The Handoff: Your Week in Cardiology News – 10/21/16

The Handoff is a weekly roundup of cardiology news covering various developments in subspecialties, as well as pharmaceutical industry, association, and society news.

  • The New England Journal of Medicine is hosting a web event summit April 3-4, 2017, titled “Aligning Incentives for Sharing Clinical Trial Data,” and as a lead up will also sponsor the SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge to show how clinical trial data can directly affect advances in human health. NEJM encourages clinicians to analyze the SPRINT clinical trial dataset and “identify a novel scientific or clinical finding to advance medical science.” To learn more and to register for the challenge, visit Call for Entries: SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge.
  • The NIH has established a Nutrition Research Task Force to develop and guide the first strategic plan for nutrition research, which will help to identify gaps and opportunities for research, and will install an advisory group to help with implementation.
  • The FDA has concluded that the potential faulty monitoring device, Alere INRatio, did not significantly affect the ROCKET-AF trial results. This device was used to monitor warfarin therapy in the control group of the study, the results of which provided primary data that led to the approval of rivaroxaban in 2011. The agency has concluded that rivaroxaban is a safe and effective alternative to warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation.
  • Patients with either implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) or cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds) manufactured by St. Jude Medical should immediately respond to any Elective Replacement Indicator alerts, as there is an active recall for premature battery depletion.
  • Data from a new healthcare cost analysis of the FIRE & ICE clinical trial showed that the cryoablation group used fewer postprocedure healthcare resources and underwent fewer repeat ablations compared to the radiofrequency group. The lower costs were evident in healthcare systems in Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • American Heart Association (AHA) training will soon be available for CPR, first aid, and AED use for both first responders and the general public at an international training center in Beijing, China, thanks to a joint effort from the AHA and the China Social Assistance Foundation.
  • Results from a study published in Nature showed that cardiac muscle stem cells aid in the recovery of monkeys’ hearts after a heart attack. The findings add to the case that pre-prepared matched cells could be used to treat human patients “without relying on the long process of reprogramming and differentiating the patient’s own cells,” according to Sian Harding, director of the British Heart Foundation.
  • “[I]t appears that a variety of methods to lower cholesterol—several drugs and also diet—lower cardiovascular events, such as the chances of developing a heart attack,” wrote Deepak Bhatt, MD, MPH, in a blog post in reaction to meta-analysis results that showed both statin and non-statin approaches benefited lowering LDL cholesterol.
  • The AHA, Verily Life Sciences LLC, and AstraZeneca announced the winner of their joint One Brave Idea research award. Dr Calum MacRae was awarded $75 million to support his research on coronary heart disease.