“Our cardiothoracic research enterprise involves several different arms, including a robust basic science and translational laboratory for cardiovascular disease,” says Michael Argenziano, MD, Chief of Adult Cardiac Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Research Laboratory and Clinical Research Program. Dr. Argenziano also serves as Columbia’s Principal Investigator in the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CSTN), which is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke.
“We have been a member of CSTN since 2006 and have participated in dozens of trials in cardiac surgery and served as co-authors of several articles published in The New England Journal of Medicine and other prestigious publications,” notes Dr. Argenziano. “Columbia is one of only three CSTN member sites in New York State. Current trials are focused on five- to 10-year-follow-up in outcomes of patients with severe or moderate ischemic mitral regurgitation who underwent mitral valve operations and evaluating the benefit of concurrent tricuspid valve repair during mitral surgery.”
Cardiovascular research at Columbia is also focused on the genetics of cardiovascular disease led by Giovanni Ferrari, PhD, Scientific Director of the Cardiothoracic Research Program, with a particular emphasis on heart valve and vascular cell physiology, cardiac biomechanics, and the brain-heart axis. For more than two decades an NIH T32 Training Grant in cardiovascular disease, currently in its fourth renewal, has been providing opportunities for physician-scientist trainees to become independent investigators in cardiovascular research. And a Clinical Research Core oversees both publicly funded and industry sponsored clinical trials in areas that include cardiac surgery, cardiology, and immunology.
Mario F.L. Gaudino, MD, directs Translational and Clinical Research in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Gaudino’s research is centered on a fundamental question in coronary artery bypass surgery: Is the use of two or more arterial grafts compared to a single arterial graft associated with improved clinical outcome? The answer is being sought in an international study launched by Dr. Gaudino nearly two years ago. The ROMA trial – Randomized comparison of the clinical Outcome of single versus Multiple Arterial grafts – enrolled its first patient in January 2018.
“Today, we have 1,500 patients all over the world toward our goal to enroll 4,300 patients, age 18 to 70, in some 50 international centers,” says Dr. Gaudino, Principal Investigator. “Patients are being randomized to receive a single arterial graft or multiple arterial grafts and followed for 10 years. In addition to looking at mortality outcomes, we are also going to look at reduction in myocardial infarction, stroke, and need for repeated revascularization. I cannot say if one group will do better than the other, but I’m very confident that this will be the trial that will provide the final answer to CABG, the most common cardiac surgery operation that impacts the lives of millions of patients. There is no doubt that in coronary artery bypass surgery at the moment, everyone is waiting for the results of ROMA.”