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      Similarities and Differences in Design Considerations for Cell Therapy and Pharmacologic Cardiovascular Clinical Trials

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          Cell therapies hold the potential for suppression, modification, or cure of disease. Several unique challenges have been recognized as this field has developed. Many of these involve considerations of trial design. This paper summarizes the discussion and suggestions constructed during the 8th Cardiovascular Clinical Trialists Workshop, a meeting involving cardiovascular clinical trialists, biostatisticians, National Institutes of Health scientists, European and United States regulators, and pharmaceutical industry scientists. Investigators must adapt research methods to accommodate the scientific advances associated with cell therapy. Safety and efficacy of cell therapy for cardiovascular indications should be evaluated with the same degree of scientific rigor required of pharmacologic agents, and the same fundamental regulatory requirements and scientific processes apply to both. Clinical trials for these indications should also meet standards similar to those set for drug therapies. Safety should be determined throughout development, dose responsiveness should be established and, while surrogate endpoints are important development tools, the ultimate demonstration of efficacy must rely on clinical benefit. The establishment of a global safety database for cell therapy would significantly advance the field. Efforts to discover innovative therapies must be balanced by a commitment to comprehensively evaluate the safety and efficacy of the new treatments.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Monitoring of bone marrow cell homing into the infarcted human myocardium.

          Intracoronary transfer of autologous bone marrow cells (BMCs) promotes recovery of left ventricular systolic function in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Although the mechanisms of this effect remain to be established, homing of BMCs into the infarcted myocardium is probably a critical early event. We determined BMC biodistribution after therapeutic application in patients with a first ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction who had undergone stenting of the infarct-related artery. Unselected BMCs were radiolabeled with 100 MBq 2-[18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (18F-FDG) and infused into the infarct-related coronary artery (intracoronary; n=3 patients) or injected via an antecubital vein (intravenous; n=3 patients). In 3 additional patients, CD34-positive (CD34+) cells were immunomagnetically enriched from unselected BMCs, labeled with 18F-FDG, and infused intracoronarily. Cell transfer was performed 5 to 10 days after stenting. More than 99% of the infused total radioactivity was cell bound. Nucleated cell viability, comparable in all preparations, ranged from 92% to 96%. Fifty to 75 minutes after cell transfer, all patients underwent 3D PET imaging. After intracoronary transfer, 1.3% to 2.6% of 18F-FDG-labeled unselected BMCs were detected in the infarcted myocardium; the remaining activity was found primarily in liver and spleen. After intravenous transfer, only background activity was detected in the infarcted myocardium. After intracoronary transfer of 18F-FDG-labeled CD34-enriched cells, 14% to 39% of the total activity was detected in the infarcted myocardium. Unselected BMCs engrafted in the infarct center and border zone; homing of CD34-enriched cells was more pronounced in the border zone. 18F-FDG labeling and 3D PET imaging can be used to monitor myocardial homing and biodistribution of BMCs after therapeutic application in patients.
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            Intracoronary bone marrow cell transfer after myocardial infarction: eighteen months' follow-up data from the randomized, controlled BOOST (BOne marrOw transfer to enhance ST-elevation infarct regeneration) trial.

            Intracoronary transfer of autologous bone marrow cells (BMCs) may enhance recovery of left ventricular (LV) function in patients after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). However, clinical studies addressing the effects of BMCs after AMI have covered only limited time frames ranging from 3 to 6 months. The critical question of whether BMC transfer can have a sustained impact on LV function remains unanswered. After percutaneous coronary intervention with stent implantation (PCI) of the infarct-related artery, 60 patients were randomized 1:1 to a control group with optimal postinfarction therapy and a BMC transfer group that also received an intracoronary BMC infusion 4.8+/-1.3 days after PCI. Cardiac MRI was performed 3.5+/-1.5 days, 6+/-1 months, and 18+/-6 months after PCI. BMC transfer was not associated with adverse clinical events. In the control group, mean global LV ejection fraction increased by 0.7 and 3.1 percentage points after 6 and 18 months, respectively. LV ejection fraction in the BMC transfer group increased by 6.7 and 5.9 percentage points. The difference in LVEF improvement between groups was significant after 6 months but not after 18 months (P=0.27). The speed of LV ejection fraction recovery over the course of 18 months was significantly higher in the BMC transfer group (P=0.001). In this study, a single dose of intracoronary BMCs did not provide long-term benefit on LV systolic function after AMI compared with a randomized control group; however, the study suggests an acceleration of LV ejection fraction recovery after AMI by BMC therapy.
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              Transplantation of progenitor cells and regeneration enhancement in acute myocardial infarction: final one-year results of the TOPCARE-AMI Trial.

              The Transplantation of Progenitor Cells And Regeneration Enhancement in Acute Myocardial Infarction (TOPCARE-AMI) trial investigates both safety, feasibility, and potential effects on parameters of myocardial function of intracoronary infusion of either circulating progenitor cells (CPC) or bone marrow-derived progenitor cells (BMC) in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI). In animal experiments, therapy with adult progenitor cells was shown to improve vascularization, left ventricular (LV) remodeling, and contractility after AMI. A total of 59 patients with AMI were randomly assigned to receive either CPC (n = 30) or BMC (n = 29) into the infarct artery at 4.9 +/- 1.5 days after AMI. Intracoronary progenitor cell application did not incur any measurable ischemic myocardial damage, but one patient experienced distal embolization before cell therapy. During hospital follow-up, one patient in each cell group developed myocardial infarction; one of these patients died of cardiogenic shock. No further cardiovascular events, including ventricular arrhythmias or syncope, occurred during one-year follow-up. By quantitative LV angiography at four months, LV ejection fraction (EF) significantly increased (50 +/- 10% to 58 +/- 10%; p < 0.001), and end-systolic volumes significantly decreased (54 +/- 19 ml to 44 +/- 20 ml; p < 0.001), without differences between the two cell groups. Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging after one year revealed an increased EF (p < 0.001), reduced infarct size (p < 0.001), and absence of reactive hypertrophy, suggesting functional regeneration of the infarcted ventricles. Intracoronary infusion of progenitor cells (either BMC or CPC) is safe and feasible in patients after AMI successfully revascularized by stent implantation. Both the excellent safety profile and the observed favorable effects on LV remodeling, provide the rationale for larger randomized double-blind trials.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                April 2008
                31 October 2007
                : 110
                : 2
                : 73-80
                aAccess BIO, Boyce, Va., bNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Washington, D.C., cWeill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, N.Y., USA; dImperial College London, London, UK; eHypertension and Preventive Cardiology Division, Department of Cardiovascular Disease, Centre d’Investigations Cliniques INSERM-CHU, Nancy, France
                110483 Cardiology 2008;110:73–80
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 2, References: 41, Pages: 8


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