ACTSI-supported Clinical Trials Named Top in State

The Atlanta Business Chronicle recently featured 20 clinical trials across the state of Georgia that have the potential to make a big difference in health care. 16 out of the 20 trials identified are led by ACTSI-partner institutions and 5 out of 20 are conducted in an ACTSI Clinical Research Network (CRN) orPediatrics Clinical Research Site.

Named ACTSI-supported Top Trials:

CROHN’S DISEASE CLINICAL TRIAL

  • Principal investigator: Dr. Subra Kugathasan, Marcus professor of pediatric gastroenterology at Emory School of Medicine; physician, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  • Location: Emory University School of Medicine, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory Personalized Immunotherapy Center (EPIC)
  • Summary: Physician-researchers at Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta are using “personalized” cellular therapy to treat older adolescents and adults suffering from Crohn’s disease by harvesting participants’ own marrow cells and manufacturing personalized ones to target the disease’s inflammatory mechanisms, potentially reducing intestinal flare-ups and minimizing long-term damage.

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE CLINICAL TRIAL

  • Principal investigator: Dr. Ihab Hajjar, associate professor of medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Location: Emory University
  • Summary: Hajjar’s team is conducting a one-year study (Calibrex) of the relationship between high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s disease. They will try to determine whether drug treatment for high blood pressure can affect those factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Eligible participants are older than 60, hypertensive, and have mild cognitive impairment

CANCER PAIN CLINICAL TRIAL

  • Principal investigators: Dr. Mark Rapaport, Reunette W. Harris professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine, and chief of psychiatric services, Emory Healthcare; and lead investigator, Dr. Mylin Torres, associate professor in Emory University’s Department of Radiation Oncology
  • Location: The Emory Brain Health Center, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Summary: Previous research conducted by Rapaport has shown that massage therapy can boost the immune system and decrease anxiety for people who do not have cancer. In this study, the researchers are investigating the effects of massage on the debilitating fatigue post-surgery cancer patients experience as a result of chemotherapy, chemo-prevention and/or radiation.

DEPRESSION CLINICAL TRIAL

  • Principal investigator: Dr. Helen Mayberg, professor of psychiatry and neurology at Emory University School of Medicine, and Dorothy C. Fuqua Chair in Psychiatric Neuroimaging and Therapeutics
  • Location: Emory University School of Medicine
  • Summary: Mayberg leads a team of researchers studying the results of implanting electrodes into a pinpointed region of the brain believed to be responsible for regulating depression in some people. The electrodes send electrical impulses to interrupt faulty brain circuits in that portion of the brain. The study targets patients whose depression has resisted treatment by any other means. Various phases of clinical trials have been ongoing since 2003. Subsequent trials on patients with unipolar and bipolar depression have shown promising results.

ALZHEIMER’S CLINICAL TRIAL

  • Principal investigator: Whitney Wharton, assistant professor of neurology, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Location: Emory University
  • Summary: Wharton’s team is studying the effects of blood flow on factors that contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Participants come to the university once annually for cognitive assessments, blood pressure monitoring, vascular ultrasounds and lumbar puncture.

ACTSI Scholars Conduct Ebola Treatment Clinical Trial:

EBOLA CLINICAL TRIAL

  • Principal investigator: Dr. Anne Winkler and Dr. Colleen Kraft, assistant professors in pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory University School of Medicine
  • Location: Emory University Hospital
  • Summary: Investigators are collecting plasma from U.S. Ebola survivors to see if it could possibly prove effective when used in conjunction with standard treatment methods. Following the donor apheresis procedure which removes the plasma component from the blood and returns red blood cells to the donor, the plasma is treated with a device called the Intercept Blood System to remove any potential pathogens. The plasma is stored with the aim of using its antibodies to neutralize the active virus in the recipient’s blood.