective manner.

The author wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Jacqueline M. Kraft, PharmD, Ngoc Diem Nguyen, PharmD, and Phillipa Scheele, PharmD, PGY1 Residents, and Michael P. Conley, PharmD, and Nga T. Pham, PharmD, CDE, AE-C, Assistant Clinical Professors at Northeastern University — School of Pharmacy and Harbor Health Services, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts.

References

  1. Favaloro EJ, Lippi G. The new oral anticoagulants and the future of haemostasis laboratory testing. Biochem Med (Zagreb). 2012;22:329-341.
  2. Dager WE, Gosselin RC, Kitchen S, Dwyre D. Dabigatran effects on the international normalized ratio, activated partial thromboplastin time, thrombin time, and fibrinogen: a multicenter, in vitro study. Ann Pharmacother. 2012;46:1627-1636. Abstract
  3. Samama MM, Martinoli JL, LeFlem L, et al. Assessment of laboratory assays to measure rivaroxaban — an oral, direct factor Xa inhibitor. Thromb Haemost. 2010;103:815-825. Abstract
  4. O’Riordan M. Falsely elevated point-of-care INR values in dabigatran-treated patients. Heartwire. July 7, 2011.http://www.theheart.org/article/1251461.do. Accessed January 11, 2013.
  5. Halbmayer WM, Weigel G, Quehenberger P, et al. Interference of the new oral anticoagulant dabigatran with frequently used coagulation tests. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2012;50:1601-1605. Abstract
  6. Lindahl TL, Baghaei F, Blixter IF, et al. Effects of the oral, direct thrombin inhibitor dabigatran on five common coagulation assays. Thromb Haemost. 2011;105:371-378. Abstract
  7. Freyburger G, Macouillard G, Labrouche S, Sztark F. Coagulation parameters in patients receiving dabigatran etexilate or rivaroxaban: two observational studies in patients undergoing total hip or total knee replacement. Thromb Res. 2011;127:457-465. Abstract
  8. Hillarp A, Baghaei F, Fagerberg Blixter I, et al. Effects of the oral, direct factor Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban on commonly used coagulation assays. J Thromb Haemost. 2011;9:133-139. Abstract

SOURCE

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/778063

PRADAXA (dabigatran)

COMPARE TO WARFARIN FOR AFIB NOT CAUSED BY A HEART VALVE PROBLEM

PRADAXA represents progress in helping to reduce the risk of stroke due to atrial fibrillation (AFib) not caused by a heart valve problem.

Review the chart below to compare PRADAXA and warfarin (also known as Coumadin® or Jantoven®). And find out why your doctor may choose PRADAXA. Remember, only your doctor can decide which treatment may be right for you.

Medication type:
Both PRADAXA and warfarin are anticoagulants. These blood-thinning medicines help to stop clots by targeting factors your blood needs to form clots.PRADAXA and warfarin work differently to help reduce the risk of stroke due to AFib not caused by a heart valve problem.
PRADAXA is a direct thrombin inhibitor that helps to stop clots from forming by working directly on thrombin.PRADAXA is not for use in people with artificial (prosthetic) heart valves Warfarin is a vitamin K antagonist that helps to stop clots from forming by interfering with vitamin K—a vitamin your body needs to form clots.
Stroke risk reduction:
PRADAXA and warfarin help to stop clots by targeting factors your blood needs to form clots.
In a clinical trial of more than 18,000 people, PRADAXA 150 mg capsules was proven superior to warfarin at reducing the risk of stroke. Warfarin has been extensively studied and prescribed by doctors to help reduce the risk of stroke in people with AFib since 1954.
How you take the medication: PRADAXA is taken by mouth 2 times each day. Warfarin is taken by mouth once every day.
Dosing options: PRADAXA comes in 75 mg and 150 mg strengths.Your doctor will decide which dose is right for you based on a simple kidney function test. Warfarin comes in 1 mg, 2 mg, 2-1/2 mg, 3 mg, 4 mg, 5 mg, 6 mg, 7-1/2 mg, and 10 mg strengths.Your doctor will decide which dose is right for you. He or she will adjust your dose based on the results ofregular blood tests.Based on these tests, your doctor will determine your dose and adjust it, if necessary.
Monitoring: No need for regular blood tests.PRADAXA has been clinically proven to help reduce the risk of stroke in people with AFib not caused by a heart valve problem. And, unlike warfarin, there is no need for regular blood tests to see if your blood-thinning level is in the right range.
Learn more 
Requires regular blood test.Warfarin has also been proven to be an effective blood thinner. When you take warfarin, you need to have a regular blood test to measure International Normalized Ratio (INR) to determine the time it takes for your blood to clot.
Dietary restrictions: No dietary restrictionsPRADAXA requires no changes to your diet. Dietary restrictions requiredWhen you take warfarin, you need to limit foods high in vitamin K, such as large amounts of leafy green vegetables and some vegetable oils. This is because Vitamin K can affect the way warfarin works in your body.You may also need to limit alcohol, cranberry juice, and products containing cranberries.

SOURCE

https://www.pradaxa.com/compare-warfarin.jsp

 XARELTO (rivaroxaban)

WHAT IS XARELTO®?

XARELTO® is a prescription medicine used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation, not caused by a heart valve problem. For patients currently well managed on warfarin, there is limited information on how XARELTO® and warfarin compare in reducing the risk of stroke.

XARELTO® is also a prescription medicine used to treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and to help reduce the risk of these conditions occurring again.

XARELTO® is also a prescription medicine used to reduce the risk of forming a blood clot in the legs and lungs of people who have just had knee or hip replacement surgery.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT XARELTO®?

  • For people taking XARELTO® for atrial fibrillation:
  • People with atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart beat) are at an increased risk of forming a blood clot in the heart, which can travel to the brain, causing a stroke, or to other parts of the body. XARELTO® lowers your chance of having a stroke by helping to prevent clots from forming. If you stop taking XARELTO®, you may have increased risk of forming a clot in your blood.
  • Do not stop taking XARELTO® without talking to the doctor who prescribes it for you. Stopping XARELTO® increases your risk of having a stroke.
  • If you have to stop taking XARELTO®, your doctor may prescribe another blood thinner medicine to prevent a blood clot from forming.
  • XARELTO® can cause bleeding, which can be serious, and rarely may lead to death. This is because XARELTO® is a blood thinner medicine that reduces blood clotting. While you take XARELTO® you are likely to bruise more easily and it may take longer for bleeding to stop.

You may have a higher risk of bleeding if you take XARELTO® and take other medicines that increase your risk of bleeding, including:

  • Aspirin or aspirin-containing products
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Warfarin sodium (Coumadin®, Jantoven®)
  • Any medicine that contains heparin
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix®)
  • Other medicines to prevent or treat blood clots

Tell your doctor if you take any of these medicines. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure if your medicine is one listed above.

Call your doctor or get medical help right away if you develop any of these signs or symptoms of bleeding:

  • Unexpected bleeding or bleeding that lasts a long time, such as:
    • Nosebleeds that happen often
    • Unusual bleeding from gums
    • Menstrual bleeding that is heavier than normal, or vaginal bleeding
  • Bleeding that is severe or that you cannot control
  • Red, pink, or brown urine
  • Bright red or black stools (looks like tar)
  • Cough up blood or blood clots
  • Vomit blood or your vomit looks like “coffee grounds”
  • Headaches, feeling dizzy or weak
  • Pain, swelling, or new drainage at wound sites

Spinal or epidural blood clots (hematoma): People who take a blood thinner medicine (anticoagulant) like XARELTO®, and have medicine injected into their spinal and epidural area, or have a spinal puncture, have a risk of forming a blood clot that can cause long-term or permanent loss of the ability to move (paralysis). Your risk of developing a spinal or epidural blood clot is higher if:

  • A thin tube called an epidural catheter is placed in your back to give you certain medicine
  • You take NSAIDs or a medicine to prevent blood from clotting
  • You have a history of difficult or repeated epidural or spinal punctures
  • You have a history of problems with your spine or have had surgery on your spine

If you take XARELTO® and receive spinal anesthesia or have a spinal puncture, your doctor should watch you closely for symptoms of spinal or epidural blood clots. Tell your doctor right away if you have tingling, numbness, or muscle weakness, especially in your legs and feet.

XARELTO® is not for patients with artificial heart valves.

WHO SHOULD NOT TAKE XARELTO®?

Do not take XARELTO® if you:

  • Currently have certain types of abnormal bleeding. Talk to your doctor before taking XARELTO® if you currently have unusual bleeding.
  • Are allergic to rivaroxaban or any of the ingredients of XARELTO®.

WHAT SHOULD I TELL MY DOCTOR BEFORE OR WHILE TAKING XARELTO®?

Before taking XARELTO®, tell your doctor if you:

  • Have ever had bleeding problems
  • Have liver or kidney problems
  • Have any other medical condition
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if XARELTO® will harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking XARELTO®. If you take XARELTO® during pregnancy, tell your doctor right away if you have bleeding or symptoms of blood loss.
  • Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if XARELTO® passes into your breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take XARELTO® or breastfeed.

Tell all of your doctors and dentists that you are taking XARELTO®. They should talk to the doctor who prescribed XARELTO® for you before you have any surgery, medical or dental procedure.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some of your other medicines may affect the way XARELTO® works. Certain medicines may increase your risk of bleeding. See “What is the most important information I should know about XARELTO®?”

Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral®)
  • Itraconazole (Onmel™, Sporanox®)
  • Ritonavir (Norvir®)
  • Lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra®)
  • Indinavir (Crixivan®)
  • Carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Equetro®, Tegretol®, Tegretol®-XR, Teril™, Epitol®)
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin-125®, Dilantin®)
  • Phenobarbital (Solfoton™)
  • Rifampin (Rifater®, Rifamate®, Rimactane®, Rifadin®)
  • St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Ask your doctor if you are not sure if your medicine is one listed above. Know the medicines you take. Keep a list of them to show your doctor and pharmacist when you get a new medicine.

HOW SHOULD I TAKE XARELTO®?

Take XARELTO® exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Do not change your dose or stop taking XARELTO® unless your doctor tells you to.

    • Your doctor will tell you how much XARELTO® to take and when to take it.
    • Your doctor may change your dose if needed.

If you take XARELTO® for:

    • Atrial Fibrillation: Take XARELTO® 1 time a day with your evening meal. If you miss a dose of XARELTO®, take it as soon as you remember on the same day. Take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time.
    • Blood clots in the veins of your legs or lungs:
      • Take XARELTO® once or twice a day as prescribed by your doctor.
      • Take XARELTO® with food at the same time each day.
      • If you miss a dose of XARELTO®:
        • and take XARELTO® 2 times a day: Take XARELTO® as soon as you remember on the same day. You may take 2 doses at the same time to make up for the missed dose. Take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time.
        • and take XARELTO® 1 time a day: Take XARELTO® as soon as you remember on the same day. Take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time.
    • Hip or knee replacement surgery: Take XARELTO® 1 time a day with or without food. If you miss a dose of XARELTO®, take it as soon as you remember on the same day. Take your next dose at your regularly scheduled time.
  • If you have difficulty swallowing the tablet whole, talk to your doctor about other ways to take XARELTO®.
  • Your doctor will decide how long you should take XARELTO®. Do not stop taking XARELTO® without talking to your doctor first.
  • Your doctor may stop XARELTO® for a short time before any surgery, medical or dental procedure. Your doctor will tell you when to start taking XARELTO®again after your surgery or procedure.
  • Do not run out of XARELTO®. Refill your prescription for XARELTO® before you run out. When leaving the hospital following a hip or knee replacement, be sure that you have XARELTO® available to avoid missing any doses.
  • If you take too much XARELTO®, go to the nearest hospital emergency room or call your doctor right away.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF XARELTO®?

Please see “What is the most important information I should know about XARELTO®?”

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You are also encouraged to report side effects to the FDA: visit http://www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects to Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., at 1-800-JANSSEN (1-800-526-7736).

Please see full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warnings, and Medication Guide.

SOURCE

http://www.xarelto-us.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Branded+-+2013&utm_term=rivaroxaban&utm_content=Rivaroxaban|mkwid|soKteU2bx_dc|pcrid|29821628975

Figure-1 : Targets for anti-coagulant drugs in the coagulation cascade

Targets for anticoagulant drugs in the coagulation cascade

Pharmacology of Rivaroxaban 

Rivaroxaban, chemically an oxazolidinone derivative, is a directly acting Coagulation factor Xa inhibitor, acting on both free Factor Xa as well as that bound to the Prothrombinase complex.  It has a good oral bioavailability (~ 80-100%) and a rapid onset of action, with peak plasma concentrations being achieved in about 2-4 hours of oral intake.  It is about 95% plasma protein bound, with an aVd of about 50L.  It is partly metabolized in liver and excreted both unchanged as well as inactive metabolites in the urine, so also in the feces.  Strong CYP3A4 inhibitors like Ketoconazole, Ritonavir, Clarithromycin, Conivaptan etc can increase the pharmacodynamic effects of Rivaroxaban by a gross reduction in its metabolism.   Weaker CYP3A4 inhibitors like Amiodarone, Azithromycin, Diltiazem, Dronaderone, Erythromycin, Felodipine, Quinidine, Ranolazine, Verapamil maybe used with Rivaroxaban except in renal impairment.  Similarly, enzyme inducers like Rifampicin can decrease the plasma concentrations of Rivaroxaban.

Indications : Prophylaxis of stroke and systemic embolism in patients of atrial fibrillation, treatment and prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE).

Dosage : 10-20 mg with or without food, depending on the indication.

Adverse Effects : As with any other anticoagulant, an increased risk of bleeding. An increased risk of stroke after discontinuation of the drug in atrial fibrillation, and spinal and epidural hematomas.

Therapeutic monitoring : Both Dabigatran and Rivaroxaban do not mandate a therapeutic monitoring clinically, as in the case of Warfarin.  Moreover, both Prothrombin Time (PT) as well as the International Normalized Ratio (INR) are not suitable to measure the pharmacodynamic profile of Rivaroxaban for various reasons1.  Development of novel methods of assays, for instance Anti Factor Xa assay which utilizes rivaroxaban containing plasma calibrators, may provide optimal therapeutic monitoring modalities for Rivaroxaban in the future.

Figure – 2 : PT and aPTT dependent on plasma concentration of anticoagulant drugs.

(A) rivaroxaban (experimental data from internal studies);

(B) DX-9065a (experimental data from the literature, and

(C) ximelagatran (experimental data for PT and aPTT from the literature. aPTT, activated partial thromboplastin time; INR, international normalized ratio; PT, prothrombin time.

PT

Riva

There is some concern regarding a spurious rise in the INR values if a patient stabilized on warfarin is switched over to Rivaroxaban.  This concern is ill-founded since it is already mentioned above that INR is not a suitable  investigation to give an indication of Rivaroxaban pharmacodynamics.   Moreover, no suitable litrerature is available which can explain the rise in INR values on Rivaroxaban administration.  It may require some additional clinical studies to throw some light on this clinical anomaly.

Figure-3 : Annualized Incidence of Complications of Rivaroxaban

complic

REFERENCE

  1. Lindhoff-Last et al. Assays for measuring Rivaroxaban : Their suitability and Limitations. Ther Drug Monitoring Dec 2010 (32, Issue 6): 673-79.

RESOURCES

Burghaus R, Coboeken K, Gaub T, Kuepfer L, et al. (2011) Evaluation of the Efficacy and Safety of Rivaroxaban Using a Computer Model for Blood Coagulation. PLoS ONE 6(4): e17626. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017626

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0017626


Coumadin

Copyright © McGraw-Hill Education, LLC.  All rights reserved.
Hurst’s The Heart
 > Part 6. Rhythm and Conduction Disorders > Chapter 40. Atrial Fibrillation, Atrial Flutter, and Atrial Tachycardia > Atrial Fibrillation > Treatment > Anticoagulation > Antithrombotic Agents >

Rivaroxaban

Burghaus R, Coboeken K, Gaub T, Kuepfer L, et al. (2011) Evaluation of the Efficacy and Safety of Rivaroxaban Using a Computer Model for Blood Coagulation. PLoS ONE 6(4): e17626. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017626

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0017626

Other articles published on this Open Access Online Scientific Journal include the following:

Xarelto (Rivaroxaban): Anticoagulant Therapy gains FDA New Indications and Risk Reduction for: (DVT) and (PE), while in use for Atrial fibrillation increase in Gastrointestinal (GI) Bleeding Reported

Read Full Post »

AHA, ACC Change in Requirement for Surgical Support for PCI Performance: Class IIb -> Class III, Level of Evidence A: Support Nonemergent PCI without Surgical Backup (Change of class IIb, Level of evidence B).


AHA, ACC Change in Requirement for Surgical Support:  Class IIb -> Class III, Level of Evidence A: Supports Nonemergent PCI without Surgical Backup (Change of class IIb, Level of Evidence B).

Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Author, Curator, Volumes 1,2,3,4,5,6 Co-Editor and Author, Volume Two & Five, Co-Editor and Justin Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC, Content Consultant to Six-Volume e-SERIES A: Cardiovascular Diseases

 

Voice of content consultant: Justin Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) have convened teams of experts to summarize evidence and opinion regarding a wide range of decisions relevant to cardiovascular disease. The system accounts for some of the short comings of “evidence based medicine” by allowing for expert opinion in areas where evidence is not sufficient. The main argument for evidence-based medicine is the existence of surprises, where a plausible decision does not actually appear to work as desired when it is tested. A major problem with adhesion to evidence based medicine is that it can impede adaptation to individual needs (we are all genetically and socially/environmentally unique) and impede innovation. Large studies carry statistical weight but do not necessary consider all relevant factors. Commonly, the AFFIRM trial is interpreted as support that rate control suffices for most atrial fibrillation (AFIB), but half of those randomized to rhythm control were taken off anticoagulation without teaching patients to check their pulse daily for recurrence of AFIB. Thus the endorsed “evidence” may have more to do with the benefits of anticoagulation for both persisting and recurring AFIB and rhythm control may yet prove better than rate control. However, with wide acceptance of a particular conclusion, randomizing to another treatment may be deemed unethical, or may simply not get a large trial due to lack of economic incentive, leaving only the large trial products as the endorsed options. A medication without patent protection, such as bismuth salts for H Pylori infection, lacks financial backing for large trials.

The American Heart Association Evidence-Based Scoring System
Classification of Recommendations

● Class I: Conditions for which there is evidence, general

agreement, or both that a given procedure or treatment is

useful and effective.

● Class II: Conditions for which there is conflicting evidence,

a divergence of opinion, or both about the usefulness/

efficacy of a procedure or treatment.

● Class IIa: Weight of evidence/opinion is in favor of

usefulness/efficacy.

● Class IIb: Usefulness/efficacy is less well established by

evidence/opinion.

● Class III: Conditions for which there is evidence, general

agreement, or both that the procedure/treatment is not useful/

effective and in some cases may be harmful.

Level of Evidence

● Level of Evidence A: Data derived from multiple randomized

clinical trials

● Level of Evidence B: Data derived from a single randomized

trial or nonrandomized studies

● Level of Evidence C: Consensus opinion of experts

Circulation 2006 114: 1761 – 1791.

Assessment of Coronary Artery Disease by Cardiac Computed Tomography

A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association Committee on Cardiovascular Imaging and Intervention, Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention, and Committee on Cardiac Imaging, Council on Clinical Cardiology

Reported by Chris Kaiser, Cardiology Editor, MedPage  7/2013  

 

Action Points

  1. Patients with indications for nonemergency PCI who presented at hospitals without on-site cardiac surgery, were randomly assigned to undergo PCI at a hospital without on-site cardiac surgery or at a hospital with on-site cardiac surgery.
  2. The rates of death, myocardial infarction, repeat revascularization, and stroke did not differ significantly between the groups.
  3. Community hospitals without surgical services can safely perform percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in low-risk patients — and not refuse higher-risk patients either, the MASS COMM trial found.

Summary

  • The co-primary endpoint of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) at 30 days occurred at a rate of 9.5% in the 10 hospitals without surgical backup versus 9.4% in the seven hospitals with onsite surgery (P<0.001 for noninferiority), Alice K. Jacobs, MD, of Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues found.
  • The other co-primary endpoint of MACE at 12 months was also significant, occurring in 17.3% of patients in hospitals without backup versus 17.8% in centers with surgical services (P<0.001 for non-inferiority), they reported in the study published online by the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings were also reported at the American College of Cardiology meeting.

Study Characteristics and Results

Primary Endpoints

  1. death
  2. myocardial infarction
  3. repeat revascularization
  4. stroke
no significant differences between the two groups at 30 days and at 12 months.

Rate of stent thrombosis at 30 days

similar in both groups (0.6% versus 0.8%) and at 12 months (1.1% versus 2.1%).
Jacobs and colleagues noted that the 2011 PCI guidelines lacked evidence to fully support nonemergent PCI without surgical backup (class IIb, level of evidence B).

CPORT – E trial

Even though those guidelines came out before the results of the CPORT-E trial were published, CPORT-E trial showed similar non-inferiority at 9 months between centers that perform PCI with or without surgical backup in a cohort of nearly 19,000 non-emergent patients. The CPORT-E results were published in the March 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, and in May three cardiology organizations published an update to cath lab standards allowing for PCI without surgical.

 MASS COMM study

To further the evidence, Jacobs and colleagues in 2006  had designed and carried out the Randomized Trial to Compare Percutaneous Coronary Intervention between Massachusetts Hospitals with Cardiac Surgery On-Site and Community Hospitals without Cardiac Surgery On-Site (MASS COMM) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health who collaborated to obtain “evidence on which to base regulatory policy decisions about performing non-emergent PCI in hospitals without on-site cardiac surgery.”

  • Hospitals without backup surgery were required to perform at least 300 diagnostic catheterizations per year, and operators were mandated to have performed a minimum of 75 PCI procedures per year.
  • The researchers randomized 3,691 patients to each arm in a 3:1 ratio (without/with backup). The median follow-up was about 1 year.
  • The median age of patients was 64, one-third were women, and 92% were white. Both groups had similar median ejection fractions at baseline (55%).
  • The mean number of vessels treated was 1.17 and most patients (84%) had one vessel treated. The mean number of lesions treated was 1.45 and most patients (67%) had one lesion treated.

The indications for PCI were:

1. ST-segment elevated MI (>72 hours before PCI of infarct-related or non–infarct-related artery — 19% and 17%
2. Unstable angina — 45% and 47%
3. Stable angina — 27% and 28%
4. Silent ischemia — 5% and 6%
5. Other — 2.5% and 2.8%
Regarding secondary endpoints, both groups had similar rates of emergency CABG and urgent or emergent PCI at 30 days. Results at 30 days and 12 months were similar for rates of ischemia-driven target-vessel revascularization and target-lesion revascularization. Other endpoints as well were similar at both time points, including
  • all-cause death
  • repeat revascularization
  • stroke
  • definite or probable stent thrombosis
  • major vascular complications
Researchers adjusted for a 1.3 greater chance of MACE occurring at a randomly selected hospital compared with another randomly selected hospital and found
  • the relative risks at 30 days and 12 months “were consistent with those of the primary results” (RR 1.02 and 0.98, respectively).

However, they cautioned that new sites perhaps should be monitored as they gain experience.

A prespecified angiographic review of 376 patients who were in the PCI-without-backup arm and 87 in the other arm showed no differences in
  1. rates of procedural success,
  2. proportion with complete revascularization, or
  3. the proportion of guideline-indicated appropriate lesions for PCI.
Such results show consistent practice patterns between the groups, they noted.
The study had several limitations including the
  • loss of data for 13% of patients, the
  • exclusion of some patients for certain clinical and anatomical features, and
  • not having the power to detect non-inferiority in the separate components of the primary endpoint, researchers wrote.

Cardio Notes: Score Predicts PCI Readmission

Published: Jul 15, 2013

By Chris Kaiser, Cardiology Editor, MedPage Today
  

A simple calculation of patient variables before PCI may help stem the tide of readmission within the first month. Also this week, two blood pressure drugs that benefit diabetics and imaging cardiac sympathetic innervation.

Pre-PCI Factors Predict Return Trip

A new 30-day readmission risk prediction model for patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) showed it’s possible to predict risk using only variables known before PCI, according to a study published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

After multivariable adjustment, the 10 pre-PCI variables that predicted 30-day readmission were older age (mean age 68 in this study), female sex, insurance type (Medicare, state, or unknown), GFR category (less than 30 and 30-60 mL/min per 1.73m2), current or history of heart failure, chronic lung disease, peripheral vascular disease, cardiogenic shock at presentation, admit source (acute and non-acute care facility or emergency department), and previous coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

Additional significant variables post-discharge that predicted 30-day readmission were beta-blocker prescribed at discharge, post-PCI vascular or bleeding complications, discharge location, African American race, diabetes status and modality of treatment, any drug-eluting stent during the index procedure, and extended length of stay.

A risk score calculator using the pre-PCI variables will be available online soon, according to Robert W. Yeh, MD, MSc, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues.

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Treatment Options for Left Ventricular Failure  –  Temporary Circulatory Support: Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP)Impella Recover LD/LP 5.0 and 2.5, Pump Catheters (Non-surgical) vs Bridge Therapy: Percutaneous Left Ventricular Assist Devices (pLVADs) and LVADs (Surgical) 

Author: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP
And
Curator: Justin D Pearlman, MD, PhD, FACC

 

UPDATED on 12/2/2013 – HeartMate II – LVAD

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/28/business/3-hospital-study-links-heart-device-to-blood-clots.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&emc=eta1

Hospital Studies Link Heart Device to Clots

David Maxwell for The New York Times

Dr. Randall Starling, right, said that he could only speculate about the reason for the rapid rise in early blood clots.

By 
Published: November 27, 2013

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic began to suspect in 2012 that something might be wrong with a high-tech implant used to treat patients with advanced heart failure like former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Thoratec Corportation

The HeartMate II is a left ventricular assist device, which contains a pump that continuously pushes blood through the heart.

The number of patients developing potentially fatal blood clots soon after getting the implant seemed to be rising. Then early this year, researchers completed a check of hospital records and their concern turned to alarm.

The data showed that the incidence of blood clots among patients who got the device, called the HeartMate II, after March 2011 was nearly four times that of patients who had gotten the same device in previous years. Patients who developed pump-related clots died or needed emergency steps like heart transplants or device replacements to save them.

“When we got the data, we said, ‘Wow,’ ” said Dr. Randall C. Starling, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic.

On Wednesday, The New England Journal of Medicineposted a study on its website detailing the findings from the Cleveland Clinic and two other hospitals about the device. The HeartMate II belongs to a category of products known as a left ventricular assist device and it contains a pump that continuously pushes blood through the heart.

The abrupt increase in pump-related blood clots reported in the study is likely to raise questions about whether its manufacturer, Thoratec Corporation, modified the device, either intentionally or accidentally. By March, the Cleveland Clinic had informed both Thoratec and the Food and Drug Administration about the problems seen there, Dr. Starling said.

Officials at Thoratec declined to be interviewed. But in a statement, the company, which is based in Pleasanton, Calif., said that the HeartMate II had been intensively studied and used in more 16,000 patients worldwide with excellent results. It added that the six-month survival rate of patients who received the device had remained consistently high.

“Individual center experience with thrombosis varies significantly, and Thoratec actively partners with clinicians at all centers to minimize this risk,” the company said in a statement.

Thoratec and other cardiologists also pointed to a federally funded registry that shows a smaller rise in the rate of blood clots, or thrombosis, among patients getting a HeartMate II than the one reported Wednesday by the three hospitals. In the registry, which is known as Intermacs, the rate of pump-related blood clot associated with the HeartMate II rose to about 5 percent in devices implanted after May 2011 compared with about 2 percent in previous years.

The data reported on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine found rates of clot formation two months after a device’s implant had risen to 8.4 percent after March 2011 from 2.2 percent in earlier years. Researchers also suggested in the study that the Intermacs registry might not capture all cases of pump-related blood clots, such as when patients gets emergency heart transplants after a clot forms.

Not only did the rate of blood clots increase, but the clots also occurred much sooner than in the past, according to the study. After March 2011, the median time before a clot was 2.7 months, compared with 18.6 months in previous years. In addition to the Cleveland Clinic, the report on Wednesday included data from Duke University and Washington University in St. Louis.

All mechanical heart implants are prone to producing blood clots that can form on a device’s surface. And experts say that the rate of blood clot formation can be affected by a variety of factors like changes in the use of blood-thinning drugs or the health of a patient.

In a telephone interview, Dr. Starling described the Thoratec officials as cooperative, adding that they have been looking into the problem since March to understand its cause. He said that he could only speculate about the reason for the rapid rise in early blood clots but believed it was probably device-related.

“My belief is that it is something as subtle as a change in software that affects pump flow or heat dissipation near a bearing,” said Dr. Starling, who is a consultant to Thoratec.

Asked about his comments, Thoratec responded that it had yet to determine the reason for even the smaller rise in blood clots seen in the federally funded database. “We have performed extensive analysis on HeartMate II and have not identified any change that would cause the increase observed in the Intermacs registry,” the company said.

In a statement, the F.D.A. said that it was reviewing the findings of the study. “The agency shares the authors concerns about the possibility of increased pump thrombosis,” the F.D.A. said in a statement.

The fortunes of Thoratec, which has been a favorite of Wall Street investors, may depend on its ability to find an answer to the apparent jump in pump-related blood clots. Over the last two years, the company’s stock has climbed from about $30 a share to over $43 a share. In trading Wednesday, Thoratec stock closed at $42.12 a share, up 61 cents. (The New England Journal of Medicine article was released after the stock market closed.)

The HeartMate II has been a lifesaver for many patients like Mr. Cheney in the final stages of heart failure, who got his device in 2010, sustaining them until they get a heart transplant or permanently assisting their heart. Dr. Starling said that he planned to keep using the HeartMate II in appropriate patients at the Cleveland Clinic because those facing death from heart failure had few options.

But the company has also been pushing to expand the device’s use beyond patients who face imminent death from heart failure. For example, the F.D.A. approved a clinical trial for patients with significant, but less severe, heart failure to receive a HeartMate II to compare their outcomes with patients who take drugs for the same condition. Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical Center who are leading the trial said on Wednesday that, based on the lower rates of blood clots seen in the Intermacs registry, they are planning to move forward with the trial.

Dr. Starling and researchers at the Cleveland Clinic tried this spring to get The New England Journal of Medicine to publish a report about the findings at that hospital, but the publication declined, saying the data might simply represent the experience of one facility. As a result, Dr. Starling contacted Duke University and Washington University for their data. When analyzed, it mirrored events at the Cleveland Clinic, he said.

The problems seen with the HeartMate II at the three hospitals were continuing as recently as this summer, when researchers paused the collection of data to prepare Wednesday’s study. The study also noted that a preliminary analysis of data provided by a fourth hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, showed the same pattern of blood clot formation, but that the data had been submitted too late for full analysis.

 SOURCE

 

This article presents the following four Sections:

I.     Impella LD – ABIOMED, Inc.

II.   IABP VS. Percutaneous LVADS

III. Use of the Impella 2.5 Catheter in High-Risk Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

IV.  PROTECT II Study – Experts Discussion

This account is a vital piece of recognition of very rapid advances in cardiothoracic interventions to support cardiac function mechanically by pump in the situation of loss of contractile function and circulatory output sufficient to sustain life, as can occur with the development of cardiogenic shock.  This has been mentioned and its use has been documented in other portions of this series.   On the one hand, PCI has a long and steady history in the development of interventional cardiology. This necessitated the availability of thoracic-surgical operative support. The situation is changed, and is more properly, conditional.

I. Impella LD – ABIOMED, Inc.

This micro-axial blood pump can be inserted into the left ventricle via open chest procedures. The Impella LD device has a 9 Fr catheter-based platform and a 21 Fr micro-axial pump and is  inserted through the ascending aorta, across the aortic and mitral valves and into the left ventricle.  It requires minimal bedside support and a 9 Fr single-access point  requires no priming outside the body.

Impella.LD_

Impella Recover LD/LP 5.0

The Impella Recover miniaturized impeller pump located within a catheter. The Impella Recover LD/LP 5.0 Support System has been developed to address the need for ventricular support in patients who develop heart failure after heart surgery (called cardiogenic shock) and who have not responded to standard medical therapy. The system is designed to provide immediate support and restore hemodynamic stability for a period of up to 7 days. Used as a bridge to therapy, it allows time for developing a definitive treatment strategy.

The Pump

The Impella Recover LD 5.0 showing implantation via direct placement into the left ventricle.
 Insert B – location in LV
imeplla-LD-video
The Impella Recover system is a miniaturized impeller pump located within a catheter. The device can provide support for the left side of the heart using either the
  • Recover LD 5.0 (implanted via direct placement into the left ventricle) or the
  • Recover LP 5.0 LV (placed percutaneously through the groin and positioned in the left ventricle).
The microaxial pump of the Recover LP/LD 5.0 can pump up to 4.5 liters per minute at a speed of 33,000 rpm. The pump is located at the distal end of a 9 Fr catheter.

II.   IABP VS. Percutaneous LVADS

An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) remains the method of choice for mechanical assistance1 in patients experiencing LV failure because of its

  • proven hemodynamic capabilities,
  • prompt time to therapy, and
  • low complication rates.

Percutaneous left ventricular assist devices (pLVADs), such as described above, represent an emerging option for partial or total circulatory support2 and several studies have compared the and efficacy of these devices with intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) (IABP.)

Despite some randomized controlled trials demonstrating better hemodynamic profiles for pLVADs compared with IABP, there is no difference in  30-day survival or trend toward a reduced 30-day mortality rate associated with pLVADs.  Patients treated with pLVADs tended to have a
  • higher incidence of leg ischemia and
  • device related bleeding.3
Further, no differences have been detected in the overall use of
  • positive inotropic drugs or
  • vasopressors in patients with pLVADs.4,5
However, pLVADs may increase their use for patients not responding to
  • PCI,
  • fluids,
  • inotropes, and
  • IABP
Therefore, the decision making process on how to treat requires an integrated stepwise approach. A pLVAD might be considered on the basis of
  • anticipated individual risk,
  • success rates, and for
  • postprocedural events.6

Potential Algorithm for Device Selection during High-Risk PCI

PADS_HRPCI cardiac assist device selection

Potential Algorithm for Device Selection during Cardiogenic Shock
device_selection_CS
Until an alternative modality, characterized by improved efficacy and safety features compared with IABP, is developed, IABP remains the cornerstone of temporary circulatory support.2

Device Comparison for Treatment of Cardiogenic Shocktraditional intra-aortic balloon therapy with Impella 2.5 percutaneous ventricular assist device

 
1. Percutaneous LVADs in AMI complicated by cardiogenic shock. H Thiele, et al. EHJ 2007;28:2057-2063
2. Cardiogenic shock current concepts and improving outcomes. H R Reynolds et al. Circulation 2008 ;117 :686-697
3. Percutaneous left ventricular assist devices vs. IABP counterpulsation for treatment of cardiogenic shock. J M Cheng, et al. EHJ doi:10.1093/eurheart/ehp292
4. A randomized clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a pLVAD vs. IABP for treatment of cardiogenic shock caused by MI. M Seyfarth, et al. JACC 2008;52:1584-8
5. A randomized multicenter clinical study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the tandem heart pLVAD vs. conventional therapy with IABP for treatment of cardiogenic shock.
6. Percutaneous LVADs in AMI complicated by cardiogenic shock. H Thiele, et al. EHJ 2007;28:2057-2063

III. Use of the Impella 2.5 Catheter in High-Risk Percutaneous Coronary Intervention

Brenda McCulloch, RN, MSN
Sutter Heart and Vascular Institute, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, California
Crit Care Nurse 2011; 31(1): e1-e16    http://dx.doi.org/10.4037/ccn2011293
Abstract
The Impella 2.5 is a percutaneously placed partial circulatory assist device that is increasingly being used in high-risk coronary interventional procedures to provide hemodynamic support. The Impella 2.5 is able to unload the left ventricle rapidly and effectively and increase cardiac output more than an intra-aortic balloon catheter can. Potential complications include bleeding, limb ischemia, hemolysis, and infection. One community hospital’s approach to establishing a multidisciplinary program for use of the Impella 2.5 is described.
Patients who undergo high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), such as procedures on friable saphenous vein grafts or the left main coronary artery, may have an intra-aortic balloon catheter placed if they require hemodynamic support during the procedure. Currently, the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is the most commonly used device for circulatory support. A newer option that is now available for select patients is the Impella 2.5, a short-term partial circulatory support device or percutaneous ventricular assist device (VAD).
In this article, I discuss the Impella 2.5, review indications and contraindications for its use, delineate potential complications of the Impella 2.5, and discuss implications for nursing care for patients receiving extended support from an Impella 2.5. Additionally, I share our experiences as we developed our Impella program at our community hospital. Routine management of patients after PCI is not addressed.

IABP Therapy: Background

  • decreases after-load,
  • decreases myocardial oxygen consumption,
  • increases coronary artery perfusion, and
  • modestly enhances cardiac output.1,2
The IABP cannot provide total circulatory support. Patients must have some level of left ventricular function for an IABP to be effective.
Optimal hemodynamic effect from the IABP is dependent  on:
  • the balloon’s position in the aorta,
  • the blood displacement volume,
  • the balloon diameter in relation to aortic diameter,
  • the timing of balloon inflation in diastole and deflation in systole, and
  • the patient’s own blood pressure and vascular resistance.3,4

Impella 2.5 Catheter – ABIOMED, Inc.

Effect
  • reduces myocardial oxygen consumption,
  • improves mean arterial pressure, and
  • reduces pulmonary capillary wedge pressure.2

The Impella 2.5 has been used for

  • hemodynamic support during high-risk PCI and for
  • hemodynamic support of patients with
  1. myocardial infarction complicated by cardiogenic shock or ventricular septal defect,
  2. cardiomyopathy with acute decompensation,
  3. postcardiotomy shock,
  4. off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting surgery, or
  5. heart transplant rejection and
  6. as a bridge to the next decision.9
The Impella provides a greater increase in cardiac output than the other IABP provides. In one trial5 in which an IABP was compared with an Impella in cardiogenic shock patients, after 30 minutes of therapy, the cardiac index (calculated as cardiac output in liters per minute divided by body surface area in square meters) increased by 0.5 in the patients with the Impella compared with 0.1 in the patients with an IABP.
Unlike the IABP, the Impella does not require timing, nor is a trigger from an electrocardiographic rhythm or arterial pressure needed (Table 1). The device received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration in June 2008 for providing up to 6 hours of partial circulatory support. In Europe, the Impella 2.5 is approved for use up to 5 days. Reports of longer duration of therapy in both the United States and Europe have been published.8,9
Table IABT vs Impella

Clinical Research and Registry Findings

Abiomed has sponsored several trials, including PROTECT I, PROTECT II, RECOVER I, RECOVER II, and ISAR-SHOCK.
The PROTECT I study was done to assess the safety and efficacy of device placement in patients undergoing high-risk PCI.10

Twenty patients who had

  • poor ventricular function (ejection fraction =35%) and had
  • PCI on an unprotected left main coronary artery or the
  • last remaining patent coronary artery or graft.

The device was successfully placed in all patients, and the duration of support ranged from 0.4 to 2.5 hours. Following this trial, the Impella 2.5 device received its 510(k) approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

The ISAR-SHOCK trial was done to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the Impella 2.5 versus the IAPB in patients with cardiogenic shock due to acute myocardial infarction.5 Patients were randomized to support from an IABP (n=13) or an Impella (n=12).

The trial’s primary end point of hemodynamic improvement was defined as improved cardiac index at 30 minutes after implantation.

  1. Improvements in cardiac index were greater with the Impella (P=.02).
  2. The diastolic pressure increased more with Impella (P=.002).
  3. There was a nonsignificant difference in the MAP (P=.09), as was the use of inotropic agents and vasopressors similar in both groups of patients.

Device Design: Impella 2.5 Catheter

The Impella 2.5 catheter contains a nonpulsatile microaxial continuous flow blood pump that pulls blood from the left ventricle to the ascending aorta, creating increased forward flow and increased cardiac output. An axial pump is one that is made up of impellar blades, or rotors, that spin around a central shaft; the spinning of these blades is what moves blood through the device.13

The Impella 2.5 catheter has 2 lumens. A tubing system called the Quick Set-Up has been developed for use in the catheterization laboratory. It is a single tubing system that bifurcates and connects to each port of the catheter. This arrangement allows rapid initial setup of the console so that support can be initiated quickly. When the Quick Set-Up is used, the 10% to 20% dextrose solution used to purge the motor is not heparinized. One lumen carries fluid to the impellar blades and continuously purges the motor to prevent the formation of thrombus. The proximal port of this lumen is yellow. The second lumen ends near the motor above the level of the aortic valve and is used to monitor aortic pressure.
The components required to run the device are assembled on a rolling cart and include the power source, the Braun Vista infusion pump, and the Impella console. The Impella console powers the microaxial blood pump and monitors the functioning of the device, including the purge pressure and several other parameters. The console can run on a fully charged battery for up to 1 hour.

Placement of the Device

The Impella 2.5 catheter is placed percutaneously through the common femoral artery and advanced retrograde to the left ventricle over a guidewire. Fluoroscopic guidance in the catheterization laboratory or operating room is required. After the device is properly positioned, it is activated and blood is rapidly withdrawn by the microaxial blood pump from the inlet valve in the left ventricle and moved to the aorta via the outlet area, which sits above the aortic valve in the aorta.
If the patient tolerates the PCI procedure and hemodynamic instability does not develop, the Impella 2.5 may be removed at the end of the case, or it can be withdrawn, leaving the arterial sheath in place, which can be removed when the patient’s activated clotting time or partial thromboplastin time has returned to near normal levels. For patients who become hemodynamically unstable or who have complications during the PCI (eg, no reflow, hypotension, or lethal arrhythmias), the device can remain in place for continued partial circulatory support, and the patient is transported to the critical care setting.

Potential Complications of Impella Therapy

The most commonly reported complications of Impella 2.5 placement and support include

  • limb ischemia,
  • vascular injury, and
  • bleeding requiring blood transfusion.6,9
Hemolysis is an inherent risk of the axial construction, and results in transfusions.5,10
Hemolysis can be mechanically induced when red blood cells are damaged as they pass through the microaxial pump. Other potential complications include
  • aortic valve damage,
  • displacement of the distal tip of the device into the aorta,
  • infection, and
  • sepsis.
  • Device failure, although not often reported, can occur.
Patients on Impella 2.5 support who may require
  • interrogation of a permanent pacemaker or
  • implantable cardioverter defibrillator
present an interesting situation. In order for the interrogator to connect with the permanent pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, the Impella console must be turned off for a few seconds while the signal is established. As soon as the signal has been established, Impella support is immediately restarted.

Impella 2.5 Console Management

The recommended maximum performance level for continuous use is P8. At P8, the flow rate is 1.9 to 2.6 L/min and the motor is turning at 50000 revolutions per minute. When activated, the console is silent. No sound other than alarms is audible during Impella support, unlike the sound heard with an IABP. Ten different performance levels ranging from P0 to P9 are available. As the performance level increases, the flow rate and number of revolutions per minute increase. At maximum performance (P9), the pump rotates at 50000 revolutions per minute and delivers a flow rate of 2.1 to 2.6 L/min. P9 can be activated only for 5-minute intervals when the Impella 2.5 is in use.

IV.  PROTECT II Study – Experts Discussion

the use of the Impella support device and the intraortic balloon pump for high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention
 
DR. SMALLING: Well, the idea about the PROTECT trial is that it would show that using the Impella device to support high-risk angioplasty was not inferior to utilizing the balloon pump for the same patient subset. Ejection fraction’s were in the 30%–35% range. Supposedly last remaining vessel or left main disease or left-main plus three-vessel disease and low EF; so I think that was the screening for entry into the trial.
major adverse cardiac event endpoints
  1. Acute myocardial infarction,
  2. mortality,
  3. bleeding,
mortality was the same. Their endpoints really didn’t show that much difference. In subgroup analysis, they felt that they Impella may have had a little advantage over balloon pump.
DR. KERN: So do you think this study would tip the interventionalist to move in one direction or the other for high-risk angioplasty?
DR. SMALLING: That’s an interesting concept, you know? One has to get to: What is really a high-risk angioplasty. I think you and I are both old enough to remember that back in the mid-’80s, we determined that high-risk angioplasty was a patient with an ejection fraction of 25% or less, with a jeopardy score over 6. The EFs were a little higher. And, I guess, based on our prior experience with other support devices — like, for instance, CPS and then, later on, the Tandem Heart — there really was not an advantage of so-called more vigorous support systems. And so, the balloon pump served as well.
DR. SMALLING:
Those of us that have looked carefully at what it can really do, I think it may get one liter a minute at most, maybe more.1-6 But I think, for all intents and purposes, it doesn’t support at a very vigorous level. So I think personally, if I had someone I was really worried about, I would opt for something more substantial like, for instance, a Tandem Heart device.
DR. KERN: I think this is a really good summary of the study and the. Are there any final thoughts for those of us who want to read the PROTECT II study when it comes out?
DR. SMALLING: We have to consider a $20,000, $25,000 device. Is that really necessary to do something that we could often do without any support at all, or perhaps with a less costly device like a balloon pump.
DR. KERN: We’re going to talk for a few minutes about the PROTECT II study results that were presented here in their form. And Ron, I know you’ve been involved with following the work of the PROTECT II investigators. Were you a trial site for this study?
DR. WAKSMAN: No, actually, we were not, but we have a lot of interest in high-risk PCI and using devices to make this safe — mainly safe — and also effective. We were not investigators, but we did try to look, based on the inclusion/exclusion criteria, on our own accord with the balloon pump. If you recall, this study actually was comparing balloon time to the Impella device for patients who are high-risk PCI.
The composite endpoint was very complicated. They added like probably nine variables there, which is unusual for a study design. … They basically estimated that the event rate on the balloon pump would be higher than what we thought it should be. So we looked at our own data, and we found out that the actual — if you go by the inclusion/exclusion criteria and their endpoints — the overall event rate in the balloon pump would be much lower than they predicted and built in their sample size.
DR. KERN: And, so, the presentation of the PROTECT II trial, was it presented as a positive study or a negative study.
DR. WAKSMAN: Overall the study did not meet the endpoint. So the bottom line, you can call it the neutral study, which is a nice way to say it.
if you go and do all those analyses, you may find some areas that you can tease a P value, but I don’t think that this has any scientific value, and people should be very careful. We’re not playing now with numbers or with statistics, this is about patient care. You’re doing a study — the study, I think, has some flaws in the design to begin with — and we actually pointed that out when we were asked to participate in the study. But if the study did not meet the endpoint, then I think all those subanalyses, subgroups, you extract from here, you add to there, and you get a P value, that means nothing. So we have to be careful when we interpret this, other than as a neutral study that you basically cannot adopt any of the … it did not meet the hypothesis, that’s the bottom line.

A first-in-man study of the Reitan catheter pump for circulatory support in patients undergoing high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention.

Smith EJ, Reitan O, Keeble T, Dixon K, Rothman MT.
Department of Cardiology, London Chest Hospital, United Kingdom.
Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2009 Jun 1;73(7):859-65.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ccd.21865.

To investigate the safety of a novel percutaneous circulatory support device during high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).

BACKGROUND:

The Reitan catheter pump (RCP) consists of a catheter-mounted pump-head with a foldable propeller and surrounding cage. Positioned in the descending aorta the pump creates a pressure gradient, reducing afterload and enhancing organ perfusion.

METHODS:

Ten consecutive patients requiring circulatory support underwent PCI; mean age 71 +/- 9; LVEF 34% +/- 11%; jeopardy score 8 +/- 2.3. The RCP was inserted via the femoral artery. Hemostasis was achieved using Perclose sutures. PCI was performed via the radial artery. Outcomes included in-hospital death, MI, stroke, and vascular injury. Hemoglobin (Hb), free plasma Hb (fHb), platelets, and creatinine (cre) were measured pre PCI and post RCP removal.

RESULTS:

The pump was inserted and operated successfully in 9/10 cases (median 79 min). Propeller rotation at 10,444 +/- 1,424 rpm maintained an aortic gradient of 9.8 +/- 2 mm Hg.  Although fHb increased,

  • there was no significant hemolysis (4.7 +/- 2.4 mg/dl pre vs. 11.9 +/- 10.5 post, P = 0.04, reference 20 mg/dl).
  • Platelets were unchanged (pre 257 +/- 74 x 10(9) vs. 245 +/- 63, P = NS).
  • Renal function improved (cre pre 110 +/- 27 micromol/l vs. 99 +/- 28, P = 0.004).

All PCI procedures were successful with no deaths or strokes, one MI, and no vascular complications following pump removal.

14F RCP first in man mechanical device post PCI LVEF 25% JS 10

CONCLUSIONS:

The RCP can be used safely in high-risk PCI patients.

(c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.  PMID: 19455649

Todd J. Brinton, MD and Peter J. Fitzgerald, MD, PhD, Chapter 14: VENTRICULAR ASSIST TECHNOLOGIES

http://www.sis.org/docs/2006Yearbook_Ch14.pdf

Other related articles published on this Open Access Online Scientific Journal include the following:

A coronary angiogram that shows the LMCA, LAD ...

A coronary angiogram that shows the LMCA, LAD and LCX. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Simulation of a wave pump human ventr...

English: Simulation of a wave pump human ventricular assist device (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Figure A shows the structure and bloo...

English: Figure A shows the structure and blood flow in the interior of a normal heart. Figure B shows two common locations for a ventricular septal defect. The defect allows oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle to mix with oxygen-poor blood in the right ventricle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

The Consumer Genetics Conference (CGC) is a one-of-a-kind event that draws together a dynamic community of scientists, clinicians, technology innovators, and patients to discuss the burning issues around the analysis and delivery of genomics results directly to patients and consumers. Over three days, attendees will hear about disruptive diagnostic technologies, cognitive barriers to patients (and medical professionals), ethical/regulatory/privacy issues, the thorny issue of reimbursement, and the challenges of building relationships to realize the potential of personal genomics and individualized medicine. CGC provides an opportunity for all stakeholders to come together at one venue, share viewpoints and engage in an honest dialogue, and together learn how to move the elephant of change. Program topics will include:
  • Whole Genome Debates
  • Translational Genomics
  • Clinical & Third-Generation Sequencing
  • Personal Genome Analysis & Interpretation
  • Empowering Patients: Companies & Technologies
  • Molecular Diagnostics & Point-of-Care
  • Investment & Funding Opportunities
  • Reimbursement Models
  • Five-Year Plan for Consumer Genomics
  • Data Analysis & Management
  • Ethics, Privacy & Regulation
  • Digital Health Tracking Apps

SPEAKERS

2013 Distinguished Faculty

Bonnie Ancone, Vice President, Molecular Diagnostics, XIFIN, Inc.
Bonnie Ancone has 25 years experience in the medical industry of which 15 years have been directly related to medical billing and collections. Prior to coming to XIFIN, Ms. Ancone worked in Anatomic Pathology Reference laboratory settings for 10 years. She held multiple positions including Billing Supervisor, Billing Manager and Director of Billing & Collections. She was also a partner in a medical billing company. Ms. Ancone’s prior experience includes 10 years in outpatient substance abuse clinics as a nurse and Assistant Director. In this capacity, she interacted with regulatory bodies such as DEA, FDA and multiple state behavioral health agencies dealing with licensing, auditing and regulations. She participated in the development of state methadone regulations and the state methadone coalition for Arizona and Nevada. She started her career on the operations side of banking.

Nazneen Aziz, Ph.D., Director, Molecular Medicine, Transformation Program Office, College of American Pathologists
Nazneen Aziz is the Director of Molecular Medicine at the College of American Pathologists. In this role, Dr. Aziz is guiding strategies and leading projects related to genomic medicine at CAP. Currently, she leads a committee that focuses on critical issues surrounding next generation sequencing. She is a member of the Association for Molecular Pathology Workgroup for Whole Genome Analysis and the Center for Disease Control Nex-StoCT-II Workgroup on next generation sequencing bioinformatics and the Interpretation of Sequence Variant Work Group at the College of American College of Medical Genetics. In her prior positions, Dr. Aziz was Vice President of Research and Development at Interleukin Genetics, Vice President of External Research at Point Therapeutics and Director of Translational Research at Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research. In her industry career, she has focused on personalized medicine, biomarkers, genetic tests, and development of drugs in cancer and diabetes. Prior to joining the biotechnology industry Dr. Aziz was an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital in Boston where she discovered and characterized the function of novel genes involved in recessive polycystic kidney disease. Nazneen received her Ph.D. in molecular genetics and Masters Degree in biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Bachelor’s Degree from Wellesley College.

Pam Baker, Senior Director, Market Access, CardioDx
Ms. Pam Baker is Senior Director of Market Access & Policy with Cardio Dx. She is a life sciences professional with 17 years of experience in pharma, biotech and diagnostics in a series of commercial roles across marketing, new product commercialization, reimbursement, pipeline and sales management. She started her healthcare career 17 years ago, beginning with Johnson & Johnson (Janssen, Ortho and Mc Neil), followed by Genentech. Ms Baker started out in sales, then moved into sales training, sales leadership and to multiple marketing roles, from product launch, to in-line marketing. She then moved into the reimbursement arena, leading the Program Strategy & Management team for Genentech Access Solutions, and has recently joined a molecular diagnostics company in Palo Alto, CA called CardioDx. Ms Baker received a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and Asian Studies from Northwestern University and a Master, International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is a mom of 5 year old twin girls.

Shawn C. Baker, Ph.D., CSO, BlueSEQ
Dr. Shawn C. Baker is the Chief Science Officer and co-founder of BlueSEQ, an independent guide for researchers outsourcing their DNA sequencing. Having received his Ph.D. at the University of California – Davis, he started his career as a Research Scientist at Illumina when it was a 15-person startup. After spending several years at the bench developing gene expression array products, he transitioned to Product Marketing where he led a team in charge of Illumina’s Expression and Regulation sequencing portfolio. Dr. Baker started working with BlueSEQ in 2011, helping to establish an online marketplace for life science researchers to gain access to the best sequencing technology for their projects. In addition, BlueSEQ has created the Knowledge Bank, a neutral source of information on the various sequencing technologies, platforms and applications.

Cinnamon S. Bloss, Ph.D., Director, Social Sciences & Bioethics, Assistant Professor, Scripps Translational Science Institute

Dr. Bloss is an Assistant Professor, as well as Director of Social Sciences and Bioethics at the Scripps Translational Science Institute. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and is focused on investigating individuals’ behavioral and psychological responses to disclosure of personal genomic information. She is the lead researcher on STSI’s Scripps Genomic Health Initiative, and her work on this project was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine and has been highlighted at a number of national and international scientific meetings. She has also presented invited testimony on consumer genomics before the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Panel. Dr. Bloss’ other research interests include developing ways of combining genomics with traditional disease risk factors to make predictions about disease development, progression and response to treatment, as well as designing effective health interventions that leverage genomic information. She also conducts genetic association studies and has several collaborations to investigate the genetic underpinnings of neurological, behavioral, and other health-related phenotypes. Dr. Bloss received her B.A. in Psychology from Smith College, her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and completed a predoctoral internship in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Florida. Dr. Bloss completed a post-doctoral fellowship in statistical genetics and genomic medicine at The Scripps Research Institute. At STSI, Dr. Bloss directs the Summer Undergraduate Research Internship and is an instructor in the TSRI Graduate Program. She is also a California-licensed clinical psychologist and has worked with adults and children with a wide range of neurological and psychiatric conditions.
John Boyce, President and CEO, GnuBIO
John Boyce is President, CEO and Co-Founder of GnuBIO. Prior to starting GnuBIO, John co-founded Delphi Bio, LLC, a strategic consulting company that serves startup and fortune 500 companies within the life sciences market. Using his proven ability to drive companies to commercial success, John served as the Business Development head for a number of clients, including Affomix. Over a two year period, John developed the business plan for Affomix, oversaw all commercial activities, as well as initiated and drove the sale of the company to a multi-billion dollar sequencing corporation in July 2010. Prior to Delphi and Affomix, John served as Head of Business Development for Helicos BioSciences (HLCS), where he was responsible for identifying new market opportunities. Prior to Helicos, John was the Senior Director of Commercial Development for Parallele Biosciences, Inc. where he played an integral role of building the company leading to an acquisition of the company by Affymetrix (AFFY). He was the Senior Director of Business Development for Genomics Collaborative where he was responsible for putting in place and building the Sales, Marketing, and Business Development infrastructure. John executed several key deals and played a key role in the acquisition by SeraCare Life Sciences, Inc. Prior to Genomics Collaborative, John led the successful expansion of Sequenom’s MassARRAY system as Director, United States Sales at Sequenom Inc. (SQNM), from 2000 to 2003.

Catherine Brownstein, Ph.D., Project Manager, The Gene Partnership, Boston Children’s Hospital; Instructor, Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Catherine Brownstein, PhD, MPH is the Project Manager for The Gene Partnership at Boston Children’s Hospital and an Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. For the last two years, Catherine has worked to establish and develop new sequencing and pharmacogenomics programs at the hospital. Before coming to BCH and HMS, Catherine was a toxicologist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and spent four years in the world of Health 2.0, creating online patient communities for individuals with chronic and terminal diseases. Catherine’s interests and expertise lie with the intersection of genotype and phenotype, and the integration of patient-reported outcomes with genomics and medicine.

Kenneth Chahine, Ph.D., J.D., Senior Vice President and General Manager, DNA, ancestry.com
Ken Chahine has served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for Ancestry DNA, LLC since 2011. Prior to joining us he held several positions, including as Chief Executive Officer of Avigen, a biotechnology company, in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Utah, and at Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals (currently Pfizer). Mr. Chahine also teaches a course focused on new venture development, intellectual property, and licensing at the University of Utah’s College of Law. He earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan, a J.D. from the University of Utah College of Law, and a B.A. in Chemistry from Florida State University.

Mick Correll, COO, Genospace
Mick Correll is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of GenoSpace, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company that is pioneering a bold and innovative software platform for advancing 21st-century genomic medicine. Prior to launching GenoSpace, Mick was the Associate Director of the Center for Cancer Computational Biology (CCCB) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, overseeing the Center’s next-generation sequencing facility, bioinformatics consulting service and software development efforts.Mick started his career as a Bioinformatician at Lion Bioscience Research Inc, where he was the principle architect of a globally distributed gene annotation and analysis platform, and subsequently served asHead of Professional Services for Lion Bioscience Inc in North America, and Director of Healthcare Product Management at InforSense LLC.

Steven Dickman, President & Owner, CBT Advisors
Steven Dickman is President & Owner of CBT Advisors, a boutique life sciences consulting firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. CBT Advisors works with over 20 clients a year on product positioning and corporate strategy; communications and fund-raising materials; and market analysis based on research and expert interviews. Clients include public and private biotech companies and life science venture funds. Before founding CBT Advisors in 2003, Mr. Dickman spent four years in venture capital with TVM Capital. There, Mr. Dickman’s deals included Sirna Therapeutics, sold to Merck in 2006 for $1.1 billion. Earlier, he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, a freelance contributor to The Economist, Discover, Science, GEO and Die Zeit and the founding bureau chief for Nature in Munich, Germany. Fluent in German, Mr. Dickman received his biochemistry degree cum laude from Princeton University.
Lynn Doucette-Stamm, Ph.D., Vice President, Development and Clinical Operations, Interleukin Genetics, Inc.
Lynn Doucette-Stamm has served as Vice President of Development and Clinical Operations at Interleukin Genetics since 2011. Prior to joining Interleukin she has worked in numerous capacities in Life Sciences for greater than 25 years. Key positions she has held prior to Interleukin include Vice President of Business Development at Beckman Coulter Genomics and Agencourt Bioscience, and Vice President and General Manager of the GenomeVisionTM Services Business Unit at Genome Therapeutics. She earned a Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Genetics from Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences and a B.S. in Biology from McMaster University.
Yaniv Erlich, Ph.D., Principal Investigator and Whitehead Fellow, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research 
Dr. Yaniv Erlich is Andria and Paul Heafy Family Fellow and Principal Investigator at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received a bachelor’s degree from Tel-Aviv University at Israel and his PhD from the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Dr. Erlich’s research interests are computational human genetics. He has extensive experience in developing new algorithms for high throughputs sequencing and to detect disease genes. In two of his studies, he identified the genetic basis of devastating genetic disorders. His lab works on a wide range of topics including developing compressed sensing approach to identify rare genetic variations, devising new algorithms for personal genomics, and using Web 2.0 information for genetic studies. Dr. Erlich is the recipient of the Harold M. Weintraub award, the IEEE/ACM-CS HPC award, Goldberg-Lindsay Fellowship, Wolf foundation scholarship for Excellence in exact science, and Emmanuel Ax scholarship, and he was selected as one of 2010 Tomorrow’s PIs team of Genome Technology.

Kyle Fetter, Associate Vice President, Molecular Diagnostics, XIFIN, Inc.
Kyle Fetter has overseen the commercialization, billing, and reimbursement processes for more than 10 molecular diagnostic companies releasing new high complexity laboratory testing services into the healthcare market. He currently manages billing processes for more than 10 companies at various stages of commercialization and third party payer contracting. In addition to overseeing a large molecular diagnostic billing department, Mr. Fetter consults with molecular diagnostic companies on projecting cash flow for non-covered services, implementing successful appeals strategies, and the relationship between sales and reimbursement for new medical technology. He came to the healthcare industry with a background in private equity and technology commercialization. Mr. Fetter has a B.A. in History and Journalism from the University of Southern California and an M.B.A from the University of Utah.
Birgit Funke, Ph.D., FACMG, Assistant Molecular Pathologist and Director of Clinical Research and Development, Laboratory for Molecular Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital; Assistant Professor in Pathology, Harvard Medical School
Birgit Funke, Ph.D., FACMG is an Associate Laboratory Director of the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine (LMM) at PCPGM and is an Instructor in Pathology at Harvard Medical School. She currently oversees genetic testing and test development in the area of cardiovascular disease at the LMM. She has authored and co-authored many publications focusing on a wide array of topics, most recently incentive learning and memory in mice. Currently, Dr. Funke focuses on genetic testing with emphasis on genetically heterogeneous cardiovascular diseases, with the goal of defining the genetic basis for these disorders and developing comprehensive tests using new emerging molecular technologies. In addition, she is interested in developing genetic tests for common, complex disorders, working to understand the genetic variants that have been linked with psychotic and affective disorders.

Amanda Gammon, MS, CGC, Licensed Genetic Counselor, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah 
Amanda Gammon is a board-certified genetic counselor with a master’s degree in genetic counseling from University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and English literature. While completing her education, Amanda worked at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers. She began working at Huntsman Cancer Institute in July 2007. She provides genetic counseling to patients in the Family Cancer Assessment Clinic and the research-oriented High Risk Breast Cancer Clinic. She also provides counseling for two National Institutes of Health-funded studies. For one study, she discusses familial colorectal cancer risk with individuals by telephone in rural Utah and Idaho to assess effectiveness of telephone intervention versus written risk information in encouraging individuals to pursue colonoscopy. In the other, she provides hereditary breast and ovarian cancer counseling to women in rural Utah both by phone and in-person to assess equivalency. Her main research interests include hereditary breast cancer and provision of genetic counseling through alternative modes for individuals with limited access to genetic counseling centers.

Manuel L. Gonzalez-Garay, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Dr. Gonzalez-Garay obtained his B.S. from the University of Nuevo Leon, Mexico in 1988. He wrote a bachelor’s research dissertation “Papillomavirus and cervical cancer in Mexican population” under the supervision of Dr. Barrera-Saldana and Dr. Gariglio. After a pre-doctoral fellowship at University of Texas, he joined the doctoral program in 1990. In 1996, Dr. Gonzalez-Garay completed his Ph.D. at the University of Texas, writing a dissertation about the regulation of the stoichiometry of tubulin. After a two-year Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the lab of Dr. Fernando Cabral, he joined Lexicon Genetics as a Bioinformatician. He was subsequently promoted to manager of Bioinformatics Group. During his stay at Lexicon Genetics, Dr. Gonzalez-Garay developed a large number of proprietary software and databases to support the gene knockout and drug discovery pipelines. During 2002, Dr. Gonzalez-Garay moved to Baylor College of Medicine, Human Genome Sequencing Center (HGSC) where he working as a Senior Scientific Programmer and team leader. During his stay at the HGSC he developed “Genboree discovery system” and participated as a bioinformatician in a large number of sequencing projects including the sequencing of the Human chromosome 3 and 12, the complete genomes of Rat and Sea Urchin. Dr. Gonzalez-Garay was instrumental in the development of pipelines for the re-sequencing of candidate genes at HGSC. From 2007 to 2009 he actively participated in the Tumor Sequencing Project (TSP) and the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) project. In January, 2010, The IMM recruited Dr. Gonzalez-Garay as Research Assistant Professor for The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases. Dr. Gonzalez-Garay is currently developing the pipelines to analyze whole genome and exome sequences and he is currently participating in three main projects: The identification of the causal mutations for tuberous sclerosis, cardiomyopathy and schizophrenia.

Robert Green, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Genetics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School 
Robert C. Green, MD, MPH is a medical geneticist and a clinical researcher who directs the G2P research program (genomes2people.org) in translational genomics and health outcomes in the Division of Genetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Green is principal investigator of the NIH-funded REVEAL Study, in which a cross-disciplinary team has conducted 4 separate multi-center randomized clinical trials collectively enrolling 1100 individuals to disclose a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease in order to explore emerging themes in translational genomics. Dr. Green also co-directs the NIH-funded PGen Study, the first prospective study of direct-to-consumer genetic testing services and leads the MedSeq Project, the first NIH-funded research study to explore the use of whole genome sequencing in preventive medicine. Dr. Green is currently Associate Director for Research of the Partners Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine, a Board Member of the Council for Responsible Genetics and a member of the Informed Cohort Oversight Boards for both the Children’s Hospital Boston Gene Partnership Program and the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative. He co-chairs the ACMG working group that is currently developing recommendations for management of incidental findings in clinical sequencing.

Steve Gullans, Managing Director, Excel Venture Management
Dr. Gullans is an experienced investor, entrepreneur and scientist. At Excel, he focuses on life science technology companies with a particular interest in disruptive platforms that can impact multiple industries. Steve is currently a Director at Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals, PathoGenetix, nanoMR, Cleveland HeartLab, and Catch.com. He was previously a board member of Activate Networks as well as BioTrove which was acquired by Life Technologies (LIFE) in 2009 and Biocius Life Sciences which was acquired by Agilent Technologies (A) in 2011. Prior to Excel, Steve co-founded RxGen, Inc., a pharma services company where he served as CEO from 2004-2008. In 2002, Steve stepped in as a senior executive at U.S. Genomics to direct operations, recruit a new CEO, and assist with fundraising. In the 1990s, he co-developed the technology that launched CellAct Pharma GmbH, a drug development company. Steve’s experience with venture investing began in the late 1980s when he became an active advisor to small biotechs and venture investors, including being a Senior Advisor to CB Health Ventures for 10 years. Dr. Gullans is an expert in advanced life science technologies and was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital for nearly 20 years. He has published more than 130 scientific papersin many leading journals, lectured internationally, and co-invented numerous patents. He recently co-authored with Juan Enriquez an eBook entitled, Homo evolutis: A Short Tour of Our New Species, and a comment in Nature entitled, “Genetically Enhanced Olympics Are Coming,” which describe a world where humans increasingly shape their environment, themselves, and other species. Steve received his B.S. at Union College, Ph.D. at Duke University, and postdoctoral training at the Yale School of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the AAAS and the AHA.

Tina Hambuch, Senior Scientist, Illumina, Inc.
Tina Hambuch earned her Bachelor’s degree from UC Riverside and her doctorate from UC Berkeley, focusing on genetic analyses of genes that control the immune system. She continued her studies of genetic variation as a post-doctoral fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and an assistant professor at the Ludwig Maximillians University in Munich. After her academic career, Tina used her understanding of genetics and genetic variation to help identify and design diagnostic sequencing tests for clinical application at Ambry Genetics. Tina joined Illumina in 2008 where she combined her experience in genetics, genomics, and clinical diagnostics to contribute to the development of the CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited Illumina Clinical Services Laboratory (ICSL). In 2010, she launched a California-certified Clinical Genetic Molecular Biologist Scientist training program in which she serves as the Education Coordinator and Director. Tina is currently active in the development and validation of genetic testing, as well as clinical tools for doctor support and education. Tina is a member of the American College of Medical Genetics and the American Society of Human Genetics.

Michael Hawley, Chief Design Officer, Mad*Pow

As leader of the Mad*Pow Experience Design team, Michael leverages expertise in usability and user experience to help clients achieve their goals through design. Michael holds his MS in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley College McCallum Graduate School of Business, and BA in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan. He is an active member of the professional design community, serving as an officer in the User Experience Professional’s Association and contributing ideas as a speaker and author, exploring trends within the UX discipline as a published columnist in publications such as UXMatters, iMedia, TMCNet and CPWire.
Caleb J Kennedy, Ph.D., Lead Scientist, Good Start Genetics, Inc.
Caleb currently leads an amazing group of scientist-engineers developing high-performance analytical tools for next-generation advances in genetic testing and research. He holds a Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University, as well as M.S. and B.S. degrees in molecular and cellular biology from Texas A&M University. Caleb has two beautiful boys, one with Down syndrome.
Ayub Khattak, CEO, ruubix
Ayub Khattak, CEO or ruubix inc., uses his background in biochemistry, programming and electronics in the development of the ruubix digital diagnostic platform. He has his degree in Mathematics from UCLA and developed a NSF funded project in the genetic engineering of RNAi systems before founding ruubix.

Wendy Kohlmann, MS, CGC, Licensed Genetic Counselor, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah 
Wendy Kohlmann is a board-certified genetic counselor with a master’s degree in genetic counseling from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin. She has worked as a genetic counselor at the University of Texas-M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor. She began working at Huntsman Cancer Institute as a research associate in 2006. Wendy Kohlmann’s research interests include the inherited basis of melanoma and pancreatic cancer, psychosocial and behavioral outcomes of genetic counseling, and issues for children and adolescents with hereditary cancer syndromes.

Antoinette F. Konski, J.D., Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP
Antoinette F. Konski is a partner with Foley & Lardner LLP where her practice focuses on intellectual property. She works with life science clients, creating and optimizing value in intellectual property portfolios encompassing technologies that include personalized medicine, regenerative and stem cell biology, antibodies, immunology, gene therapy, nanotechnology, diagnostics, small molecules and drug delivery. She represents public and private companies and universities. Ms. Konski currently serves as the firm’s Silicon Valley IP office chairperson and co-chair of the Life Sciences Industry Team.

Gary J. Kurtzman, MD, Managing Director, Healthcare, Safeguard
Gary has 25+ years of experience in operations and investments, leveraging his medical expertise to enable businesses to enhance their products and grow their services, as well as to discover new partnering potential in developing entrepreneurial companies. Gary joined Safeguard in 2006, where he is responsible for identifying, deploying capital in and supporting emerging healthcare companies in molecular and point-of-care diagnostics, medical devices and healthcare IT. He targets companies with solutions that address the high cost of medical care, and safer and more effective treatments. Gary is a board member of Safeguard partner companies Alverix, Crescendo Bioscience, Good Start Genetics, Medivo, and PixelOptics. Gary has realized value for companies through a series of successful IPOs, M&A and turnaround transactions—most recently Shire’s acquisition of Safeguard’s partner company Advanced BioHealing for $750 million, in cash, representing a 13x cash-on-cash return for Safeguard; and Eli Lilly’s acquisition of Safeguard’s partner company Avid Radiopharmaceuticals for $300 million, up front, with an additional $500 million payout dependent upon the achievement of future regulatory and commercial milestones, representing an initial 3x cash-on-cash return for Safeguard with the potential to realize up to 8x. Gary joined Safeguard from BioAdvance, a state initiative committed to funding early-stage life sciences companies, where he served as Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer. Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer at Pluvita Corporation, a company developing biological and bioinformatic solutions for drug and diagnostic development. Gary also previously served as Chief Operating Officer at Genovo, Inc., a gene therapy start-up company. He was also employed as head of research & development by Avigen, Inc., an early-stage gene therapy company located in San Francisco. Gary began his career with Gilead Sciences, Inc.—at the time, a pre-IPO biotechnology company—as virology group leader. A board-certified internist from Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO, with a hematology sub-specialty, Gary has authored more than 40 research articles, book chapters and reviews, and is credited as inventor on twelve issued United States patents. Presently, Gary serves on various academic and biomedical committees and boards along with the editorial board of Biotechnology Healthcare. Presently, Gary is a lecturer in the Health Care Systems Department at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he teaches entrepreneurship in life sciences.

Gholson Lyon, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Human Genetics, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Research Scientist, Utah Foundation for Biomedical Research
Gholson Lyon is an assistant professor in human genetics at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and a research scientist at the Utah Foundation for Biomedical Research. He is also a board-certified child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist. He earned an M.Phil. in Genetics at the University of Cambridge, England, then received a Ph.D. and M.D. through the combined Cornell/Sloan-Kettering/Rockefeller University training program. He started his independent research career in 2009, after finishing clinical residencies in child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. In addition to his research on the genetics of neuropsychiatric illnesses, Dr. Lyon is focusing on the genetic basis of rare Mendelian diseases.

Daniel MacArthur, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital; Co-founder, Genomes Unzipped 
Daniel MacArthur is a group leader at the Analytic and Translational Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, and a research affiliate at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. His research focuses on understanding the functional impact of genetic variation using genome sequencing data. His writing on personal genomics is archived at Wired Science, and his research is described on his lab page at http://www.macarthurlab.org/.

Ellen T. Matloff, M.S., Research Scientist, Department of Genetics and Director, Cancer Genetic Counseling, Yale Cancer Center
Ellen T. Matloff, M.S., C.G.C., received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Union College, her Master’s degree in Genetic Counseling from Northwestern University, and her board certification from the American Board of Genetic Counseling. She specializes in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (BRCA1, BRCA2), hereditary colon cancer syndromes (HNPCC, FAP), and rare cancer syndromes. Her interests include patient and provider issues in genetic counseling, sexuality and cancer patients, and the impact of patents on clinical practice.

Martin Mendiola, M.D., MPH, Director, Clinical Program Development, Happtique
Martin Mendiola is responsible for clinical needs assessments of mHealth technology for the purposes of enhancing the provision of care and patient engagement and satisfaction. He is involved in the clinical implementation of Happtique’s solutions within client health systems while serving as a liaison to its healthcare providers. He has also created the medical, health, and wellness library intellectual property offered to Happtique’s members. Prior to joining Happtique, Martin worked in the direct delivery of care within several hospital systems and through international humanitarian relief efforts, and has conducted extensive clinical research. He earned his MD from the Ponce School of Medicine and MPH in Health Policy from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Peter S. Miller, COO, Genomic Healthcare Strategies
Peter Miller is Chief Operating Officer of Genomic Healthcare Strategies, a company focused on the changes in healthcare resulting from advances in molecular medicine. Peter spent his career building companies which have operated in expanding markets driven by new technology. He has a track record of spotting trends and successful implementation. He did his undergraduate work at MIT. While working on his MBA at MIT’s Sloan School, he was a founding member of Abt Associates Inc, and over a period of 17 years worked as COO and Board member as the company grew from 3 people to 800. Peter has been a key advisor to firms facing a variety of transitional events (external or internal), entering new markets, and facing choices around mergers/acquisitions/going public. He has helped build successful companies in software and professional services, three of which were sold to public companies. He has served on a number of boards of innovative technology companies, helping build their success, both organizationally and in their markets. He has a long term interest in health care. He established the original health care research group at Abt Associates. He has helped teach a course at Harvard School of Public Health, working with Dr. John Bryant, later Dean of Columbia’s School of Public Health. He has worked on physician education with the American Association of Medical Colleges and has been a board member of several health care services firms. He has extensive experience with entrepreneurial companies, having successfully worked with firms raising money seven times, both as an employee and as a business plan quarterback. He is involved in M&A activities on both the buy and sell sides. In addition he has been a licensed (NASD) broker/dealer. Peter is a frequent invited speaker on the changing healthcare landscape, writing and speaking on Personalized Medicine for many years as a thought leader. He has been invited to speak at the Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference, LabCompete, the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Technology Management Program, among others. Peter is co-author with Keith Batchelder of GHS of an invited Nature Biotechnology commentary: “A Change in the Market – Investing in Diagnostics.” He is active with his alma mater, having been Board Chairman of the Global MIT Enterprise Forum, a past board member of the MIT Alumni Association, and currently helps fledgling startups as Co-Director of the MIT Venture Mentoring Service.

Georgia Mitsi, MSc, Ph.D., MBA, Founder and CEO, Apptomics LLC 
Georgia Mitsi MSc, PhD, MBA is the Founder and CEO of Apptomics LLC ,a health technology firm specializing in the design and validation of quality medical mobile applications for selected conditions with high unmet need focusing primarily in CNS. Georgia received her PhD in Health Sciences and MSc in Applied Medical Sciences from University of Patras, Greece and her MBA from University of Miami. She has extensive experience in Pharmaceutical Industry and Healthcare Consulting where she has been involved in positions of increased responsibility in areas such as Clinical Research, Health Outcomes and Health Economics. She often played an instrumental role in uncovering and fostering new business opportunities and developing a strategic roadmap for product’s value proposition. Georgia also worked at the Health Services Research Center (HSRC), a joint venture between Humana and University of Miami and among other responsibilities she led the scientific effort for Games for Health initiative. She has completed successfully many research projects of high complexity and has collaborated with pharmaceutical companies as well as academic institutions. She has co-authored several scientific publications and presented in conferences such as ISPOR and DIA. Georgia is also a published novelist in her native language, Greek.

David Mittelman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Tech Department of Biological Sciences, and VTC School of Medicine
Dr. Mittelman is an Associate Professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, the Virginia Tech Department of Biological Sciences, and the VTC School of Medicine. David Mittelman holds a PhD in Molecular Biophysics through the Department of Biochemistry at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). Dr. Mittelman completed his postdoctoral training in the Department of Molecular and Human Genetics at BCM. In 2009, Dr. Mittelman was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, and began an independent research program in population-scale genomics at BCM’s Human Genome Sequencing Center (HGSC). Currently, Dr. Mittelman leads the Genetics and Genomic Medicine Laboratory at Virginia Tech, combining experimental and computational approaches to characterizing personal genomes.

Anne Morriss, Founder and CEO, Genepeeks
Anne is the founder and CEO of Genepeeks, a genetic information company that helps families to protect their future children. She has helped to launch and grow multiple technology companies, and is the best-selling co-author of Uncommon Service: How to Win By Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business (Harvard Business Review Press). Anne received her B.A in American Studies from Brown University and an M.B.A from Harvard Business School.

Julia Oh, Chief Science Officer, 1eq

Heidi L. Rehm, Ph.D., FACMG, Chief Laboratory Director, Molecular Medicine, Partners HealthCare Center for Personalized Genetic Medicine (PCPGM); Assistant Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School
Heidi Rehm, Ph.D. was recruited in 2001 to build the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine at PCPGM and serves as its Laboratory Director. She is a board-certified clinical molecular geneticist and Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School with appointments at BWH, MGH and Children’s Hospital Boston. Her undergraduate degree is from Middlebury College, her graduate degree in Genetics is from Harvard University and her postdoctoral and fellowship training was at HMS. Heidi has served as the Director of the ABMG Clinical Molecular Genetics Training Program at HMS since 2006. In addition to running the LMM and the molecular training program, she also conducts research in hearing loss, Usher syndrome, cardiomyopathy and the use of IT in enabling personalized medicine.
Jessica Richman, CEO and Co-Founder, uBiome

Gabe Rudy, Vice President, Product Development, Golden Helix and Author “A Hitchhikers Guide to Next Generation Sequencing”
Gabe Rudy has been GHI’s Vice President of Product Development and team member since 2002. Gabe thrives in the dynamic and fast-changing field of bioinformatics and genetic analysis. Leading a killer team of Computer Scientists and Statisticians in building powerful products and providing world-class support, Gabe puts his passion into enabling Golden Helix’s customers to accelerate their research. When not reading or blogging, Gabe enjoys the outdoor Montana lifestyle. But most importantly, Gabe truly loves spending time with his sons and wife.

Meredith Salisbury, Senior Consultant, Bioscribe
Prior to becoming a consultant for Bioscribe, Meredith was CEO and Editor-in-Chief of GenomeWeb, the leading news and information service for scientists in the systems biology field. During her 11 years with the company, Meredith honed her knowledge of the genomics market, with a particular focus on next-gen DNA sequencing. She is the co-founder of the Consumer Genetics Conference held annually in Boston. Before joining GenomeWeb, Meredith had an extended internship in the busy newsroom at Newsweek in New York City. Meredith brings her industry knowledge and connections to oversee editorial strategy for Bioscribe clients. Meredith enjoys hot-air ballooning and is based in the NYC metropolitan area.

Anish Sebastian, Co-Founder and CEO, 1eq

Juhan Sonin, Creative Director, Involution Studios, MIT
Juhan Sonin is an emeritus of some of the finest software organizations in the world: Apple, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has been a creative director for almost two decades with his work being featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, BBC International, Billboard Magazine and National Public Radio (NPR). He is also a lecturer on design and rapid prototyping at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Vasisht Tadigotla, Ph.D., Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, Courtagen Life Sciences, Inc.
Vasisht is currently working as a Senior Bioinformatics Scientist at Courtagen Life Sciences. Previously, he has worked as a Staff Scientist at Life Technologies helping develop the SOLiD and Ion Torrent sequencing technologies and at the Department of Physics at Boston University. Vasisht earned a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Computational Biology from Rutgers University and a B.Tech. in Biochemical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.

Spencer Wells, Ph.D., Explorer-in-Residence and Director, The Genographic Project, National Geographic Society
Spencer Wells is a leading population geneticist and director of the Genographic Project from National Geographic and IBM. His fascination with the past has led the scientist, author, and documentary filmmaker to the farthest reaches of the globe in search of human populations who hold the history of humankind in their DNA. By studying humankind’s family tree he hopes to close the gaps in our knowledge of human migration. A National Geographic explorer-in-residence, Wells is spearheading the Genographic Project, calling it “a dream come true.” His hope is that the project, which builds on Wells’s earlier work (featured in his book and television program, The Journey of Man) and is being conducted in collaboration with other scientists around the world, will capture an invaluable genetic snapshot of humanity before modern-day influences erase it forever. Wells’s own journey of discovery began as a child whose zeal for history and biology led him to the University of Texas, where he enrolled at age 16, majored in biology, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa three years later. He then pursued his Ph.D. at Harvard University under the tutelage of distinguished evolutionary geneticist Richard Lewontin. Beginning in 1994, Wells conducted postdoctoral training at Stanford University’s School of Medicine with famed geneticist Luca Cavalli-Sforza, considered the “father of anthropological genetics.” It was there that Wells became committed to studying genetic diversity in indigenous populations and unraveling age-old mysteries about early human migration. Wells’s field studies began in earnest in 1996 with his survey of Central Asia. In 1998 Wells and his colleagues expanded their study to include some 25,000 miles of Asia and the former Soviet republics. His landmark research findings led to advances in the understanding of the male Y chromosome and its ability to trace ancestral human migration. Wells then returned to academia where, at Oxford University, he served as director of the Population Genetics Research Group of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford. Following a stint as head of research for a Massachusetts-based biotechnology company, Wells made the decision in 2001 to focus on communicating scientific discovery through books and documentary films. From that was born The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey, an award-winning book and documentary that aired on PBS in the U.S. and National Geographic Channel internationally. Written and presented by Wells, the film chronicled his globe-circling, DNA-gathering expeditions in 2001-02 and laid the groundwork for the Genographic Project. Since the Genographic Project began, Wells’s work has taken him to over three dozen countries, including Chad, Tajikistan, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, and French Polynesia, and he recently published his second book, Deep Ancestry: Inside the Genographic Project. He lives with his wife, a documentary filmmaker, in Washington, D.C.
Eric P. Williams, Ph.D., Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, National Marrow Donor Program
Dr. Eric Williams is Senior Bioinformatics Scientist at the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) which is entrusted to operate the C.W. Bill Young Cell Transplantation Program, including the Be The Match Registry. Eric has 9 years of experience working in research related to aspects of biology, histocompatibility and population genetics associated with finding matching donors for patients needing stem cell therapies. His interests include the utilization of genetic information to further medicine, infer ancestry, and aid in family history research. He has led development of systems utilized by worldwide transplant centers to access population HLA frequency and ancestry information critical to the process of finding matching, unrelated donors for patients. Other activities have included utilizing Geographic Information Systems to map global frequencies of HLA haplotypes and a US market area capacity analysis resulting in increased funding to develop facilities at medical institutions supporting stem cell therapy programs. Prior to his work with the NMDP, Eric has 18 years experience supporting marker assisted plant breeding programs at Pioneer Hi-Bred, Mycogen Seeds and Syngenta Seeds. Dr. Williams received a Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Genetics and a MS in Plant Physiology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a BA in Agronomy from Brigham Young University.
Rina Wolf, Vice President, Commercialization Strategies, XIFIN, Inc.
Rina Wolf is a nationally recognized expert in the field of laboratory commercialization and reimbursement, with over 20 years of experience in the diagnostic laboratory industry, specializing in Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories. She lectures extensively on these topics and has consulted for major laboratories and laboratory associations throughout the U.S.. She is a former President and board member of the California Clinical Laboratory Association and is an active participant with the ACLA (American Clinical Laboratory Association) and the Personalized Medicine Coalition. Ms. Wolf also advises and presents to investor audiences, recent speaking engagements include Piper Jaffray, Cowen Group and Bloomberg’s G2 Intelligence Lab Investment Forum. Most recently Ms. Wolf held the position of Vice President of Reimbursement and Regulatory Affairs at Axial Biotech, Inc. where she was responsible for creating and implementing their successful reimbursement strategies. Prior to joining Axial Biotech, Inc., Ms. Wolf held executive positions in the area of commercialization and reimbursement at RedPath Integrated Pathology, Inc., Genomic Health, Inc., and Esoterix (now LabCorp). Ms. Wolf has a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and a Masters of HealthCare Administration.

http://www.consumergeneticsconference.com/cgc_content.aspx?id=116061
 

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Intratumor Heterogeneity and Branched Evolution Revealed by Multiregion Sequencing[1]

Curator and Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, Ph.D.

Genomic instability is considered a hallmark and necessary for generating the mutations which drive tumorigenesis. Multiple studies had suggested that there may be multiple driver mutations and a plethora of passenger mutations driving a single tumor.  This diversity of mutational spectrum is even noticed in cultured tumor cells (refer to earlier post Genome-Wide Detection of Single-Nucleotide and Copy-Number Variation of a Single Human Cell).  Certainly, intratumor heterogeneity has been a concern to clinicians in determining the proper personalized therapy for a given cancer patient, and has been debated if multiple biopsies of a tumor is required to acquire a more complete picture of a tumor’s mutations.  In the New England Journal of Medicine, lead author Dr. Marco Gerlinger in the laboratory of Dr. Charles Swanton of the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute, and colleagues reported the results of a study to determine if intratumoral differences exist in the mutational spectrum of primary and metastatic renal carcinomas, pre- and post-treatment with the mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) inhibitor, everolimus (Afinitor®)[1].

The authors compared exome sequencing of multiregion biopsies from four patients with metastatic renal-cell carcinoma who had been enrolled in the Personalized RNA Interference to Enhance the Delivery of Individualized Cytotoxic and Targeted Therapeutics clinical trial of everolimus (E-PREDICT) before and after cytoreductive surgery.

Biopsies taken:

  • Multiregion spatial biopsy of primary tumor (representing 9 regions of the tumor)
  • Chest-wall metastases
  • Perinephric metastases
  • Germline DNA as control

Multiple platforms were used to determine aberrations as follows:

  1. Illumina Genome Analyzer IIx and Hiseq: for sequencing and mutational analysis
  2. Illumina Omni 2.5: for SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism)-array-based allelic imbalance detection for chromosomal imbalance and ploidy analysis
  3. Affymetrix Gene 1.0 Array: for mRNA analysis

A phylogenetic reconstruction of all somatic mutations occurring in primary disease and associated metastases was  performed to determine the clonal evolution of the metastatic disease given the underlying heterogeneity of the tumor.  Basically the authors wanted to know if the mutational spectra of one metastasis could be found in biopsies taken from the underlying primary tumor or if the mutational landscape of metastases had drastically changed.

Results

Multiregion exon-capture sequencing of DNA from pretreatment biopsy samples of the primary tumor, chest wall metastases, and perinephrous metastasis revealed 128 mutations classified as follows:

  • 40 ubiquitous mutations
  • 59 mutations shared by several but not all regions
  • 29 mutations unique to specific regions
  • 31 mutations shared by most primary tumor regions
  • 28 mutations shared by most metastatic regions

The authors mapped these mutations out with respect to their location, in order to determine how the metastatic lesions evolved from the primary tumor, given the massive heterogeneity in the primary tumor.  Construction of this “phylogenetic tree” (see Merlo et. al[2]) showed that the disease evolves in a branched not linear pattern, with one branch of clones evolving into a metastatic disease while another branch of clones and mutations evolve into the primary disease.

One of the major themes of the study is shown by results that an average of 70 somatic mutations were found in a single biopsy (a little more than just half of all tumor mutations) yet only 34% of the mutations in multiregion biopsies were detected in all tumor regions.

This indicated to the authors that “a single biopsy was not representative of the mutational landscape of the entire bulk tumor”. In addition, microarray studies concluded that gene-expression signatures from a single biopsy would not be able to predict outcome.

Everolimus therapy did not change the mutational landscape.  Interestingly, allelic composition and ploidy analyses revealed an extensive intratumor heterogeneity, with ploidy heterogeneity in two of four tumors and 26 of 30 tumor samples containing divergent allelic-imbalances.  This strengthens the notion that multiple clones with diverse genomic instability exist in various regions of the tumor.

 The intratumor heterogeneity reveals a convergent tumor evolution with associated heterogeneity in target function

Genes commonly mutated in clear cell carcinoma[3, 4] (and therefore considered the prevalent driver mutations for renal cancer) include:

Only VHL mutations were found in all regions of a given tumor, however there were three distinct SETD2 mutations (frameshift, splice site, missense) which were located in different regions of the tumor.

SETD2 trimethylates histones at various lysine residues, such as lysine residue 36 (H3K36).  The trimethylation of H3K36 is found on many actively transcribed genes.  Immunohistochemistry showed trimethylated H3K36 was reduced in cancer cells but positive in most stromal cells and in SETD2 wild-type clear-cell carcinomas.

Interestingly most regions of the primary tumor, except one, contained a kinase-domain activating mutation in mTOR.  Immunohistochemistry analysis of downstream target genes of mTOR revealed that mTOR activity was enhanced in regions containing this mutation.  Therefore the intratumoral heterogeneity corresponded to therapeutic activity, leading to the impression that a single biopsy may result in inappropriate targeted therapy.   Additional downstream biomarkers of activity confirmed both the intratumoral heterogeneity of mutational spectrum as well as an intratumoral heterogeneity of therapeutic-target function.

The authors conclude that “intratumor heterogeneity can lead to underestimation of the tumor genomics landscape from single tumor biopsies and may present major challenges to personalized-medicine and biomarker development”.

In an informal interview with Dr. Swanton, he had stressed the importance of performing these multi-region biopsies and the complications that intratumoral heterogeneity would present for personalized medicine, biomarker development, and chemotherapy resistance.

Q: Your data clearly demonstrates that multiple biopsies must be done to get a more complete picture of the tumor’s mutational landscape.  In your study, what percentage of the tumor would be represented by the biopsies you had performed?

Dr. Swanton: Realistically this is a very difficult question to answer, the more biopsies we sequence, the more we find, in the near term it may be very difficult to ever formally address this in large metastatic tumours

Q:  You have very nice data which suggest that genetic intratumor heterogeneity complicates the tumor biomarker field? do you feel then that quests for prognostic biomarkers may be impossible to attain?

Dr. Swanton: Not necessarily although heterogeneity is likely to complicate matters

Identifying clonally dominant lesions may provide better drug targets

Predicting resistance events may be difficult given the potential impact of tumour sampling bias and the concern that in some tumours a single biopsy may miss a relevant subclonal mutation that may result in resistance

Q:  Were you able to establish the degree of genomic instability among the various biopsies?

Dr. Swanton:  Yes, we did this by allelic imbalance analysis and found that the metastases were more genomically unstable than the primary region from which the metastasis derived

Q: I was actually amazed that there was a heterogeneity of mTOR mutations and SETD2 after everolimus therapy?   Is it possible these clones obtained a growth advantage?

Dr. Swanton: We think so yes, otherwise we wouldn’t identify recurrent mutations in these “driver genes”

Dr. Swanton will present his results at the 2013 AACR meeting in Washington D.C. (http://www.aacr.org/home/scientists/meetings–workshops/aacr-annual-meeting-2013.aspx)

The overall points of the article are as follows:

  • Multiple biopsies of primary tumor and metastases are required to determine the full mutational landscape of a patients tumor
  • The intratumor heterogeneity will have an impact on the personalized therapy strategy for the clinician

 

  • Metastases arising from primary tumor clones will have a greater genomic instability and mutational spectrum than the tumor from which it originates

 

  • Tumors and their metastases do NOT evolve in a linear path but have a branched evolution and would complicate biomarker development and the prognostic and resistance outlook for the patient

A great video of Dr. Swanton discussing his research can be viewed here

VIEW VIDEO

Everolimus: an inhibitor of mTOR

The following information was taken from the New Medicine Oncology Database (http://www.nmok.net)

Developer

Designation

Description

Approved/Filed Indications

Novartis PharmaCurrent as of: August 30, 2012 Generic Name: Everolimus
Brand Name: Afinitor
Other Designation: RAD001, RAD001C
RAD001, an ester of the macrocytic immunosuppressive agent sirolimus (rapamycin), is an inhibitor of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase.Administration Route: intravenous (IV) • PO • solid organ transplant
• renal cell carcinoma (RCC), metastatic after failure of treatment with sunitinib, sorafenib, or sunitinib plus sorafenib
• renal cell carcinoma, advanced, refractory to treatment with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy
• treatment of progressive neuroendocrine tumors (NET) of pancreatic origin (PNET) in patients with inoperable, locally advanced or metastatic disease

Marker Designation
Alias
Gene Location

Marker Description

Indications

5’-AMP-activated Protein Kinase (AMPK)AMPK beta 1 (beta1 non-catalytic subunit) • HAMPKb (beta1 non-catalytic subunit) • MGC17785 (beta1 non-catalytic subunit) • AMPK2 (alpha1 catalytic subunit) • PRKAA (alpha1 catalytic subunit) • AMPK alpha 1 (alpha1 catalytic subunit) • AMPKa1 ( AMPK is a member of a metabolite-sensing protein kinase family found in all eukaryotes. It functions as a cellular fuel sensor and its activation strongly suppresses cell proliferation in non-malignant cells and cancer cells. AMPK regulates the cell cycle by upregulating the p53-p21 axis and modulating the TSC2-mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway. The AMPK signaling network contains a number of tumor suppressor genes including LKB1, p53, TSC1 and TSC2, and modulates growth factor signaling involving proto-oncogenes including PI3K, Akt and ERK. AMPK activation is therefore therapeutic target for cancer (Motoshima H, etal, J Physiol, 1 Jul 2006; 574(Pt 1): 63–71).AMPK is a protein serine/threonine kinase consisting of a heterotrimeric complex of a catalytic alpha subunit and regulatory ß and gamma subunits. AMPK is activated by increased AMP/ATP ratio, under conditions such as glucose deprivation, hypoxia, ischemia and heat shock. It is also activated by several hormones and cytokines. AMPK inhibits ATP-consuming cellular events, protein synthesis, de novo fatty acid synthesis, and generation of mevalonate and the downstream products in the cholesterol synthesis pathway (Motoshima H, etal, J Physiol, 1 Jul 2006; 574(Pt 1): 63–71). – ovarian cancer
– brain cancer
– liver cancer
– leukemia
– colon cancer
CREB regulated transcription coactivator 2 (CRTC2)TOR complex 2 (TORC2, mTORC2) • RP11-422P24.6 • transducer of regulated cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB)2 • transducer of CREB protein 2 • TOR1Location: 1q21.3 The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) exists in two complexes, TORC1 and TORC2, which are differentially sensitive to rapamycin. cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) regulated transcription coactivator 2 (CRTC2) or TORC2 is a multimeric kinase composed of mTOR, mLST8, mSin1, and rictor. The complex is insensitive to acute rapamycin exposure and functions in controlling cell growth and actin cytoskeletal assembly.TORC2 controls gene silencing, telomere length maintenance, and survival under DNA-damaging conditions. It is primaily located in the cytoplasm but also shuttles into the nucleus (Schonbrun M, etal, Mol Cell Biol, Aug 2009;29(16):4584-94). – brain cancer
Hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF1A)HIF1-alpha (HIF-1 alpha) • HIF-1A • PASD8 • MOP1 • bHLHe78Location: 14q21-q24 The alpha subunit of the hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF-1alpha) is a 826 amino acid antigen consisting of a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH)-PAS domain at its N-terminus. HIF-1alpha is rapidly degraded by the proteasome under normal conditions, but is stabilized by hypoxia resulting in the transactivation of several proangiogenic genes. HIF-1alpha is responsible for inducing production of new blood vessels as needed when tumors outgrow existing blood supplies. HIF-1alpha serves as a transcriptional factor that regulates gene expression involved in response to hypoxia and promotes angiogenesis.HIF-1alpha is a proangiogenic transcription factor induced primarily by tumor hypoxia that is critically involved in tumor progression, metastasis and overall tumor survival. HIF-1alpha functions as a survival factor that is required for tumorigenesis in many types of malignancies, and is expressed in a majority of metastases and late-stage tumors. HIF-1alpha is overexpressed in brain, breast, colon, endometrial, head and neck, lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer, and is associated with increased microvessel density and/or VEGF expression – prostate cancer
– bladder cancer
– nasopharyngeal cancer
– head and neck cancer
– kidney cancer
– pancreatic cancer
– endometrial cancer
– breast cancer
Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)FK506 binding protein 12-rapamycin associated protein 1 • RAFT1 • FK506 binding protein 12-rapamycin associated protein 2 • FRAP • FRAP1 • FRAP2 • RAPT1 • FKBP-rapamycin associated protein • FKBP12-rapamycin complex-associated protein 1 • rapamycin target protein • TOR • FLJ44809 • MTORC1 • MTORC2 • RPTOR • RAPTOR • KIAA1303 • mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1Location: 1p36.22 The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a large serine/threonine protein (Mr 300,000) having heat repeats, and protein-protein interaction domains at its amino terminus, and a protein kinase domain at its carboxy terminus. mTOR is a member of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)-related kinase (PIKK) family and a central modulator of cell growth. It regulates cell growth, proliferation and survival by impacting on protein synthesis and transcription. mTOR is present in two multi-protein complexes, a rapamycin-sensitive complex, TOR complex 1 (TORC1), defined by the presence of Raptor and a rapamycin insensitive complex, TOR complex 2 (TORC2), with Rictor, Protor and Sin1. Rapamycin selectively inhibits mTORC1 by binding indirectly to the mTOR/Raptor complex via FKBP12, resulting in inhibition of p70S6kinase but not the mTORC2 substrate AKTSer473. Selective inhibition of p70S6K attenuates negative feedback loops to IRS1 and TORC2 resulting in an increase in pAKT which may limit the activity of rapamycin.In a hypoxic environment the increase in mass of solid tumors is dependent on the recruitment of mitogens and nutrients. As a function of nutrient levels, particularly essential amino acids, mTOR acts as a checkpoint for ribosome biogenesis and cell growth. Ribosome biogenesis has long been recognized in the clinics as a predictor of cancer progression; increase in size and number of nucleoli is known to be associated with the most aggressive tumors and a poor prognosis. In bacteria, ribosome biogenesis is independently regulated by amino acids and energy charge. The mTOR pathway is controlled by intracellular ATP levels, independent of amino acids, and mTOR itself is an ATP sensor (Kozma SC, etal, AACR02, Abs. 5628). – breast cancer
– pancreatic cancer
– multiple myeloma
– liver cancer
– brain cancer
– prostate cancer
– kidney cancer
– lymphoma
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3)Stat-3 • acute-phase response factor (APRF) • FLJ20882 • HIESLocation: 17q21 Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a member of the STAT protein family. STAT3, plays a critical role in hematopoiesis. STAT3 is located in the cytoplasm and translocated to the nucleus after tyrosine phosphorylation. In response to cytokines and growth and other activation factors, STAT family members are phosphorylated by the receptor associated kinases and then form homo- or heterodimers, which translocate to the cell nucleus where they act as transcription activators. – multiple myeloma
– hematologic malignancy
– lymphoma
Sonic hedgehog homolog (SHH)Shh • HHG1 • HHG-1 • holoprosencephaly 3 (HPE3) • HLP3 • SMMCILocation: 7q36 Sonic hedgehog, a secreted hedgehog ligand, is a human homolog of the Drosophila segment polarity gene hedgehog, cloned by investigators at Harvard University (Marigo V, etal, Genomics, 1 Jul 1995;28 (1):44-51).The mammalian sonic hedgehog (Shh) pathway controls proliferation of granule cell precursors in the cerebellum and is essential for normal embryonic development. Shh signaling is disrupted in a variety of malignancies. – pancreatic cancer
– CNS cancer

References:

1.         Gerlinger M, Rowan AJ, Horswell S, Larkin J, Endesfelder D, Gronroos E, Martinez P, Matthews N, Stewart A, Tarpey P et al: Intratumor heterogeneity and branched evolution revealed by multiregion sequencing. The New England journal of medicine 2012, 366(10):883-892.

2.         Merlo LM, Pepper JW, Reid BJ, Maley CC: Cancer as an evolutionary and ecological process. Nature reviews Cancer 2006, 6(12):924-935.

3.         Varela I, Tarpey P, Raine K, Huang D, Ong CK, Stephens P, Davies H, Jones D, Lin ML, Teague J et al: Exome sequencing identifies frequent mutation of the SWI/SNF complex gene PBRM1 in renal carcinoma. Nature 2011, 469(7331):539-542.

4.         Dalgliesh GL, Furge K, Greenman C, Chen L, Bignell G, Butler A, Davies H, Edkins S, Hardy C, Latimer C et al: Systematic sequencing of renal carcinoma reveals inactivation of histone modifying genes. Nature 2010, 463(7279):360-363.

Other Articles related to this topic appeared on this Open Access Online Scientific Journal, including the following:

AMPK Is a Negative Regulator of the Warburg Effect and Suppresses Tumor Growth In Vivo

Genomics of bronchial epithelial dysplasia

Genomics in Medicine- Tomorrow’s Promise

Prostate Cancer: Androgen-driven “Pathomechanism” in Early-onset Forms of the Disease

CRACKING THE CODE OF HUMAN LIFE: Recent Advances in Genomic Analysis and Disease – Part IIC

CRACKING THE CODE OF HUMAN LIFE: The Birth of BioInformatics and Computational Genomics – Part IIB

Genome-Wide Detection of Single-Nucleotide and Copy-Number Variation of a Single Human Cell

Directions for Genomics in Personalized Medicine

LEADERS in Genome Sequencing of Genetic Mutations for Therapeutic Drug Selection in Cancer Personalized Treatment: Part 2

Paradigm Shift in Human Genomics – Predictive Biomarkers and Personalized Medicine – Part 1

Harnessing Personalized Medicine for Cancer Management, Prospects of Prevention and Cure: Opinions of Cancer Scientific Leaders @ http://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com

In Focus: Targeting of Cancer Stem Cells

Modulating Stem Cells with Unread Genome: microRNAs

What can we expect of tumor therapeutic response?

 

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Lp(a) Gene Variant Association

Reporter: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP

Lp(a) Gene Variant Associated With Aortic Stenosis

Reported by Lisa Nainggolan Feb 06, 2013; GThanassoulis et al. NEJM http://www.theheart.org/article/1503525.do

People carrying this single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) had a doubling of the risk of valve calcification on computer tomography (CT) compared with those without the variation. The same SNP has previously been identified as a risk factor for increased Lp(a) levels and coronary artery disease (CAD). Findings Could Reawaken Interest in Therapies Targeting Lp(a)

A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism is a change o...

A Single Nucleotide Polymorphism is a change of a nucleotide at a single base-pair location on DNA. Created using Inkscape v0.45.1. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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