Publications by authors named "Dean Fergusson"

533 Publications

Mesenchymal stromal cells as a therapeutic intervention for COVID-19: a living systematic review and meta-analysis protocol.

Syst Rev 2021 09 15;10(1):249. Epub 2021 Sep 15.

Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.

Background: Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have significant immunomodulatory and tissue repair capabilities, mediated partly by conditioned media or through secreted extracellular vesicles (MSC-EVs). Infection with SARS-CoV-2 can cause mild to life-threatening illness due to activated immune responses that may be dampened by MSCs or their secretome. Many clinical studies of MSCs have been launched since the beginning of the global pandemic, however, few have been completed and most lack power to assess efficacy. Repeated systematic searches and meta-analyses are needed to understand, in real time, the extent of potential benefit in different patient populations as the evidence emerges.

Methods: This living systematic review will be maintained to provide up-to-date information as the pandemic evolves. A systematic literature search of Embase, MEDLINE, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases will be performed. All clinical studies (e.g., randomized, pseudorandomized and non-randomized controlled trials, uncontrolled trials, and case series) employing MSCs or their secretome as a therapeutic intervention for COVID-19 will be included. Patients must have confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. Study screening and data extraction will be performed in duplicate. Information concerning interventions, patient populations, methods of MSC isolation and characterization, primary and secondary clinical and/or laboratory outcomes, and adverse events will be extracted. Key clinical outcomes will be pooled through random-effects meta-analysis to determine the efficacy of MSCs and their secreted products for COVID-19.

Discussion: Our systematic review and subsequent updates will inform the scientific, medical, and health policy communities as the pandemic evolves to guide decisions on the appropriate use of MSC-related products to treat COVID-19.

Systematic Review Registration: PROSPERO CRD 42021225431.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13643-021-01803-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8441251PMC
September 2021

Long-Term Risk for Major Bleeding During Extended Oral Anticoagulant Therapy for First Unprovoked Venous Thromboembolism : A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Ann Intern Med 2021 Sep 14. Epub 2021 Sep 14.

Bayer, Wuppertal, Germany (A.W.L., M.G.).

Background: The long-term risk for major bleeding in patients receiving extended (beyond the initial 3 to 6 months) anticoagulant therapy for a first unprovoked venous thromboembolism (VTE) is uncertain.

Purpose: To determine the incidence of major bleeding during extended anticoagulation of up to 5 years among patients with a first unprovoked VTE, overall, and in clinically important subgroups.

Data Sources: MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from inception to 23 July 2021.

Study Selection: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective cohort studies reporting major bleeding among patients with a first unprovoked VTE who were to receive oral anticoagulation for a minimum of 6 additional months after completing at least 3 months of initial anticoagulant treatment.

Data Extraction: Two reviewers independently abstracted data and assessed study quality. Unpublished data required for analyses were obtained from authors of included studies.

Data Synthesis: Among the 14 RCTs and 13 cohort studies included in the analysis, 9982 patients received a vitamin K antagonist (VKA) and 7220 received a direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC). The incidence of major bleeding per 100 person-years was 1.74 events (95% CI, 1.34 to 2.20 events) with VKAs and 1.12 events (CI, 0.72 to 1.62 events) with DOACs. The 5-year cumulative incidence of major bleeding with VKAs was 6.3% (CI, 3.6% to 10.0%). Among patients receiving either a VKA or a DOAC, the incidence of major bleeding was statistically significantly higher among those who were older than 65 years or had creatinine clearance less than 50 mL/min, a history of bleeding, concomitant use of antiplatelet therapy, or a hemoglobin level less than 100 g/L. The case-fatality rate of major bleeding was 8.3% (CI, 5.1% to 12.2%) with VKAs and 9.7% (CI, 3.2% to 19.2%) with DOACs.

Limitation: Data were insufficient to estimate incidence of major bleeding beyond 1 year of extended anticoagulation with DOACs.

Conclusion: In patients with a first unprovoked VTE, the long-term risks and consequences of anticoagulant-related major bleeding are considerable. This information will help inform patient prognosis and guide decision making about treatment duration for unprovoked VTE.

Primary Funding Source: Canadian Institutes of Health Research. (PROSPERO: CRD42019128597).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7326/M21-1094DOI Listing
September 2021

Convalescent plasma for hospitalized patients with COVID-19: an open-label, randomized controlled trial.

Nat Med 2021 Sep 9. Epub 2021 Sep 9.

Zoonotic Diseases and Special Pathogens, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The efficacy of convalescent plasma for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unclear. Although most randomized controlled trials have shown negative results, uncontrolled studies have suggested that the antibody content could influence patient outcomes. We conducted an open-label, randomized controlled trial of convalescent plasma for adults with COVID-19 receiving oxygen within 12 d of respiratory symptom onset ( NCT04348656 ). Patients were allocated 2:1 to 500 ml of convalescent plasma or standard of care. The composite primary outcome was intubation or death by 30 d. Exploratory analyses of the effect of convalescent plasma antibodies on the primary outcome was assessed by logistic regression. The trial was terminated at 78% of planned enrollment after meeting stopping criteria for futility. In total, 940 patients were randomized, and 921 patients were included in the intention-to-treat analysis. Intubation or death occurred in 199/614 (32.4%) patients in the convalescent plasma arm and 86/307 (28.0%) patients in the standard of care arm-relative risk (RR) = 1.16 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.94-1.43, P = 0.18). Patients in the convalescent plasma arm had more serious adverse events (33.4% versus 26.4%; RR = 1.27, 95% CI 1.02-1.57, P = 0.034). The antibody content significantly modulated the therapeutic effect of convalescent plasma. In multivariate analysis, each standardized log increase in neutralization or antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity independently reduced the potential harmful effect of plasma (odds ratio (OR) = 0.74, 95% CI 0.57-0.95 and OR = 0.66, 95% CI 0.50-0.87, respectively), whereas IgG against the full transmembrane spike protein increased it (OR = 1.53, 95% CI 1.14-2.05). Convalescent plasma did not reduce the risk of intubation or death at 30 d in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Transfusion of convalescent plasma with unfavorable antibody profiles could be associated with worse clinical outcomes compared to standard care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01488-2DOI Listing
September 2021

Incidence of stroke in the first year after diagnosis of cancer-A protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis.

PLoS One 2021 1;16(9):e0256825. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Ottawa Stroke Program, University of Ottawa and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Introduction: There is an increased risk of stroke in patients with cancer-this risk is particularly heightened around the time of cancer diagnosis, although no studies have systematically quantified this risk in the literature. Patients newly diagnosed with cancer without prior stroke represent a highly susceptible population in whom there is a window of opportunity to study and implement primary prevention strategies. Therefore, the objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to identify the cumulative incidence of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes during the first year after a diagnosis of cancer.

Methods And Analysis: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed will be searched with the assistance from a medical information specialist, from 1980 until present. Eligible studies will include observational studies that have enrolled adult patients newly diagnosed with cancer and report outcomes of stroke during the first year of cancer diagnosis. We will exclude all randomized and non-randomized interventional studies. Data on participant characteristics, study design, baseline characteristics, and outcome characteristics will be extracted. Study quality will be assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for cohort studies, and heterogeneity will be assessed using the I2 statistic. Pooled cumulative incidence will be calculated for ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes separately using a random-effects model.

Ethics And Dissemination: No formal research ethics approval is necessary as primary data collection will not be done. We will disseminate our findings through scientific conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications, and social media/the press. The findings from this review will inform clinicians and patients regarding the risk of stroke in patients newly diagnosed with cancer by quantifying the cumulative incidence of each subtype of stroke during the first year after a diagnosis of cancer. This represents a window of opportunity to implement prevention strategies in a susceptible population.

Registration Id With Open Science Framework: osf.io/ucwy9.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0256825PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8409607PMC
September 2021

Timing of Perioperative Pharmacologic Thromboprophylaxis Initiation and its Effect on Venous Thromboembolism and Bleeding Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

J Am Coll Surg 2021 Aug 24. Epub 2021 Aug 24.

Division of Urology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada; The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: Perioperative thromboprophylaxis guidelines offer conflicting recommendations on when to start thromboprophylaxis. As a result, there is considerable variation in clinical practice, which can lead to worse patient outcomes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between the start time of perioperative thromboprophylaxis with venous thromboembolism (VTE) and bleeding outcomes.

Study Design: Embase, Medline, and CENTRAL (Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) databases were searched on October 23, 2020. Randomized controlled trials that evaluated VTE and/or bleeding among groups receiving the initial dose of pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis at different times preoperatively, intraoperatively, or postoperatively were included. Only trials that randomized patients to the same medication among groups were eligible. Studies on any type of operation were included. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed. The Cochrane Collaboration risk of bias tool was used. The review was registered with PROSPERO (International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews; CRD42019142079). The outcomes of interest were VTE and bleeding. Prespecified subgroup analyses of studies including orthopaedic and nonorthopaedic operations were performed.

Results: A total of 22 trials (n = 17,124 patients) met eligibility criteria. Pooled results showed a nonstatistically significant decrease in the rate of VTE with preoperative initiation of thromboprophylaxis compared with postoperative initiation (risk ratio 0.77; 95% CI, 0.55 to 1.08; I = 0%, n = 1,933). There was also a nonstatistically significant increase in the rate of bleeding with preoperative compared with postoperative initiation (risk ratio 1.17; 95% CI, 0.94 to 1.46; I = 35%, n = 2,752). Risk of bias was moderate. Heterogeneity between studies was low (I = 0% to 35%).

Conclusions: This meta-analysis found a nonstatistically significant decrease in the rate of VTE and an increase in the rate of bleeding when thromboprophylaxis was initiated preoperatively compared with postoperatively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2021.07.687DOI Listing
August 2021

Stakeholder engagement in economic evaluation: Protocol for using the nominal group technique to elicit patient, healthcare provider, and health system stakeholder input in the development of an early economic evaluation model of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy.

BMJ Open 2021 08 12;11(8):e046707. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Introduction: Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy is a class of immunotherapy. An economic evaluation conducted at an early stage of development of CAR-T therapy for treatment of adult relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukaemia could provide insight into factors contributing to the cost of treatment, the potential clinical benefits, and what the health system can afford. Traditionally, stakeholders are engaged in certain parts of health technology assessment processes, such as in the identification and selection of technologies, formulation of recommendations, and implementation of recommendations; however, little is known about processes for stakeholder engagement during the conduct of the assessment. This is especially the case for economic evaluations. Stakeholders, such as clinicians, policy-makers, patients, and their support networks, have insight into factors that can enhance the validity of an economic evaluation model. This research outlines a specific methodology for stakeholder engagement and represents an avenue to enhance health economic evaluations and support the use of these models to inform decision making for resource allocation. This protocol may inform a tailored framework for stakeholder engagement processes in future economic evaluation model development.

Methods And Analysis: We will involve clinicians, healthcare researchers, payers, and policy-makers, as well as patients and their support networks in the conduct and verification of an early economic evaluation of a novel health technology to incorporate stakeholder-generated knowledge. Three stakeholder-specific focus groups will be conducted using an online adaptation of the nominal group technique to elicit considerations from each. This study will use CAR-T therapy for adults with relapsed or refractory B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia as a basis for investigating broader stakeholder engagement processes.

Ethics And Dissemination: This study received ethics approval from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute Research Ethics Board (REB 20200320-01HT) and the results will be shared via conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications, and ongoing stakeholder engagement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-046707DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8362692PMC
August 2021

Long-term risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism among patients receiving extended oral anticoagulant therapy for first unprovoked venous thromboembolism: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

J Thromb Haemost 2021 Aug 11. Epub 2021 Aug 11.

Bayer AG, Wuppertal, Germany.

Background: The long-term risk for recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) during extended anticoagulation for a first unprovoked VTE is uncertain.

Objectives: To determine the incidence of recurrent VTE during extended anticoagulation of up to 5 years in patients with a first unprovoked VTE.

Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane CENTRAL were searched to identify randomized trials and prospective cohort studies reporting recurrent VTE among patients with a first unprovoked VTE who were to receive anticoagulation for a minimum of six additional months after completing ≥3 months of initial treatment. Unpublished data on number of recurrent VTE and person-years, obtained from authors of included studies, were used to calculate study-level incidence rate, and random-effects meta-analysis was used to pool results.

Results: Twenty-six studies and 15 603 patients were included in the analysis. During 11 631 person-years of follow-up, the incidence of recurrent VTE and fatal pulmonary embolism per 100 person-years was 1.41 (95% CI, 1.03-1.84) and 0.09 (0.04-0.16), with 5-year cumulative incidences of 7.1% (3.0%-13.2%) and 1.2% (0.4%-4.6%), respectively. The incidence of recurrent VTE was 1.08 (95% CI, 0.77-1.44) with direct oral anticoagulants and 1.55 (1.01-2.20) with vitamin K antagonists. The case-fatality rate of recurrent VTE was 4.9% (95% CI, 2.2%-8.7%).

Conclusions: In patients with a first unprovoked VTE, the long-term risk of recurrent VTE during extended anticoagulation is low but not negligible. Thus, clinicians and patients should be aware of this risk and take appropriate and timely action in case of suspicion of recurrent VTE. Estimates from this study can be used to advise patients on what to expect while receiving extended anticoagulation, and estimate the net clinical benefit of extended treatment to guide long-term management of unprovoked VTE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jth.15491DOI Listing
August 2021

Epidemiology of intravenous immune globulin in septic shock: a retrospective cohort analysis of the Premier Healthcare Database.

Can J Anaesth 2021 Aug 10. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Section of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

Purpose: Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) may improve survival in people with septic shock. Current utilization patterns of IVIG are unknown. We sought to characterize adult patients with septic shock requiring vasopressors who received IVIG, describes IVIG regimens, and evaluate determinants of IVIG use in patients with septic shock.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective database study of adult patients with septic shock admitted to US hospitals in the Premier Healthcare Database (from July 2010 to June 2013). We described the proportion of patients with septic shock receiving IVIG, examined IVIG regimens across sites and employed random-effects multivariable regression techniques to identify predictors of IVIG use.

Results: Intravenous immune globulin was administered to 0.3% (n = 685) of patients with septic shock; with a median [interquartile range (IQR)] dose of 1 [0.5-1.8] g·kg for a median [IQR] of 1 [1-2] day. Receipt of IVIG was less likely for Black patients (odds ratio [OR], 0.54; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.41 to 0.72) and patients without private insurance (Medicare OR, 0.73; 95% CI 0.59 to 0.90; Medicaid OR, 0.41; 95% CI 0.30 to 0.57) and more likely for patients with immunocompromise (OR, 6.83; 95% CI 5.47 to 8.53), necrotizing fasciitis (OR, 9.78; 95% CI 6.97 to 13.72), and toxic shock (OR, 56.9; 95% CI 38.7 to 83.7).

Conclusions: Intravenous immune globulin is used infrequently across the US in patients with septic shock. Regimens of IVIG in septic shock may be less intensive than those associated with a survival benefit in meta-analyses. Observed infrequent use supports apparent clinical equipoise, perhaps secondary to limitations of the primary literature. A clinical trial evaluating the role of IVIG in septic shock is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12630-021-02081-4DOI Listing
August 2021

Therapeutic Anticoagulation with Heparin in Critically Ill Patients with Covid-19.

N Engl J Med 2021 Aug 4;385(9):777-789. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

From the University of Toronto (E.C.G., P.R.L., L.C.G., M.E.F., V.D., R.A.F., J.P.G., M.H., A.S.S.), University Health Network (E.C.G., M.H.), Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at University Health Network (P.R.L., L.C.G., M.E.F., V.D.), Ozmosis Research (L.B., V.W.), Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (J.P.G.), Toronto, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (M. Carrier, L.A.C., D.A.F., G.L.G., D.M.S.), Institut du Savoir Montfort (M. Carrier, G.L.G.), and the University of Ottawa (L.A.C., D.A.F., D.M.S.), Ottawa, the University of Manitoba (A. Kumar, B.L.H., R.Z., S.A.L., D.S., G.V.-G.) and CancerCare Manitoba (B.L.H., R.Z.), Winnipeg, Université Laval and Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec-Université Laval Research Center, Quebec, QC (A.F.T.), McGill University, Montreal (S.R.K., E.G.M.), St. Michael's Hospital Unity Health, Toronto (J.C.M., Z.B., M.S., A.S.S.), McMaster University and the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute, Hamilton, ON (P.L.G.) Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC (F.L.), St. Boniface Hospital, Winnipeg, MB (N.M.), the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (S. Murthy), and the University of Alberta, Edmonton (S.D.) - all in Canada; University of Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol (C.A.B.), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (B.-A.K.), Imperial College London (A.C.G., F.A.-B., M.A.L.), Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, St. Mary's Hospital (A.C.G.), University College London Hospital (R.H.), Kings Healthcare Partners (B.J.H.), and Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) (P.R.M., K.R.), London, Queen's University Belfast and Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast (D.F.M.), and Oxford University (A. Beane, L.J.E., S.J.S.) and NHS Blood and Transplant (L.J.E., S. Mavromichalis, S.J.S.), Oxford - all in the United Kingdom; the University of Pittsburgh (B.J.M., D.C.A., M.M.B., M.D.N., H.F.E., J.D.F., Z.F., D.T.H., A.J.K., C.M.L., K.L., M.M., S.K.M., C.W.S., Y.Z.), University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (B.J.M., D.C.A., M.D.N., K.L.), the Clinical Research, Investigation, and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) Center, University of Pittsburgh (T.D.G.), and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (C.M. Horvat) - all in Pittsburgh; New York University (NYU) Grossman School of Medicine (J.S.B., H.R.R., J.S.H., T.C., A.C., N.M.K., S. Mavromichalis, S.P.), NYU Langone Health, NYU Langone Hospital (T.A., T.C., A.C., J.M.H., E.Y.), and Bellevue Hospital (N.M.K.), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (R.S.R.), and Mount Sinai Heart (R.S.R.), New York, Montefiore Medical Center (M.N.G., H.H.B., S.C., J.-T.C., A.A. Hope, R.N.) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (M.N.G., H.H.B., B.T.G., A.A. Hope), Bronx, and NYU Langone Long Island, Mineola (A.A. Hindenburg) - all in New York; Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital-University of California, San Francisco (L.Z.K., C.M. Hendrickson, M.M.K., A.E.K., B.N.-G., J.J.P.), Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance (R.J.L.), Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (M. Buxton) and the University of California, Los Angeles (G.L.), Los Angeles, the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego (T.W.C.), and Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto (J.G.W.) - all in California; the University of Illinois (K.S.K., J.R.J., J.G.Q.), the University of Chicago (J.D.P.), and the Chartis Group (J.S.) - all in Chicago; University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University (L.P.G.D., M. Bonten, R.E.G.S., W.B.-P.), and Utrecht University (R.E.G.S.), Utrecht, and Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen (S. Middeldorp, F.L.V.) - all in the Netherlands; Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, Burlington (M. Cushman); Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern (T.T.), and SOCAR Research, Nyon (B.-A.K., S. Brouwer) - both in Switzerland; Instituto do Coracao, Hospital das Clinicas, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo (L.C.G., F.G.L., J.C.N.), Avanti Pesquisa Clínica (A.S.M.), and Hospital 9 de Julho (F.O.S.), Sao Paulo, Hospital do Coração de Mato Grosso do Sul (M.P.), the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (M.P.), Hospital Universitário Maria Aparecida Pedrossia (D.G.S.), and Hospital Unimed Campo Grande (D.G.S.), Campo Grande, and Instituto Goiano de Oncologia e Hematologia, Clinical Research Center, Goiânia (M.O.S.) - all in Brazil; the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, Monash University (Z.M., C.J.M., S.A.W., A. Buzgau, C.G., A.M.H., S.P.M., A.D.N., J.C.P.), Monash University (A.C.C.), and Alfred Health (A.C.C., A.D.N.), Melbourne, VIC, St. John of God Subiaco Hospital, Subiaco, WA (S.A.W., E. Litton), Flinders University, Bedford Park, SA (S. Bihari), and Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth, WA (E. Litton) - all in Australia; Berry Consultants, Austin (R.J.L., L.R.B., E. Lorenzi, S.M.B., M.A.D., M.F., A.M., C.T.S.), and Baylor Scott and White Health, Temple (R.J.W.) - both in Texas; Auckland City Hospital (C.J.M., S.P.M., R.L.P.) and the University of Auckland (R.L.P.), Auckland, and the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington (C.J.M., A.M.T.) - all in New Zealand; Fédération Hospitalo-Universitaire Saclay and Paris Seine Nord Endeavour to Personalize Interventions for Sepsis (FHU-SEPSIS), Raymond Poincaré Hospital, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Garches (D. Annane), and Aix-Marseille University, Marseille (B.C.) - both in France; King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences and King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Y.M.A.); Nepal Mediciti Hospital, Lalitpur (D. Aryal), and the Nepal Intensive Care Research Foundation, Kathmandu (D. Aryal); Versiti Blood Research Institute, Milwaukee (L.B.K.); National Intensive Care Surveillance (NICS)-Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), Colombo, Sri Lanka (A. Beane); Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany (F.B.); Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland (A.D.), and the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati (K.H.) - both in Ohio; Ochsner Medical Center, University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School, New Orleans (M.B.E.); Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mexico City (J.E., E.M.G.); Brigham and Women's Hospital (B.M.E., Y.K., S.M.H.), Massachusetts General Hospital (N.S.R., A.B.S.), and Harvard Medical School (B.M.E., Y.K., N.S.R., A.B.S.) - all in Boston; University of Alabama, Birmingham (S.G.); TriStar Centennial Medical Center, Nashville (A.L.G.); University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium (H.G.); Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, New Jersey (Y.Y.G.); University of Oxford, Bangkok, Thailand (R.H.); the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (R.C.H., P.K.P.), Beaumont Health, Royal Oak (G.B.N.), and Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, Auburn Hills (G.B.N.) - all in Michigan; Apollo Speciality Hospital OMR, Chennai, India (D.J.); Oregon Health and Science University, Portland (A. Khan); National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (A. Kindzelski, E.S.L.); University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson (M.E.K.); IdiPaz Research Institute, Universidad Autonoma, Madrid (J.L.-S.); University College Dublin, Dublin (A.D.N.); the University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City (L.S.); and Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina (L.W.).

Background: Thrombosis and inflammation may contribute to morbidity and mortality among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). We hypothesized that therapeutic-dose anticoagulation would improve outcomes in critically ill patients with Covid-19.

Methods: In an open-label, adaptive, multiplatform, randomized clinical trial, critically ill patients with severe Covid-19 were randomly assigned to a pragmatically defined regimen of either therapeutic-dose anticoagulation with heparin or pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis in accordance with local usual care. The primary outcome was organ support-free days, evaluated on an ordinal scale that combined in-hospital death (assigned a value of -1) and the number of days free of cardiovascular or respiratory organ support up to day 21 among patients who survived to hospital discharge.

Results: The trial was stopped when the prespecified criterion for futility was met for therapeutic-dose anticoagulation. Data on the primary outcome were available for 1098 patients (534 assigned to therapeutic-dose anticoagulation and 564 assigned to usual-care thromboprophylaxis). The median value for organ support-free days was 1 (interquartile range, -1 to 16) among the patients assigned to therapeutic-dose anticoagulation and was 4 (interquartile range, -1 to 16) among the patients assigned to usual-care thromboprophylaxis (adjusted proportional odds ratio, 0.83; 95% credible interval, 0.67 to 1.03; posterior probability of futility [defined as an odds ratio <1.2], 99.9%). The percentage of patients who survived to hospital discharge was similar in the two groups (62.7% and 64.5%, respectively; adjusted odds ratio, 0.84; 95% credible interval, 0.64 to 1.11). Major bleeding occurred in 3.8% of the patients assigned to therapeutic-dose anticoagulation and in 2.3% of those assigned to usual-care pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis.

Conclusions: In critically ill patients with Covid-19, an initial strategy of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation with heparin did not result in a greater probability of survival to hospital discharge or a greater number of days free of cardiovascular or respiratory organ support than did usual-care pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis. (REMAP-CAP, ACTIV-4a, and ATTACC ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT02735707, NCT04505774, NCT04359277, and NCT04372589.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2103417DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8362592PMC
August 2021

Therapeutic Anticoagulation with Heparin in Noncritically Ill Patients with Covid-19.

N Engl J Med 2021 Aug 4;385(9):790-802. Epub 2021 Aug 4.

From the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at University Health Network (P.R.L., M.E.F., V.D., J.P.G., L.C.G., G.H.), the University of Toronto (P.R.L., E.C.G., A.S.S., M.E.F., V.D., R.A.F., L.C.G., G.H., M.H.), University Health Network (E.C.G., M.H.), St. Michael's Hospital Unity Health (A.S.S., Z.B., J.C.M., M.S.), Ozmosis Research (L.B., L.P.G.D., V.W.), and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (J.P.G.), Toronto, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (M. Carrier, L.A.C., D.A.F., G.L.G., D.M.S.), Institut du Savoir Montfort (Marc Carrier, G.L.G.), and the University of Ottawa (L.A.C., D.A.F., D.M.S.), Ottawa, Université Laval (A.F.T.) and CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Center (A.F.T.), Quebec, QC, the University of Manitoba (B.L.H., A. Kumar, R.Z., S.A.L., D.S., G.V.-G.), CancerCare Manitoba (B.L.H., R.Z.), and St. Boniface Hospital (N.M.), Winnipeg, MB, McGill University, Montreal (S.R.K., E.G.M.), McMaster University (P.L.G.) and the Thrombosis and Atherosclerosis Research Institute (P.L.G.), Hamilton, ON, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC (F.L.), the University of British Columbia, Vancouver (S. Murthy, K.R.), and the University of Alberta, Edmonton (S.D.) - all in Canada; NYU Grossman School of Medicine (J.S.B., H.R.R., J.S.H., T.C., N.M.K., S.P.), the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Mount Sinai Heart (R.S.R.), NYU Langone Health, NYU Langone Hospital (T.C., J.M.H., E.Y.), and Bellevue Hospital (N.M.K.), New York, Montefiore Medical Center (M.N.G., H.H.B., S.C., J.T.C., R.N.) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (M.N.G., H.H.B., B.T.G., A. Hope), Bronx, and NYU Langone Long Island, Mineola (R.D.H., A. Hindenburg) - all in New York; the University of Pittsburgh (M.D.N., B.J.M., D.T.H., M.M.B., D.C.A., A.J.K., C.M.L., K.L., S.K.M., C.W.S.), UPMC (M.D.N., B.J.M., D.C.A., K.L., S.K.M.), the Clinical Research, Investigation, and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) Center, University of Pittsburgh (T.D.G.), and UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (C. Horvat), Pittsburgh, and Emergency Medicine, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey (S.C.M.) - all in Pennsylvania; Instituto do Coracao, Hospital das Clinicas, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo (J.C.N., L.C.G., F.G.L.), Avanti Pesquisa Clínica (A.S.M.), Hospital de Julho (F.O.S.), and Hospital do Coracao (F.G.Z.), Sao Paulo, Hospital do Coração de Mato Grosso do Sul and the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul (M.P.), Hospital Universitário Maria Aparecida Pedrossia (D.G.S.J.), and Hospital Unimed Campo Grande (D.G.S.J.), Campo Grande, and INGOH, Clinical Research Center, Goiânia (M.O.S.) - all in Brazil; Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Mexico City (J.E., Y.S.P.G.); the University of Bristol and University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (C.A.B.), Bristol, Imperial College London (A.C.G., F.A.-B., M.A.L.), Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, St. Mary's Hospital (A.C.G.), the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (B.-A.K.), University College London Hospital (R.H.), Kings Healthcare Partners (B.J.H.), the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (P.R.M.), Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust (M.S.-H.), and King's College London (M.S.-H.), London, Oxford University (A. Beane, S.J.S.) and NHS Blood and Transplant (L.J.E., S.J.S.), Oxford, and Queen's University Belfast and Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast (D.F.M.) - all in the United Kingdom; Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, University of California, San Francisco (L.Z.K., C. Hendrickson, M.M.K., A.E.K., M.A.M., B.N.-G.), Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance (R.J.L., S. Brouwer), Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (M. Buxton) and the University of California Los Angeles (G.L.), Los Angeles, the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego (T.W.C.), and Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto (J.G.W.) - all in California; Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, Burlington (M. Cushman); Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, Monash University (Z.M., A.M.H., C.J.M., S.A.W., A. Buzgau, C.G., S.P.M., A.D.N., J.C.P., A.C.C.), and Alfred Health (A.C.C., A.D.N.), Melbourne, VIC, St. John of God Subiaco Hospital (S.A.W., E. Litton) and Fiona Stanley Hospital (E. Litton), Perth, WA, and Flinders University, Bedford Park, SA (S. Bihari) - all in Australia; the University of Illinois (K.S.K., J.R.J., J.G.Q.), Cook County Health and Rush Medical College (S. Malhotra), and the University of Chicago (J.D.P.) - all in Chicago; SOCAR Research SA, Nyon (B.-A.K.), and Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern (T.T.), Bern - all in Switzerland; Berry Consultants, Austin (R.J.L., E. Lorenzi, S.M.B., L.R.B., M.A.D., M.F., A.M., C.T.S.), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (A.P.), and Baylor Scott and White Health, Temple (R.J.W.) - all in Texas; Auckland City Hospital (C.J.M., S.P.M., R.L.P.) and the University of Auckland (R.L.P.), Auckland, and the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington (C.J.M., A.M.T.) - all in New Zealand; Vanderbilt University Medical Center (A.W.A.) and TriStar Centennial Medical Center (A.L.G.) - both in Nashville; Fédération Hospitalo Universitaire, Raymond Poincaré Hospital, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Garches (D. Annane), and Aix-Marseille University, Marseille (B.C.) - both in France; King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences and King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Y.M.A.); Nepal Mediciti Hospital, Lalitpur, and Nepal Intensive Care Research Foundation, Kathmandu (D. Aryal) - both in Nepal; Versiti Blood Research Institute, Milwaukee (L.B.K., L.J.E.), and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison (J.P.S.); National Intensive Care Surveillance-Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Colombo, Sri Lanka (A. Beane); the University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht (M. Bonten, R.E.G.S., W.B.-P.), and Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen (S. Middeldorp, F.L.V.) - both in the Netherlands; Jena University Hospital, Jena, Germany (F.B.); Cleveland Clinic (A.D.) and Case Western Reserve University, the Metro Health Medical Centre (V.K.) - both in Cleveland; Ochsner Medical Center, University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School, New Orleans (M.B.E.); Harvard Medical School (B.M.E., Y.K., N.S.R., A.B.S), Brigham and Women's Hospital (B.M.E., Y.K., S.M.H.), Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center (N.M.H.), and Massachusetts General Hospital (A.B.S., N.S.R.) - all in Boston; University of Alabama, Birmingham (S.G.); Hospital Ramón y Cajal (S.G.-M., J.L.L.-S.M., R.M.G.) and IdiPaz Research Institute, Universidad Autonoma (J.L.-S.), Madrid, and University Hospital of Salamanca-University of Salamanca-IBSAL, Salamanca (M.M.) - all in Spain; University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium (H.G.); Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark (Y.Y.G.); University of Oxford, Bangkok, Thailand (R.H.); Ascension St. John Heart and Vascular Center, Tulsa (N.H.), and the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma City (N.H.); the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati (K.H.); University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (R.C.H., P.K.P.), Beaumont Health, Royal Oak, and the OUWB School of Medicine, Auburn Hills (G.B.N.) - all in Michigan; Mayo Clinic, Rochester (V.N.I.), and the Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis (M.E.P.) - both in Minnesota; Apollo Speciality Hospital-OMR, Chennai, India (D.J.); Oregon Health and Science University, Portland (A. Khan, E.S.L.); the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD (A.L.K.); University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson (M.E.K.); University College Dublin, Dublin (A.D.N.); University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City (L.S.); Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC (L.W.); and Emory University, Atlanta (B.J.W.).

Background: Thrombosis and inflammation may contribute to the risk of death and complications among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). We hypothesized that therapeutic-dose anticoagulation may improve outcomes in noncritically ill patients who are hospitalized with Covid-19.

Methods: In this open-label, adaptive, multiplatform, controlled trial, we randomly assigned patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19 and who were not critically ill (which was defined as an absence of critical care-level organ support at enrollment) to receive pragmatically defined regimens of either therapeutic-dose anticoagulation with heparin or usual-care pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis. The primary outcome was organ support-free days, evaluated on an ordinal scale that combined in-hospital death (assigned a value of -1) and the number of days free of cardiovascular or respiratory organ support up to day 21 among patients who survived to hospital discharge. This outcome was evaluated with the use of a Bayesian statistical model for all patients and according to the baseline d-dimer level.

Results: The trial was stopped when prespecified criteria for the superiority of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation were met. Among 2219 patients in the final analysis, the probability that therapeutic-dose anticoagulation increased organ support-free days as compared with usual-care thromboprophylaxis was 98.6% (adjusted odds ratio, 1.27; 95% credible interval, 1.03 to 1.58). The adjusted absolute between-group difference in survival until hospital discharge without organ support favoring therapeutic-dose anticoagulation was 4.0 percentage points (95% credible interval, 0.5 to 7.2). The final probability of the superiority of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation over usual-care thromboprophylaxis was 97.3% in the high d-dimer cohort, 92.9% in the low d-dimer cohort, and 97.3% in the unknown d-dimer cohort. Major bleeding occurred in 1.9% of the patients receiving therapeutic-dose anticoagulation and in 0.9% of those receiving thromboprophylaxis.

Conclusions: In noncritically ill patients with Covid-19, an initial strategy of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation with heparin increased the probability of survival to hospital discharge with reduced use of cardiovascular or respiratory organ support as compared with usual-care thromboprophylaxis. (ATTACC, ACTIV-4a, and REMAP-CAP ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT04372589, NCT04505774, NCT04359277, and NCT02735707.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2105911DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8362594PMC
August 2021

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials Comparing Intraoperative Red Blood Cell Transfusion Strategies.

Ann Surg 2021 May 12. Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Surgery, The Ottawa Hospital, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Objective: The objective of this work was to carry out a meta-analysis of RCTs comparing intraoperative RBC transfusion strategies to determine their impact on postoperative morbidity, mortality, and blood product use.

Summary Of Background Data: RBC transfusions are common in surgery and associated with widespread variability despite adjustment for casemix. Evidence-based recommendations guiding RBC transfusion in the operative setting are limited.

Methods: The search strategy was adapted from a previous Cochrane Review. Electronic databases were searched from January 2016 to February 2021. Included studies from the previous Cochrane Review were considered for eligibility from before 2016. RCTs comparing intraoperative transfusion strategies were considered for inclusion. Co-primary outcomes were 30-day mortality and morbidity. Secondary outcomes included intraoperative and perioperative RBC transfusion. Meta-analysis was carried out using random-effects models.

Results: Fourteen trials (8641 patients) were included. One cardiac surgery trial accounted for 56% of patients. There was no difference in 30-day mortality [relative risk (RR) 0.96, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.71-1.29] and pooled postoperative morbidity among the studied outcomes when comparing restrictive and liberal protocols. Two trials reported worse composite outcomes with restrictive triggers. Intraoperative (RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.43-0.64) and perioperative (RR 0.70, 95% CI 0.62-0.79) blood transfusions were significantly lower in the restrictive group compared to the liberal group.

Conclusions: Intraoperative restrictive transfusion strategies decreased perioperative transfusions without added postoperative morbidity and mortality in 12/14 trials. Two trials reported worse outcomes. Given trial design and generalizability limitations, uncertainty remains regarding the safety of broad application of restrictive transfusion triggers in the operating room. Trials specifically designed to address intraoperative transfusions are urgently needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/SLA.0000000000004931DOI Listing
May 2021

MSC-Derived Extracellular Vesicles in Preclinical Animal Models of Bone Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Stem Cell Rev Rep 2021 Jul 27. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Stem Cells, Canadian Blood Services, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Background And Objective: Mesenchymal stromal cell-derived extracellular vesicles (MSC-EVs) are a promising treatment for bone injuries, although studies remain preclinical. A systematic review and meta-analysis can assess the efficacy of MSC-EVs and identify treatment aspects associated with enhanced bone repair.

Methods: English language, preclinical, controlled, in vivo studies identified in our systematic search (up to May 8, 2020) examining the use of MSC-EVs in bone healing were included. Risk of bias (ROB) was assessed using the SYRCLE tool. Aggregate Data Meta-Analysis was performed to determine the effect of MSC-EVs on Bone Volume/Total Volume (BV/TV) and New Bone Formation (NBF).

Results: Thirteen studies were included. Twelve reported either BV/TV or NBF and were included in meta-analysis. ROB was unclear in all studies. Overall, MSC-EVs displayed benefit in terms of bone healing for both BV/TV (22.2% mean difference (MD); 95% CI: 15.8-28.5%, p < 0.001) and NBF (26.1% MD; 10.3-41.8%, p = 0.001) versus controls. Substantial heterogeneity, however, was observed between studies. MSC-EVs were reported to activate multiple signaling pathways including mTOR/AKT, AMPK and BMP2. Subgroup analysis indicated no significant difference in the improvement of BV/TV when using modified EVs isolated after gene transfection, preconditioning (p = 0.61), or using EVs in combination with a tissue scaffold and/or hydrogel versus other delivery methods (p = 0.20).

Conclusion: Use of MSC-EVs to promote healing of bone injury appears promising, however, heterogeneity between studies and the potential for reporting bias limits confidence in the extent of benefit. Reducing bias between studies and addressing aspects of potential reporting bias should augment confidence in future meta-analyses and propel the field towards clinical studies. Forest Plot analysis assessing the percentage change in bone volume (BV) / total volume (TV) in the presence (experimental) or absence (control) of MSC-EVs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12015-021-10208-9DOI Listing
July 2021

Development and field testing of a patient decision aid for management of acute Achilles tendon rupture: a study protocol.

BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2021 07 24;21(1):225. Epub 2021 Jul 24.

Centre for Practice-Changing Research, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada.

Background: Achilles tendon ruptures are common injuries in an otherwise healthy, active population. Several treatment options exist, with both surgical and non-surgical options. Each treatment option has a unique set of risks and harms, which may present patients with decisional conflict. The aim of the proposed study is to develop, alpha test and field test a patient decision aid for patients presenting with acute Achilles tendon ruptures.

Methods: This is a three-stage study protocol. First, we will assemble a multi-disciplinary steering group including patients, clinicians, educators, and researchers to develop the patient decision aid prototype using the Ottawa Decision Support Framework. Second, we will perform a mixed-methods alpha test of the decision aid prototype with patients and clinicians experienced in acute Achilles tendon ruptures. Outcomes measured will include acceptability and usability of the patient decision aid measured using validated outcome scales and semi-structured interviews. A minimum of three rounds of feedback will be obtained. Results will be analyzed using descriptive statistics, reviewed by the steering group, to guide revisions to decision aid prototype at each round. The third stage will be field testing the revised decision aid prototype in usual clinical care. A pre-/post-study will be performed with patients with acute Achilles tendon ruptures. Patients will be recruited from the emergency department and complete the pre-consultation decision aid prior to a one-week follow up with their surgeon. The primary outcome of field testing will be feasibility of implementing the decision aid in the clinical setting and will be measured with recruitment and completion metrics. Secondary outcomes include acceptability of the decision aid, knowledge, preparedness for decision making, and decisional conflict, measured using validated outcome measures. Statistical analysis will be performed using descriptive analysis for primary outcomes and a student t-test and Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test for secondary outcomes.

Discussion: This comprehensive study protocol outlines the development, alpha testing, and field testing of a patient decision aid for patients with acute Achilles tendon rupture. Systematic and transparent development and testing of patient decision aids is critical to improve decision aid quality. Trial registration Not Applicable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12911-021-01589-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8310595PMC
July 2021

Patient engagement in preclinical laboratory research: A scoping review.

EBioMedicine 2021 Aug 17;70:103484. Epub 2021 Jul 17.

Clinical Epidemiology Program, Blueprint Translational Research Group, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 501 Smyth Road, PO Box 201B, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8L6, Canada; Department of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The Ottawa Hospital, Canada. Electronic address:

Background: 'Patient engagement' involves meaningful collaboration between researchers and 'patient partners' to co-create research. It helps ensure that research being conducted is relevant to its ultimate end-users. Although patient engagement within clinical research has been well documented, the prevalence and effects of patient engagement in translational preclinical laboratory research remain unclear. The aim of this scoping review is to present current patient engagement activities reported in preclinical laboratory research.

Methods: MEDLINE, Embase, and grey literature were systematically searched from inception to April 2021. Studies that described or investigated patient engagement in preclinical laboratory research were included. Patient engagement activities where patients (i.e. patients, family members, caregivers or community members) provided input, or consultation on at least one element of the research process were eligible for inclusion. Study characteristics and outcomes were extracted and organized thematically.

Findings: 32 reports were included (30 primary studies, 1 narrative review, and 1 researcher guide). Most studies engaged patients at the education or priority setting stages (n=26). The most frequently reported benefit of patient engagement was 'providing a mutual learning opportunity'. Reported barriers to patient engagement reflected concerns around 'differences in knowledge and research experience' and how this may challenge communication and limit meaningful collaboration.

Interpretation: Patient engagement is feasible and beneficial for preclinical laboratory research. Future work should focus on assessing the impacts of patient engagement in this area of research.

Funding: None.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103484DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8318845PMC
August 2021

Lack of Cost-Effectiveness of Preoperative Erythropoiesis-Stimulating Agents and/or Iron Therapy in Anaemic, Elective Surgery Patients: A Systematic Review and Updated Analysis.

Pharmacoeconomics 2021 Jul 8. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Objectives: For anaemic elective surgery patients, current clinical practice guidelines weakly recommend the routine use of iron, but not erythrocyte-stimulating agents (ESAs), except for short-acting ESAs in major orthopaedic surgery. This recommendation is, however, not based on any cost-effectiveness studies. The aim of this research was to (1) systematically review the literature regarding cost effectiveness of preoperative iron and/or ESAs in anaemic, elective surgery patients and (2) update existing economic evaluations (EEs) with recent data.

Methods: Eight databases and registries were searched for EEs and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reporting cost-effectiveness data on November 11, 2020. Data were extracted, narratively synthesized and critically appraised using the Philips reporting checklist. Pre-existing full EEs were updated with effectiveness data from a recent systematic review and current cost data. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios were expressed as cost per (quality-adjusted) life-year [(QA)LY] gained.

Results: Only five studies (4 EEs and 1 RCT) were included, one on intravenous iron and four on ESAs + oral iron. The EE on intravenous iron only had an in-hospital time horizon. Therefore, cost effectiveness of preoperative iron remains uncertain. The three EEs on ESAs had a lifetime time horizon, but reported cost per (QA)LY gained of 20-65 million (GBP or CAD). Updating these analyses with current data confirmed ESAs to have a cost per (QA)LY gained of 3.5-120 million (GBP or CAD).

Conclusions: Cost effectiveness of preoperative iron is unproven, whereas routine preoperative ESA therapy cannot be considered cost effective in elective surgery, based on the limited available data. Future guidelines should reflect these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40273-021-01044-3DOI Listing
July 2021

How outcomes are measured after spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage: A systematic scoping review.

PLoS One 2021 30;16(6):e0253964. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

Department of Medicine (Neurology), University of Ottawa Brain and Mind Research Institute and Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Background And Purpose: Recovery after intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) is often slower than ischemic stroke. Despite this, ICH research often quantifies recovery using the same outcome measures obtained at the same timepoints as ischemic stroke. The primary objective of this scoping review is to map the existing literature to determine when and how outcomes are being measured in prospective studies of recovery after ICH.

Methods: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Web of Science from inception to November 2019, for prospective studies that included patients with ICH. Two investigators independently screened the studies and extracted data around timing and type of outcome assessment.

Results: Among the 9761 manuscripts reviewed, 395 met inclusion criteria, of which 276 were observational studies and 129 were interventional studies that enrolled 66274 patients. Mortality was assessed in 93% of studies. Functional outcomes were assessed in 85% of studies. The most frequently used functional assessment tool was the modified Rankin Scale (mRS) (60%), followed by the National Institute of Health Stroke Severity Scale (22%) and Barthel Index (21%). The most frequent timepoint at which mortality was assessed was 90 days (41%), followed by 180 days (18%) and 365 days (12%), with 2% beyond 1 year. The most frequent timepoint used for assessing mRS was 90 days (62%), followed by 180 days (21%) and 365 days (17%).

Conclusion: While most prospective ICH studies report mortality and functional outcomes only at 90 days, a significant proportion do so at 1 year and beyond. Our results support the feasibility of collecting long-term outcome data to optimally assess recovery in ICH.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0253964PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8244847PMC
June 2021

What Is the Best Evidence to Guide Management of Acute Achilles Tendon Ruptures? A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Clin Orthop Relat Res 2021 10;479(10):2119-2131

Centre for Practice-Changing Research, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Background: Uncertainty exists regarding the best treatment for acute Achilles tendon ruptures. Simultaneous comparison of the multiple treatment options using traditional study designs is problematic; multiarm clinical trials often are logistically constrained to small sample sizes, and traditional meta-analyses are limited to comparisons of only two treatments that have been compared in head-to-head trials. Network meta-analyses allow for simultaneous comparison of all existing treatments utilizing both direct (head-to-head comparison) and indirect (not previously compared head-to-head) evidence.

Questions/purposes: We performed a network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to answer the following questions: Considering open repair, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) repair, functional rehabilitation, or primary immobilization for acute Achilles tendon ruptures, (1) which intervention is associated with the lowest risk of rerupture? (2) Which intervention is associated with the lowest risk of complications resulting in surgery?

Methods: This study was conducted with methods guided by the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions and is reported in adherence with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension statement for incorporating network meta-analysis. Five databases and grey literature sources (such as major orthopaedic meeting presentation lists) were searched from inception to September 30, 2019. Included studies were RCTs comparing treatment of acute Achilles tendon ruptures using two or more of the following interventions: primary immobilization, functional rehabilitation, open surgical repair, or MIS repair. We excluded studies enrolling patients with chronic ruptures, reruptures, and preexisting Achilles tendinopathy as well as studies with more than 20% loss to follow-up or less than 6 months of follow-up. Nineteen RCTs (1316 patients) were included in the final analysis. The mean number of patients per study treatment arm was 35 ± 16, mean age was 41 ± 5 years, mean sex composition was 80% ± 10% males, and mean follow-up was 22 ± 12 months. The four treatment groups were compared for the main outcomes of rerupture and complications resulting in operation. The analysis was conducted using random-effects Bayesian network meta-analysis with vague priors. Evidence quality was evaluated using Grades of Recommendation, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation methodology. We found risk of selection, attrition, and reporting bias to be low across treatments, and we found the risk of performance and detection bias to be high. Overall risk of bias between treatments appeared similar.

Results: We found that treatment with primary immobilization had a greater risk of rerupture than open surgery (odds ratio 4.06 [95% credible interval {CrI} 1.47 to 11.88]; p < 0.05). There were no other differences between treatments for risk of rerupture. Minimally invasive surgery was ranked first for fewest complications resulting in surgery and was associated with a lower risk of complications resulting in surgery than functional rehabilitation (OR 0.16 [95% CrI 0.02 to 0.90]; p < 0.05), open surgery (OR 0.22 [95% CrI 0.04 to 0.93]; p < 0.05), and primary immobilization (OR < 0.01 [95% CrI < 0.01 to 0.01]; p < 0.05). Risk of complications resulting in surgery was no different between primary immobilization and open surgery (OR 1.46 [95% CrI 0.35 to 5.36]). Data for patient-reported outcome scores and return to activity were inappropriate for pooling secondary to considerable clinical heterogeneity and imprecision associated with small sample sizes.

Conclusion: Faced with acute Achilles tendon rupture, patients should be counseled that, based on the best-available evidence, the risk of rerupture likely is no different across contemporary treatments. Considering the possibly lower risk of complications resulting in surgery associated with MIS repair, patients and surgeons must balance any benefit with the potential risks of MIS techniques. As treatments continue to evolve, consistent reporting of validated patient-reported outcome measures is critically important to facilitate analysis with existing RCT evidence. Infrequent but serious complications such as rerupture and deep infection should be further explored to determine whether meaningful differences exist in specific patient populations.

Level Of Evidence: Level I, therapeutic study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CORR.0000000000001861DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8445578PMC
October 2021

The Effects of Biological Sex on Sepsis Treatments in Animal Models: A Systematic Review and a Narrative Elaboration on Sex- and Gender-Dependent Differences in Sepsis.

Crit Care Explor 2021 Jun 14;3(6):e0433. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Clinical Epidemiology Program, Blueprint Translational Group, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Preclinical studies provide an opportunity to evaluate the relationship between sex and sepsis, and investigate underlying mechanisms in a controlled experimental environment. The objective of our systematic review was to assess the impact of biological sex on treatment response to fluid and antibiotic therapy in animal models of sepsis. Furthermore, we provide a narrative elaboration of sex-dependent differences in preclinical models of sepsis.

Data Sources: MEDLINE and Embase were searched from inception to March 16, 2020.

Study Selection: All studies reporting sex-stratified data comparing antibiotics and/or fluid resuscitation with a placebo or no treatment arm in an in vivo model of sepsis were included.

Data Extraction: Outcomes of interest were mortality (primary) and organ dysfunction (secondary). Risk of bias was assessed. Study selection and data extraction were conducted independently and in duplicate.

Data Synthesis: The systematic search returned 2,649 unique studies, and two met inclusion criteria. Both studies used cecal ligation and puncture models with imipenem/cilastatin antibiotics. No eligible studies investigated fluids. In one study, antibiotic therapy significantly reduced mortality in male, but not female, animals. The other study reported no sex differences in organ dysfunction. Both studies were deemed to be at a high overall risk of bias.

Conclusions: There is a remarkable and concerning paucity of data investigating sex-dependent differences in fluid and antibiotic therapy for the treatment of sepsis in animal models. This may reflect poor awareness of the importance of investigating sex-dependent differences. Our discussion therefore expands on general concepts of sex and gender in biomedical research and sex-dependent differences in key areas of sepsis research such as the cardiovascular system, immunometabolism, the microbiome, and epigenetics. Finally, we discuss current clinical knowledge, the potential for reverse translation, and directions for future studies.

Registration: PROSPERO CRD42020192738.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CCE.0000000000000433DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8205191PMC
June 2021

Red blood cell transfusion and associated outcomes in patients referred for palliative care: A retrospective cohort study.

Transfusion 2021 08 19;61(8):2317-2326. Epub 2021 Jun 19.

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Background: We aim to describe the occurrence of red blood cell transfusion and associated predictive factors and outcomes among patients referred for palliative care.

Study Design And Methods: This retrospective cohort study used linked health administrative data of adults referred for palliative care at an academic hospital from 2014 to 2018. Multivariable regression models were employed to evaluate patient characteristics associated with transfusion and the relationship between transfusion status and location of death. Survival analyses were performed using log-rank tests and Cox proportional hazards modeling.

Results: Of 6980 evaluated patients, 885 (12.7%) were transfused following palliative care consultation. Covariate factors associated with transfusion included younger age, higher performance status, lower baseline hemoglobin, and a diagnosis of hematologic malignancy (OR = 2.97, 95% CI 2.20-4.01) or solid organ tumor (OR = 1.37, 95% CI 1.10-1.71) vs. noncancer diagnosis. Median survival from palliative care consultation was 19 (IQR 5-75) days; 83 (32-305) days in those transfused and 15 (4-57) days in the nontransfused group (p < .0001). Median survival following transfusion was 56 (19-200) days. Solid organ tumor diagnosis was independently associated with poor survival (HR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.39-2.09 vs. non-cancer diagnosis). Among individuals who survived ≥30 days, transfusion was associated with a higher likelihood of death in hospital (OR = 2.15, 95% CI 1.71-2.70 vs. home/subacute setting).

Discussion: Transfusions commonly occurred in patients receiving palliative care, associated with cancer diagnoses and favorable baseline prognostic factors. Poor survival following transfusion, particularly in solid organ tumor patients, and the twofold likelihood of death in hospital associated with this intervention have important implications in prescribing transfusion for this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.16560DOI Listing
August 2021

Editors-in-chief perceptions of patients as (co) authors on publications and the acceptability of ICMJE authorship criteria: a cross-sectional survey.

Res Involv Engagem 2021 Jun 14;7(1):39. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Clinical Epidemiology Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, K1H 8L6, Canada.

Background: Access to, and awareness of, appropriate authorship criteria is an important right for patient partners. Our objective was to measure medical journal Editors-in-Chief' perceptions of including patients as (co-)authors on research publications and to measure their views on the application of the ICMJE (International Committee of Medical Journals Editors) authorship criteria to patient partners.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey co-developed with a patient partner. Editors-in-Chief of English-language medical journals were identified via a random sample of journals obtained from the Scopus source list. The key outcome measures were whether Editors-in-Chief believed: 1) patient partners should be (co-)authors and; 2) whether they felt the ICMJE criteria for authorship required modification for use with patient partners. We also measured Editors-in-Chief description of how their journal's operations incorporate patient partner perspectives.

Results: One hundred twelve Editors-in-Chief responded to our survey (18.7% response rate; 66.69% male). Participants were able to skip any questions they did not want to answer, so there is missing data for some items. 69.2% (N = 74) of Editors-in-Chief indicated it was acceptable for patient partners to be authors or co-authors on published biomedical research articles, with the remaining 30.8% (N = 33) indicating this would not be appropriate. When asked specifically about the ICMJE authorship criteria, and whether this should be revised to be more inclusive of patient partners, 35.8% (N = 39) indicated it should be revised, 35.8% (N = 39) indicated it should not be revised, and 28.4% (N = 31) were unsure about a revision. 74.1% (N = 80) of Editors-in-Chief did not think patients should be required to have an academic affiliation to published while 16.7% (N = 18) and 9.3% (N = 10) indicated they should or were unsure. 3.6% (N = 4) of Editors-in-Chief indicated their journal had a policy that specifies how patients or patient partners should be considered as authors.

Conclusions: Our findings highlight gaps that may act as barriers to patient partner participation in research. A key implication is the need for education and for consensus building within the biomedical community to establish processes that will facilitate equitable patient partners inclusion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40900-021-00290-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8201727PMC
June 2021

Red blood cell transfusion in animal models of acute brain injuries: a systematic review protocol.

Syst Rev 2021 06 14;10(1):177. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

CHU de Québec - Université Laval Research Center, Population Health and Optimal Health Practices Research Unit (Trauma-Emergency-Critical Care Medicine), Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada.

Background: Anemia is common in neurocritically ill patients. Considering the limited clinical evidence in this population, preclinical data may provide some understanding of the potential impact of anemia and of red blood cell transfusion in these patients. We aim to estimate the association between different transfusion strategies and neurobehavioral outcome in animal models.

Methods: We will conduct a systematic review of comparative studies of red blood cell transfusion strategies using animal models of traumatic brain injury, ischemic stroke or cerebral hemorrhage. We will search MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Web of Science databases for eligible studies from inception onwards. Two independent reviewers will perform study selection and data extraction. We will report our results in a descriptive synthesis focusing on characteristics of included studies, reported outcomes, risk of bias, and construct validity. Our primary outcome is the neurological function (neurobehavioral performance) and our secondary outcomes include mortality, infarct size, intracranial pressure, cerebral perfusion pressure, cerebral blood flow, and brain tissue oxygen tension. If appropriate, we will also perform a quantitative synthesis and pool results using random-effect models. Heterogeneity will be expressed with I statistics. Subgroup analyses are planned according to animal model characteristics, co-interventions, and risks of bias.

Discussion: Our study is aligned with the efforts to better understand the level of evidence on the impact of red blood cell transfusion strategies from preclinical studies in animal models of acute brain injury and the potential translation of information from the preclinical to the clinical research field.

Systematic Review Registration: PROSPERO CRD42018086662 .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13643-021-01703-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8201673PMC
June 2021

Results from a Theory-Guided Survey to Support Breast Cancer Trial Participation: Barriers, Enablers, and What to Do about them.

Curr Oncol 2021 05 26;28(3):2014-2028. Epub 2021 May 26.

Clinical Trials Ontario, 661 University Avenue, Suite 460, MaRS Centre, West Tower, Toronto, ON M5G 1M1, Canada.

Background: Ensuring adequate, informed, and timely participation in clinical trials is a multifactorial problem. We have previously developed a systematic, tailorable survey development approach that is informed by theory, can identify barriers and enablers to participation, and can suggest recruitment strategies to address these issues. In this study, we surveyed subscribers to the Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) in order to identify a comprehensive list of theory-informed barriers and enablers relevant to participation in a hypothetical breast cancer trial.

Methods: We developed and conducted an online survey of breast cancer patients informed by the Theoretical Domains Framework and designed to determine previous experience with clinical trials, knowledge about clinical trials, and importance of a comprehensive list of barriers and enablers to trial participation. Participants were contacted by email or through social media.

Results: From 2451 subscribers of the CBCN, we received 244 responses and 210 completed surveys (244/2451 or 9.9% participation, 210/244 or 86.1% completion). A total of 38% of respondents indicated experience in trial participation, but 83% indicated confidence in their knowledge about clinical trials. Those who had previously participated in clinical trials were more confident in their knowledge (χ= 6.77, = 0.009) and answered more knowledge questions (t = -3.90 = 0.000). Endorsed barriers and enablers to participation included 39 factors across 12 of 14 domains relevant to behaviour change. Our approach identifies barriers that might be meaningfully addressed by careful knowledge provision (''), those that may require other theory-informed approaches to address (''; ''), and those that may require tailored approaches depending on participant differences such as previous experience in trials ('').

Discussion: This work demonstrates that a comprehensive, theory-guided survey of barriers and enablers to participation in breast cancer clinical trials is feasible, can lead to detailed knowledge about the issues related to participation in specific trials, and most importantly, can lead to insights about evidence-based ways to better support patient participation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28030187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8161779PMC
May 2021

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of 12-Versus 4-Weekly Administration of Bone-Targeted Agents in Patients with Bone Metastases from Breast and Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer.

Curr Oncol 2021 05 13;28(3):1847-1856. Epub 2021 May 13.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1H 8M5, Canada.

A cost-utility analysis was performed based on the Rethinking Clinical Trials (REaCT) bone-targeted agents (BTA) clinical trial that compared 12-weekly (once every 12 weeks) ( = 130) versus 4-weekly (once every 4 weeks) ( = 133) BTA dosing for metastatic breast and castration-resistant prostate (CRPC) cancer. Using a decision tree model, we calculated treatment and symptomatic skeletal event (SSE) costs as well as quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) for each treatment option. Deterministic and probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to assess the robustness of the study findings. The total cost of BTA treatment in Canadian dollars (C$) and estimated QALYs was C$8965.03 and 0.605 QALY in the 4-weekly group versus C$5669.95 and 0.612 QALY in the 12-weekly group, respectively. De-escalation from 4-weekly to 12-weekly BTA reduces cost (C$3293.75) and improves QALYs by 0.008 unit, suggesting that 12-weekly BTA dominates 4-weekly BTA in breast and CRPC patients with bone metastases. Sensitivity analysis suggests high levels of uncertainty in the cost-effectiveness findings. De-escalation of bone-targeted agents is cost-effective from the Canadian public payer's perspective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/curroncol28030171DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8161812PMC
May 2021

Implementation of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society guidelines for perioperative risk assessment and management: an interrupted time series study.

Can J Anaesth 2021 08 24;68(8):1135-1145. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of Ottawa, The Ottawa Hospital, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Purpose: The Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) guidelines for patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery address the lack of standardized management for patients at risk of perioperative cardiovascular complications. Our interdisciplinary group evaluated the implementation of these guidelines.

Methods: We used an interrupted time series design to evaluate the effect of implementation of the CCS guidelines, using routinely collected hospital data. The study population consisted of elective, non-cardiac surgery patients who were: i) inpatients following surgery and ii) age ≥ 65 or age 45-64 yr with a Revised Cardiac Risk Index ≥ 1. Outcomes included adherence to troponin I (TnI) monitoring (primary) and adherence to appropriate consultant care for patients with elevated TnI (secondary). Exploratory outcomes included cost measures and clinical outcomes such as length of stay.

Results: We included 1,421 patients (706 pre- and 715 post-implementation). We observed a 67% absolute increase (95% confidence interval, 55 to 80; P < 0.001) in adherence to TnI testing following the implementation of the guidelines. In patients who had elevated TnI following guideline implementation (n = 64), the majority (85%) received appropriate follow-up care in the form of a general medicine or cardiology consult, all received at least one electrocardiogram, and half received at least one advanced cardiac test (e.g., cardiac perfusion scan, or percutaneous intervention).

Conclusions: Our study showed the ability to implement and adhere to the CCS guidelines. Large-scale multicentre evaluations of CCS guideline implementation are needed to gain a better understanding of potential effects on clinically relevant outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12630-021-02026-xDOI Listing
August 2021

Patient Participation in Clinical Trials of Oncology Drugs and Biologics Preceding Approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.

JAMA Netw Open 2021 May 3;4(5):e2110456. Epub 2021 May 3.

Studies of Translation, Ethics, and Medicine, Biomedical Ethics Unit, McGill University, Montreal, Québec, Canada.

Importance: Several studies have estimated the financial inputs for successful drug development. Such analyses do not capture the large investment that patient study participants commit to drug development.

Objective: To estimate the volume of patients required to achieve a first US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a new anticancer drug or biologic therapy.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This cohort study included a random sample of prelicense oncology drugs and biologics with a trial site in the United States that were launched into clinical efficacy testing between January 1, 2006, and December 31, 2010. Drugs and biologics were identified using ClinicalTrials.gov registration records. Total patient enrollment was captured over an 8-year span, and each intervention was classified based on whether it received FDA approval and was deemed as having intermediate or substantial value according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology Value Framework (ASCO-VF) score. Secondarily, the association between patient numbers and intervention characteristics was tested. Data were analyzed in February 2020.

Main Outcomes And Measure: The prespecified primary outcome was the number of patients enrolled in prelicense trials per FDA approval.

Results: A total of 120 drugs and biologics were included in our study, with 84 (70.0%) targeted agents, 20 (16.7%) immunotherapies, and 71 (59.2%) novel agents. A total of 13 drugs and biologics (10.8%; 95% CI, 5.3%-16.8%) in our sample gained FDA approval within 8 years, of which 1 (7.7%) was deemed of intermediate value and 3 (23.1%) were deemed of substantial value using ASCO-VF scoring. Overall, 158 810 patients were enrolled in 1335 trials testing these drugs and biologics, 47 913 (30.2%) in trials that led to FDA approval and 110 897 (69.8%) in trials that did not. An estimated 12 217 (95% CI, 7970-22 215) patient study participants contributed to prelicense trials per FDA approval. The estimated number of patients needed to produce a single FDA-approved drug or biologic of intermediate or substantial ASCO-VF clinical value was 39 703 (95% CI, 19 391-177 991).

Conclusions And Relevance: The results of this cohort study make visible the substantial patient investment required for prelicense oncology drug development. Such analyses can be used to devise policies that maximize the clinical impact of research on a per-patient basis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.10456DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8132139PMC
May 2021

Safety and efficacy of autologous whole cell vaccines in hematologic malignancies: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Hematol Oncol 2021 May 8. Epub 2021 May 8.

Cancer Therapeutics Program, The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Autologous cell vaccines use a patient's tumor cells to stimulate a broad antitumor response in vivo. This approach shows promise for treating hematologic cancers in early phase clinical trials, but overall safety and efficacy remain poorly described. We conducted a systematic review assessing the use of autologous cell vaccination in treating hematologic cancers. Primary outcomes of interest were safety and clinical response, with secondary outcomes including survival, relapse rate, correlative immune assays and health-quality related metrics. We performed a search of MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials including any interventional trial employing an autologous, whole cell product in any hematologic malignancy. Risk of bias was assessed using a modified Institute of Health Economics tool. Across 20 single arm studies, only 341 of 592 enrolled participants received one or more vaccinations. Primary reasons for not receiving vaccination included rapid disease progression/death and manufacturing challenges. Overall, few high-grade adverse events were observed. One death was reported and attributed to a GM-CSF producing allogeneic cell line co-administered with the autologous vaccine. Of 58 evaluable patients, the complete response rate was 21.0% [95% CI, 10.4%-37.8%)] and overall response rate was 35.8% (95% CI, 24.4%-49.0%). Of 97 evaluable patients for survival, the 5-years overall survival rate was 64.9% (95% CI, 52.6%-77.2%) and disease-free survival was 59.7% (95% CI, 47.7%-71.7%). We conclude that, in hematologic malignancies, based on limited available data, autologous cell vaccines are safe and display a trend towards efficacy but that challenges exist in vaccine manufacture and administration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hon.2875DOI Listing
May 2021

Epidemiology and reporting characteristics of preclinical systematic reviews.

PLoS Biol 2021 05 5;19(5):e3001177. Epub 2021 May 5.

Clinical Epidemiology Program, Blueprint Translational Research Group, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

In an effort to better utilize published evidence obtained from animal experiments, systematic reviews of preclinical studies are increasingly more common-along with the methods and tools to appraise them (e.g., SYstematic Review Center for Laboratory animal Experimentation [SYRCLE's] risk of bias tool). We performed a cross-sectional study of a sample of recent preclinical systematic reviews (2015-2018) and examined a range of epidemiological characteristics and used a 46-item checklist to assess reporting details. We identified 442 reviews published across 43 countries in 23 different disease domains that used 26 animal species. Reporting of key details to ensure transparency and reproducibility was inconsistent across reviews and within article sections. Items were most completely reported in the title, introduction, and results sections of the reviews, while least reported in the methods and discussion sections. Less than half of reviews reported that a risk of bias assessment for internal and external validity was undertaken, and none reported methods for evaluating construct validity. Our results demonstrate that a considerable number of preclinical systematic reviews investigating diverse topics have been conducted; however, their quality of reporting is inconsistent. Our study provides the justification and evidence to inform the development of guidelines for conducting and reporting preclinical systematic reviews.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3001177DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8128274PMC
May 2021

Convalescent plasma for adults with acute COVID-19 respiratory illness (CONCOR-1): study protocol for an international, multicentre, randomized, open-label trial.

Trials 2021 May 4;22(1):323. Epub 2021 May 4.

McMaster Centre for Transfusion Research, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Background: Convalescent plasma has been used for numerous viral diseases including influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome and Ebola virus; however, evidence to support its use is weak. SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus responsible for the 2019 global pandemic of COVID-19 community acquired pneumonia. We have undertaken a randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) in patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Methods: CONCOR-1 is an open-label, multicentre, randomized trial. Inclusion criteria include the following: patients > 16 years, admitted to hospital with COVID-19 infection, receiving supplemental oxygen for respiratory complications of COVID-19, and availability of blood group compatible CCP. Exclusion criteria are : onset of respiratory symptoms more than 12 days prior to randomization, intubated or imminent plan for intubation, and previous severe reactions to plasma. Consenting patients are randomized 2:1 to receive either approximately 500 mL of CCP or standard of care. CCP is collected from donors who have recovered from COVID-19 and who have detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies quantified serologically. The primary outcome is intubation or death at day 30. Secondary outcomes include ventilator-free days, length of stay in intensive care or hospital, transfusion reactions, serious adverse events, and reduction in SARS-CoV-2 viral load. Exploratory analyses include patients who received CCP containing high titre antibodies. A sample size of 1200 patients gives 80% power to detect a 25% relative risk reduction assuming a 30% baseline risk of intubation or death at 30 days (two-sided test; α = 0.05). An interim analysis and sample size re-estimation will be done by an unblinded independent biostatistician after primary outcome data are available for 50% of the target recruitment (n = 600).

Discussion: This trial will determine whether CCP will reduce intubation or death non-intubated adults with COVID-19. The trial will also provide information on the role of and thresholds for SARS-CoV-2 antibody titres and neutralization assays for donor qualification.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT04348656 . Registered on 16 April 2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13063-021-05235-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8094980PMC
May 2021

Prophylactic tranexamic acid use in non-cardiac surgeries at high risk for transfusion.

Transfus Med 2021 Aug 2;31(4):236-242. Epub 2021 May 2.

Department of Medical Oncology and Hematology, CancerCare Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Background: Tranexamic acid (TXA) reduces transfusion in a wide range of surgical populations, although its real-world use in non-cardiac surgeries has not been well described. The objective of this study was to describe prophylactic TXA use in non-cardiac surgeries at high risk for transfusion.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of all adult patients undergoing major non-cardiac surgery at ≥5% risk of perioperative transfusion at five Canadian hospitals between January 2014 and December 2016. Canadian Classification of Health Interventions procedure codes within the Discharge Abstract Database were linked to transfusion and laboratory databases. TXA use was ascertained electronically from The Ottawa Hospital Data Warehouse and via manual chart review for Winnipeg hospitals. For each surgery, we evaluated the percentage of patients who received TXA as well as the specifics of TXA dosing and administration.

Results: TXA use was evaluable in 14 300 patients. Overall, 17% of surgeries received TXA, ranging from 0% to 68% among individual surgeries. TXA use was more common in orthopaedic (n = 2043/4942; 41%) and spine surgeries (n = 239/1322; 18%) compared to other surgical domains (n = 109/8036; 1%). TXA was commonly administered as a bolus (n = 2097/2391; 88%). The median TXA dose was 1000 mg (IQR 1000-1000 mg).

Conclusion: TXA is predominantly used in orthopaedic and spine surgeries, with little uptake in other non-cardiac surgeries at high risk for red blood cell transfusion. Further studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of TXA and to understand the barriers to TXA administration in a broad range of non-cardiac surgeries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tme.12780DOI Listing
August 2021

Blood Transfusion and Adverse Graft-related Events in Kidney Transplant Patients.

Kidney Int Rep 2021 Apr 2;6(4):1041-1049. Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Division of Nephrology, Kidney Research Center, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Background: The impact of posttransplant red blood cell transfusion (RBCT) and their potential immunomodulatory effects on kidney transplant recipients are unclear. We examined the risks for adverse graft outcomes associated with post-kidney transplant RBCT.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all adult kidney transplant recipients at The Ottawa Hospital from 2002 to 2018. The exposure of interest was receipt of an RBCT after transplant categorized as 1, 2, 3 to 5, and >5 RBC. Outcomes of interest were rejection and death-censored graft loss (DCGL). Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HR) with RBCT as a time-varying, cumulative exposure.

Results: Among 1258 kidney transplant recipients, 468 (37.2%) received 2373 total RBCTs, 197 (15.7%) had rejection and 114 (9.1%) DCGL. For the receipt of 1, 2, 3 to 5, and >5 RBCT, compared with individuals never transfused, the adjusted HRs (95% confidence interval [CI]) for rejection were 2.47 (1.62-3.77), 1.27 (0.77-2.11), 1.74 (1.00-3.05), and 2.23 (1.13-4.40), respectively; DCGL 2.32 (1.02-5.27), 3.03 (1.62-5.64), 7.50 (4.19-13.43), and 14.63 (8.32-25.72), respectively. Considering a time-lag for an RBCT to be considered an exposure before an outcome to limit reverse causation, RBCT was not associated with rejection; the HRs for DCGL attenuated but remained similar. RBCT was also associated with a negative control outcome, demonstrating possible unmeasured confounding.

Conclusion: RBCT after kidney transplant is not associated with rejection, but may carry an increased risk for DCGL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ekir.2021.01.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8071620PMC
April 2021
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