ACC.15: Attendees to get early look at most abstracts, plus late-breaker highlights

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The American College of Cardiology (ACC) plans to make most of the general abstracts for its upcoming conference available online for viewing by attendees on March 2, almost two weeks in advance of the three-day event.

“It was a decision by the chairs of this meeting,” said Beth Casteel, director of media relations for the ACC, in a Feb. 24 preview press briefing. “They thought it would improve the attendee experience” by giving attendees a chance to review materials in advance and organize their calendars accordingly. The early access to abstracts does not apply to the late-breaking clinical trials and some featured research, she added.

The ACC received more than 4,600 general abstracts and 145 late-breaking clinical trial abstracts for its upcoming meeting, said Patrick O’Gara, president of the ACC and director of clinical cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Of those, about 2,200 general abstracts and 22 late-breakers were accepted.

“We were able to capture several late-breaking clinical trials that should be impactful with respect to new knowledge or a change in clinical practice,” he said.

The late-breaking clinical trials will be featured during five separate sessions, with some sessions carrying a specific focus such as general cardiology or interventional cardiology. Some sessions also feature partnerships with other major medical associations and journals, including Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT), JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine.

ACC planners offered their predictions of what might emerge as practice changing among the late-breaking clinical trials. Athena Poppas, MD, scientific session chair and director of cardiovascular imaging at the Cardiovascular Institute in Providence, R.I., selected the PROMISE trial, final results for the PARTNER 1 trial; Angiox evaluations; and studies on ablation and atrial fibrillation.

PROMISE (PROspective Multicenter Imaging Study for Evaluation of chest pain) is a randomized trial that compares anatomic and functional diagnostic stress testing in symptomatic patients with suspected coronary artery disease. “The PROMISE trial may be game-changing in the way we approach these patients,” Poppas said.

PARTNER 1 (Placement of Aortic Transcatheter Valves) was the pivotal transcatheter aortic valve replacement trial for the Sapien (Edwards Lifesciences) valve. Results on five-year outcomes may answer questions about the valve’s durability. The Angiox trials look at transradial vs. transfemoral access PCI and bleeding risk, and two other trials address ablation as a treatment for atrial fibrillation.

George Dangas, MD, PhD, of the ACC-i2 2015 program executive committee and director of cardiovascular innovation at the Cardiovascular Institute of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, tapped the Total trial, which compares routine aspiration thrombectomy with PCI and PCI alone in more than 10,000 STEMI patients. “Sometimes we see a trial as bringing us new treatments to add on to what we do,” he offered. “We have a chance this year by the Total trial to evaluate if some of the things we have been doing are truly beneficial or not.”

Jeffrey Kuvin, MD, ACC scientific session vice chair and an associate professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, included the OSLER-1 and -2 trials on the list. They may shed light on the effectiveness of the monoclonal antibody proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitor evolocumab (Amgen) on cardiovascular outcomes. “We’ve heard a lot about their potency and their ability to lower LDL [low-density lipoprotein] cholesterol and their safety, for that matter,” he said. “But what we really don’t know is what is the most important question: Will these drugs improve cardiovascular endpoints.”

ACC.15 is scheduled to take place March 14-16 in San Diego.