Translating promising preclinical neuroprotective therapies to human stroke trials.
ABSTRACT Stroke is the third leading cause of mortality and carries the greatest socioeconomic burden of disease in North America. Despite several promising therapies discovered in the preclinical setting, there have been no positive results in human stroke clinical trials to date. In this article, we review the potential causes for failure and discuss strategies that have been proposed to overcome the barrier to translation of stroke therapies. To improve the chance of success in future human stroke trials, we propose that therapies be tested in stroke models that closely resemble the human condition with molecular, imaging and functional outcomes that relate to outcomes utilized in clinical trials. These strategies include higher-order, old-world, nonhuman primate models of stroke with clinically relevant outcome measures. Although stroke neuroprotection has been looked upon pessimistically given the many failures in clinical trials to date, we propose that neuroprotection in humans is feasible and will be realized with rigorous translational science.
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ABSTRACT: Over the last decade there has been a considerable effort directed toward reformulating the standard approach taken to preclinically model stroke and stroke recovery. The principal objective of this undertaking has been to improve the success with which preclinical findings can be translated. Although several advancements have already been introduced, one potentially critical feature that appears to have been overlooked is psychological stress. Stroke is well recognized to produce high levels of stress in patients, and ongoing exposure to stress is recognized to deleteriously interfere with recovery. The presence of high levels of stress (distress) in stroke patients is also relevant because nearly all clinically deployed neurorestorative interventions occur against this background. Somewhat perplexingly, however, we could find no preclinical stroke studies concerned with investigating the efficacy of putative neurorestorative compounds that did so in the presence of stress. The following article will make the case that failure to recognize or compensate for the effects of ongoing stress in standard preclinical experimental models of recovery is likely to result in overestimation of the effectiveness of pharmacological or behavioral neurorestorative interventions.Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism advance online publication, 11 December 2013; doi:10.1038/jcbfm.2013.211.Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism: official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 12/2013; · 5.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In animal models of ischaemic stroke, 25% albumin reduced brain infarction and improved neurobehavioural outcome. In a pilot clinical trial, albumin doses as high as 2 g/kg were safely tolerated. We aimed to assess whether albumin given within 5 h of the onset of acute ischaemic stroke increased the proportion of patients with a favourable outcome. We did a randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, phase 3, placebo-controlled trial between Feb 27, 2009, and Sept 10, 2012, at 69 sites in the USA, 13 sites in Canada, two sites in Finland, and five sites in Israel. Patients aged 18-83 years with ischaemic (ie, non-haemorrhagic) stroke with a baseline National Institutes of Health stroke scale (NIHSS) score of 6 or more who could be treated within 5 h of onset were randomly assigned (1:1), via a central web-based randomisation process with a biased coin minimisation approach, to receive 25% albumin (2 g [8 mL] per kg; maximum dose 750 mL) or the equivalent volume of isotonic saline. All study personnel and participants were masked to the identity of the study drug. The primary endpoint was favourable outcome, defined as either a modified Rankin scale score of 0 or 1, or an NIHSS score of 0 or 1, or both, at 90 days. Analysis was by intention to treat. Thrombolytic therapies were permitted. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00235495. 422 participants were randomly assigned to receive albumin and 419 to receive saline. On Sept 12, 2012, the trial was stopped early for futility (n=841). The primary outcome did not differ between patients in the albumin group and those in the saline group (186 [44%] vs 185 [44%]; risk ratio 0·96, 95% CI 0·84-1·10, adjusted for baseline NIHSS score and thrombolysis stratum). Mild-to-moderate pulmonary oedema was more common in patients given albumin than in those given saline (54 [13%] of 412 vs 5 [1%] of 412 patients); symptomatic intracranial haemorrhage within 24 h was also more common in patients in the albumin group than in the placebo group (17 [4%] of 415 vs 7 [2%] of 414 patients). Although the rate of favourable outcome in patients given albumin remained consistent at 44-45% over the course of the trial, the cumulative rate of favourable outcome in patients given saline rose steadily from 31% to 44%. Our findings show no clinical benefit of 25% albumin in patients with ischaemic stroke; however, they should not discourage further efforts to identify effective strategies to protect the ischaemic brain, especially because of preclinical literature showing convincing proof-of-principle for the possibility of this outcome. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, US National Institutes of Health; and Baxter Healthcare Corporation.The Lancet Neurology 09/2013; · 23.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Efforts to understand spinal cord injury (SCI) and other complex neurotrauma disorders at the pre-clinical level have shown progress in recent years. However, successful translation of basic research into clinical practice has been slow, partly because of the large, heterogeneous data sets involved. In this sense, translational neurological research represents a "big data" problem. In an effort to expedite translation of pre-clinical knowledge into standards of patient care for SCI, we describe the development of a novel database for translational neurotrauma research known as Visualized Syndromic Information and Outcomes for Neurotrauma-SCI (VISION-SCI). We present demographics, descriptive statistics, and translational syndromic outcomes derived from our ongoing efforts to build a multi-center, multi-species pre-clinical database for SCI models. We leveraged archived surgical records, postoperative care logs, behavioral outcome measures, and histopathology from approximately 3000 mice, rats, and monkeys from pre-clinical SCI studies published between 1993 and 2013. The majority of animals in the database have measures collected for health monitoring, such as weight loss/gain, heart rate, blood pressure, postoperative monitoring of bladder function and drug/fluid administration, behavioral outcome measures of locomotion, and tissue sparing postmortem. Attempts to align these variables with currently accepted common data elements highlighted the need for more translational outcomes to be identified as clinical endpoints for therapeutic testing. Last, we use syndromic analysis to identify conserved biological mechanisms of recovery after cervical SCI between rats and monkeys that will allow for more-efficient testing of therapeutics that will need to be translated toward future clinical trials.Journal of neurotrauma. 07/2014;