New Drugs from Fish Oil Could Aid Artery Repair

Conte in lab coat by window

Every year, more than half a million Americans undergo procedures to have a narrowed coronary artery propped open with a small metal mesh tube, or stent. However, in about one in four cases (one in three if it's your leg artery), the vasculature tissue starts renarrowing again after the procedure, effectively regrowing the blockage. "When we operate on an artery it always causes an  and a subsequent scarring response just like anywhere else on your body, even the skin," said Michael S. Conte, MD, Chief of Vascular & Endovascular Surgery at UCSF. The problem of excessive vascular scarring isn't limited to stents, but also affects many other common procedures such as angioplasty, bypass surgery, and placement of fistulas or grafts for patients on dialysis. It turns out that when the body heals naturally, it's a two-step process: first, it generates compounds to promote inflammation, and when those wane, the body sends in a second set of compounds that actively stop inflammation. These anti-inflammation signaling compounds are derived in the body from dietary fish oil. Dr. Conte, Vascular Cures' Chief Medical Officer along with Charles Serhan, MD, of Harvard University and a member of our Scientific Advisory Board, and Tejal Desai, PhD, chair of the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, are using them to develop treatments to prevent ongoing inflammation in blood vessels. This is the first research project of the Vascular Cures Research Network (VCRN). Read the complete article here. Learn more about VCRN here.


Vascular Disease Foundation

The Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF) ceased operations in January 2014. In October 2014, Vascular Cures acquired most of VDF's digital assets and educational resources. VDF was founded in 1998 with the mission to provide public education and improve awareness about vascular diseases. Vascular Cures is now the only organization in the country dedicated exclusively to finding cures for vascular disease and to provide resources, information, and education to patients with vascular diseases outside the heart. Learn about the people we are helping here. Access up to date information on vascular disease, including the Vascular Disease Foundation's Circulation Magazine here. Learn more about the many vascular diseases, their risk factors, and how to prevent vascular disease here.


Circulate! 2014

circulate_symbol_resizedOn September 6, 2014, over 150 guests joined us at the Olympic Club in San Francisco to enjoy an elegant evening with inspirational speakers including Bob Lloyd, a former professional NBA player and chairman of The V Foundation for Cancer Research. When Bob was diagnosed with a life-threatening aortic aneurysm, he realized that although nearly half of deaths from cardiovascular disease are due to problems outside the heart, vascular research is severely underfunded.  Circulate! is Vascular Cures' annual dinner. The goal of the Circulate! dinner is to raise awareness about vascular disease and to update the community on the latest advances.  Special thanks to Life Line Screening, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Cook Medical, Emergent Medical Partners, Mercator MedSystems, Genentech, and the many others that made this event a success.


North Carolina Surgeon Wins Award to Improve Treatment Decisions for Peripheral Artery Disease

Corriere Matthew A 0912 print

Vascular Cures has named Matthew Corriere, M.D., at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., as its 2014 Wylie Scholar in Academic Vascular Surgery. The $150,000 multi-year grant, co-sponsored by the Society for Vascular Surgery, was awarded to support Dr. Corriere's research to develop decision-making tools that incorporate patient input as well as clinician observation when treating peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Corriere's goal is to build a vascular research program based on evaluation of treatment decisions, with novel approaches integrating clinical evidence with patient-centered perspectives. "By developing approaches and tools that facilitate shared decision-making between patients and providers, I believe there is enormous potential to impact the way that we care for patients with PAD," said Corriere. This area of investigation is important and highly relevant to the rapidly changing health care environment that increasingly focuses on patient-centered care, but simultaneously demands greater value. To learn more about Dr. Corriere's work click here.

Vascular Cures' Wylie Scholar Program provides financial assistance to outstanding surgeons at the early stage of their careers, to help them develop as academic vascular surgeon-scientists. Vascular Cures has advanced breakthrough research since 1982.


University of Maryland Surgeon Scientist Awarded Grant for Graft, Angioplasty and Stent Failure Research


The 2013 Wylie Scholar grant was awarded to support Dr. Thomas Monahan's research identifying the mechanisms responsible for vein graft, angioplasty, and stent failure. Dr. Monahan studies the body's reaction to surgery known as intimal hyperplasia, or the reduction of vessel diameter that ultimately limits the long term success of all cardiovascular reconstructions. Dr. Monahan has identified a protein, MARCKS, that when knocked down, inhibits smooth muscle cell migration and proliferation. This protein is potentially a powerful target for the prevention of this common complication.

"Support from the Wylie Scholarship has allowed me the freedom to pursue MARCKS as a potential target for therapy to prevent intimal hyperplasia. This support is especially valuable in the very competitive present funding environment. This funding will allow me to generate data and transition to an independently funded surgeon-scientist," explains Dr. Monahan. Learn more about Dr. Monahan's work here.


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