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International Summit Held to Stimulate Collaborative Clinical Research on Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Miami, Florida—November 2, 2010

Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) is a condition that may be responsible for up to one-third of strokes in people under age 50, up to one-fifth of all cases of blood clots in large veins, and one-quarter of recurrent miscarriages. Nonetheless, relatively few randomized clinical trials have been conducted involving people with APS, and those completed have included small numbers of participants.

To stimulate an international discussion on this topic, the APS Clinical Research Task Force is hosting a summit titled, “Breaking Out of the Box,” in Miami from Nov. 2-4, 2010. The task force, co-chaired by Hospital for Special Surgery physician-scientists Doruk Erkan, M.D., and Michael D. Lockshin, M.D., was formed as a result of the 13th International Congress on Antiphospholipid Antibodies in April 2010.

The two dozen summit attendees will include experts in the field of APS research from around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“APS research has not progressed substantially over the past 25 years, after researchers developed a simple blood test to identify the antibodies,” said Dr. Lockshin, director of the Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Disease at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. “As a result, we are gathering rigorous thinkers to identify critical APS research questions and establish the process for moving forward in a coordinated, strategic international effort.”

APS involves the formation of abnormal blood clots in arteries and veins, which puts people at risk for stroke and pregnancy complications. Blood clots form because the immune system mistakenly produces antibodies against phospholipid-binding plasma proteins (aPL).

APS can be diagnosed through repeated blood testing. While no cure exists and the cause is still unclear, treatment includes long-term blood thinning to prevent clots from forming. This condition can occur in conjunction with other autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Several major issues have slowed the progress of APS clinical research, such as the fact that there are few standardized tests to detect the antiphospholipid antibodies, study participants have a range of symptoms, the biology underlying the condition is not completely understood, and smaller efforts have not recruited enough study participants.

“There is an urgent need for a true international collaborative approach to design and conduct large-scale clinical trials involving people who have aPL,” said Dr. Erkan, clinical co-director of the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Care at Hospital for Special Surgery. “At this summit, we hope to stimulate dialogue about this condition and formulate a solid research question from which to generate future clinical trials that are feasible, interesting and relevant.”

The summit will include presentations about transforming and globalizing APS research, lessons learned from APS research registries, and several group brainstorming sessions for identifying, refining and finalizing research questions. Scientists will conclude by setting a timeline for critical tasks to complete in order to proceed with clinical studies.

The conclusions of the APS Clinical Research Task Force and the preliminary outcomes from the Miami summit will be presented at the upcoming American College of Rheumatology annual scientific meeting in Atlanta, in poster session A on Nov. 8 from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. as Abstract #6, Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) Clinical Research Task Force (CRTF) Report.

 

About HSS | Hospital for Special Surgery
HSS is the world’s leading academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. At its core is Hospital for Special Surgery, nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics (for the eighth consecutive year) and No. 3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2017-2018). Founded in 1863, the Hospital has one of the lowest infection rates in the country and was the first in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. The global standard total knee replacement was developed at HSS in 1969. An affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College, HSS has a main campus in New York City and facilities in New Jersey, Connecticut and in the Long Island and Westchester County regions of New York State. In 2017 HSS provided care to 135,000 patients and performed more than 32,000 surgical procedures. People from all 50 U.S. states and 80 countries travelled to receive care at HSS. In addition to patient care, HSS leads the field in research, innovation and education. The HSS Research Institute comprises 20 laboratories and 300 staff members focused on leading the advancement of musculoskeletal health through prevention of degeneration, tissue repair and tissue regeneration. The HSS Global Innovation Institute was formed in 2016 to realize the potential of new drugs, therapeutics and devices. The culture of innovation is accelerating at HSS as 130 new idea submissions were made to the Global Innovation Institute in 2017 (almost 3x the submissions in 2015). The HSS Education Institute is the world’s leading provider of education on the topic on musculoskeletal health, with its online learning platform offering more than 600 courses to more than 21,000 medical professional members worldwide. Through HSS Global Ventures, the institution is collaborating with medical centers and other organizations to advance the quality and value of musculoskeletal care and to make world-class HSS care more widely accessible nationally and internationally.

 

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