For the first time, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recommends using a stent retrieval device to remove blood clots in select stroke patients who have clots obstructing the large arteries supplying blood to the brain, according to a new focused update published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. Chris Coffey, CPH professor of biostatistics, is a co-author of the updated guidelines.
The optimal initial treatment for a clot-caused (ischemic) stroke remains intravenous delivery of the clot-busting medication tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). When given within a few hours after stroke symptoms, tPA can dissolve the clot and reestablish blood flow to the brain, limiting stroke disability.
“What we’ve learned in the last eight months, from six new clinical trials, is that some people will benefit from additional treatment with a stent retrieval device if a clot continues to obstruct one of the big vessels after tPA is given,” said William J. Powers, M.D., lead author of the focused update and H. Houston Merritt distinguished professor and chair of the department of neurology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The focused update on endovascular treatment of acute ischemic stroke analyzes results from randomized clinical trials published since 2013, when the last treatment guidelines were issued.
On May 9, Chris Coffey, professor of biostatistics and director of the Clinical Trials Statistical Data Management Center, traveled to Des Moines with colleagues from the UI Department of Neurology to take part in Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Awareness Night with the Iowa Cubs.
Chris reports: “The Cubs wore special MDA-themed uniforms, and the central Iowa MDA chapter held a silent auction during the game where fans could bid on and purchase the actual uniforms worn by the players during the game. Since May is also amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) awareness month, the MDA had a box at the game and they invited us to meet with individuals and families throughout the state that have been affected by ALS. It was a nice experience, and we were able to answer a lot of their questions about the state of ALS research in a very relaxed environment. Laurie Gutmann [UI professor of neurology] and I were also interviewed by the Cubs radio announcers on-air during the third inning of the game!”
Chris Coffey, professor of biostatistics and director of the Clinical Trials Statistical and Data Management Center, has been named a Fellow of the Society for Clinical Trials (SCT). Kathryn Chaloner, former professor and head of biostatistics, has also been posthumously named a Fellow.
The honor of SCT Fellow is bestowed to Society members who have made significant contributions to the advancement of clinical trials and to the Society. The formal presentation of the SCT Class of 2015 Fellows will be held on Monday, May 18, 2015, at the SCT 36th Annual Meeting.
The Society for Clinical Trials is an international professional organization dedicated to the development and dissemination of knowledge about the best practice in design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of clinical trials.
For more information on the SCT, see http://www.sctweb.org/public/home.cfm.
Several researchers from the University of Iowa attended a meeting in Chicago the weekend of Dec. 6 that focused on exercise and Parkinson’s disease. The meeting, organized by Ergun Uc, UI associate professor of neurology, specifically sought to evaluate the current state of the art and look towards future clinical trials to examine the benefits of exercise in this population.
Attending from the College of Public Health were Chris Coffey, director of the Clinical Trials Statistical and Data Management Center (CTSDMC) and professor of biostatistics, along with Dixie Ecklund, CTSDMC associate director, and Jeff Dawson, professor of biostatistics. Other UI faculty attending were Michelle Voss (psychology) and Warren Darling (health and human physiology).
The Clinical Trials Statistical Data Management Center (CTSDMC) in the Department of Biostatistics celebrated its 25th Anniversary on Oct. 28, 2014. The center’s first director, Robert “Skip” Woolson, gave a talk outlining the center’s founding in 1989. Many former employees and collaborators were in attendance. Christopher Coffey, the current CTSDMC director, presented the current state of the CTSDMC, highlighting the center’s participation in the NIH-funded Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials (NeuroNEXT) and the Clinical Islet Transplantation Consortium, now in its tenth year.
The afternoon was devoted to honoring William Clarke, CTSDMC associate director (1989-2000) and director (2000-2010), for his outstanding leadership and service to the University of Iowa. College of Public Health Dean Sue Curry spoke of Clarke’s interdisciplinary contributions in the use of statistical methods in clinical trial design and analysis and in biomedical research. She also noted his long record of contribution to clinical trial methodology as well as classroom teaching and university service. She then unveiled the “William R. Clarke Conference Suite” in 2500 UCC. In addition, Joseph Cavanaugh, interim head of biostatistics, spoke of Clarke’s contributions to teaching and research, and dedicated the Graduate Student Assistant Award in the Department of Biostatistics to Clarke for his 50+ years of service to biostatistics and the University of Iowa.