Heart Program Gets a Head Start on Newly Approved Technology
Medical Director Served as Top Enroller for Clinical Trials of New Stent Technology
As medical director of multiple programs at Washington Hospital, cardiologist Ash Jain, M.D., has a vested interest in the health of Washington Township Health Care District residents.
This is why he has committed himself to being actively involved in searching out the latest research and best treatment options and began enrolling his patients in the clinical trials for Resolute Integrity DES (drug-eluting stent) produced by Medtronic.
"From whatever little experience and research I had about this stent early on, I knew that it represented a good opportunity for my patients," Dr. Jain says. "Having it available to me three to four years before it came onto the market was an advantage that I could provide my patients; hence, I tried to enroll as many patients as I could to give them the added benefit.
"As a result, this enabled our Cardiac and Vascular Catheterization Laboratories at Washington Hospital to provide our patients with a better product in its early stages."
So what exactly is a drug-eluting stent? Stents themselves are essentially mesh-like tubes made of thin wire used to prop open narrowed or diseased blood vessels in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Drug-eluting stents go a step further, Dr. Jain says.
New era of cardiac intervention
"Today we compare coronary stents in the drug-eluting stent era," he explains. "There are three other stents available in this arena-Endeavor(r) by Medtronic, Xience by Abbott Vascular, and ION(tm) by Boston Scientific-so we have to compare Resolute to these.
"Each of these stents are superior to the previous generation of bare-metal stents; this is a well-known fact in the field. However, I believe Resolute is different and better, first because it contains a drug which decreases restenosis as low as the best stent out there."
Restenosis refers to a relapse in arterial narrowing, which means that the blood vessel re-collapses sometime after the stent has been placed.
"Resolute is also very highly deliverable, and it comes in various sizes to better support a broad patient population," Dr. Jain says.
The Resolute Integrity DES shares many advantages with the other drug-eluting stents on the market, he points out. There is, however, a very particular reason why Dr. Jain became the No. 1 enroller of patients in the original clinical trials for this particular brand of stent technology.
Helping patients with diabetes
"Perhaps most significantly, it has been shown to help the diabetic population, which is a very vulnerable population when it comes to coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease. As such, I believe it represents an advancement."
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that 25.8 million children and adults in the United States-8.3 percent of the total population-have diabetes, with 18.8 million people diagnosed, 7 million undiagnosed, and 79 million individuals with prediabetes. New cases in 2010 were estimated to be at 1.9 million in people aged 20 years and older.
The ADA also states that, according to statistics, adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about two to four times higher than adults without diabetes.
"Having an approved product gives a stamp of authenticity to a much needed treatment modality," Dr. Jain says of Resolute's approval by the FDA. "Patients with diabetes mellitus are a large chunk of patient population, and they are difficult to treat."
Furthermore, Dr. Jain says that the benefits of the new stent are numerous for both patients with diabetes and those without.
"Ultimately, patients will benefit from better outcomes as a result of Resolute's high deliverability, reduced incidence of restenosis, longer term success rates, and fewer complications later on."
Dr. Jain explains that he feels an obligation to continue finding new ways to improve outcomes for the community member he treats. For example, he is keeping an eye on another upcoming advancement in technology, a bio-absorbable drug-eluting stent by Abbott Vascular.
"As a medical director, I need to participate in improving the quality of services that we provide to our patients," he says. "One of my roles is to help bring the technology that would benefit our patients and, as a result, lead to overall better medical care."
Heart care for the community
Washington Hospital's Heart Program, including the state-of-the-art digital vascular imaging laboratories, serves more than 3,500 adult cardiac, vascular, and electrophysiology patients annually, including those with arteriosclerotic heart disease, valvular disease, disarrhythmias, peripheral vascular disease, pulmonary disease, and neurovascular disease. To learn more about cardiac care at Washington Hospital, visit www.whhs.com/heart.
To find a cardiologist near you, visit www.whhs.com and click on the "Find My Physician" tab.