Pioneering Cardiac Research
The Cardiovascular Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, led by Director Roger J.Hajjar, MD, The Arthur and Janet C. Ross Professor of Medicine, has reported promising long-term benefits of its single dose gene therapy AAV1/SERCA2a for advanced heart failure patients. Long-term follow-up results of the CUPID 1 clinical trial found that a one-time, high-dose injection of the AAV1/SERCA2a gene therapy resulted in the successful delivery of the SERCA2a gene up to 31 months in the cardiac tissue of heart failure patients. And this significantly lowered clinical event rates three years later for the gene therapy patients compared to those patients receiving placebo. Plus, patients experienced no negative side effects.
Heart disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for people with Type 2 diabetes, accounting for two-thirds of deaths among people with diabetes. An international team of researchers led by Dr. Valentin Fuster found in the first long-term study of its kind that individuals who have diabetes and advanced coronary artery disease (CAD) live longer and are less likely to suffer a non-fatal heart attack when treated with coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) instead of angioplasty.
Also, in 2014 Principal Investigator Dr. Fuster and a multidisciplinary research team including Mount Sinai’s Drs. Roger Hajjar, Zahi Fayad, Eric Schadt, Jaganath Narula, Sameer Bansilal, Rajesh Vedanthan, and others were awarded by the American Heart Association (AHA) a nearly $4 million grant to promote cardiovascular health in high-risk New York City children. The research project will focus on heart healthy interventions for children ages 3-5 enrolled in Harlem and New York City preschools. The pilot project will also include their parents or caregivers. The research team’s mission is to reduce each child’s future risk of obesity, heart attack, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.
The AHA recognized Dr. Fuster’s pilot study findings testing the preschool health intervention project in Bogota, Colombia as one of the top 10 research advances of 2013. If the New York City program launching in fall 2015 proves to be successful over the next several years, researchers hope their interventions will be translated and scaled to many other communities and populations with similar, high rates of heart disease across New York City and the United States.