A common cardiac drug called valsartan has shown positive results in those who carry the gene for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy but who do not have overt disease.
As reported by Dr. Carolyn Ho of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School at the online European Society of Cardiology meeting, the Phase 2 double blind VANISH trial looked at 178 pre-symptomatic young people who carried a sarcomere gene mutation known to cause HCM. These patients were randomly assigned to take either valsartan, an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB), or a placebo.
At the time of trial enrollment, these patients showed no or only mild signs of the disease. At the end of the two year trial, the individuals who took valsartan had a better overall cardiac picture compared to the group taking only the placebo.
Dr. Ho had this to say in a story about the trial results in Mirage News:
“Valsartan improved cardiac structure/function and remodeling in patients with early stage sarcomeric HCM, suggesting that this strategy may help prevent disease progression among those who have received a genetic diagnosis of HCM.”
“Our results suggest that valsartan may not only stabilize disease progression but may also promote improvement.”
You can also read this summary of the presentation on MedPage Today.
Findings from MyoKardia’s Phase 2 Maverick clinical trial of its experimental drug mavacamten in non-obstructive HCM were announced on Monday at the online 69th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology.
Dr. Carolyn Ho of Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital reported to online viewers that mavacamten was generally well tolerated. In addition, the drug showed promising results in this Phase 2 trial intended to demonstrate the safety of the drug. In particular, some relevant additional observations were reductions in blood levels of two biomarkers of cardiac stress and injury – namely NT-proBNP which indicates hemodynamic stress, and cardiac troponin I, which is a biomarker of myocardial injury.
These findings look promising for non-obstructive HCM patients who currently have very limited treatment options.
A recent study by doctors at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children suggests that current screening guidelines for children from HCM families are inadequate and should instead recommend earlier screening exams. In the U.S., screening begins at age 12 pursuant to American College of Cardiology (ACC)/American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines. In Europe, screening begins at age 10 pursuant to the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines.
Continue reading “Should Children from HCM Families be Screened Earlier?”
A recent paper published in the journal Circulation looked at the clinical course of approximately 4,600 HCM patients over the course of more than 24,000 clinical years, which the paper describes as the largest comprehensive cohort of HCM patients ever studied.
This study examined patients from eight high volume HCM centers which aggregated their institutional data into a database known as the Sarcomere Human Cardiomyopathy Registry (or the acronym the “SHaRe” for short). The results of the study showed that, in general, HCM patients are at substantially elevated risk for atrial fibrillation and heart failure, and have significantly higher mortality rates than that of the general U.S. population.
Continue reading “HCM Researchers Put their Heads Together to Improve Lives of HCM Patients”
NOTE: As of July, 2018 the website and app have been updated to include even more information for HCM patients. Check it out.
Have you heard that there is a new online educational resource about HCM? Check out HCM Care.com, an informational website about HCM developed by MyoKardia in partnership with Duke Clinical Research Institute.
This website features general information about HCM including diagnosis, testing, treatment, lifestyle, genetics and family screening. It is also available as a FREE downloadable app for both Apple and Android operating systems.
Click here to find on iTunes and Google Play.
HCMCare features video clips from the following physicians:
- Dr. James Daubert from Duke University Medical Center
- Dr. Milind Desai from Cleveland Clinic
- Dr. Carolyn Ho from Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Dr. Martin Maron from Tufts Medical Center
- Dr. Andrew Wang from Duke University Medical Center
Be sure to check out HCMCare, as well as many other helpful resources which are listed on HCMBeat’s Resources page.
A study published today by Dr. Carolyn Ho, of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues, including Australia’s Christopher Semsarian, found that there are several factors which appear to stand out in young people who later go on to develop HCM.
The children/adolescents/young adults who participated in the study all carried at least one gene associated with HCM, and were members of families with strong histories of HCM. None of the 38 young people had clinical manifestations of HCM at the beginning of the study period, while 4 went on to develop HCM by the end of the study. In collecting the data analyzed in the study, the test results of the 4 individuals with HCM were compared to the 34 individuals that did not have HCM at the end of the study.
The factors associated with the development of overt HCM, as identified by the researchers, were: abnormal left ventricular relaxation and higher ejection fraction, EKG changes, longer mitral valve leaflets, higher NT-proBNP concentrations and troponin values.
In the conclusion, the authors acknowledged the need for further research and investigation in order to better understand the natural course and evolution of the disease.