Why Peripheral Arterial Disease Lacks Clinical Research


The high-risk patient population is under-represented in new research and agents. Why characteristics set it apart from other cardiovascular diseases?

Despite afflicting millions of Americans, peripheral artery disease (PAD) lacks particular focus from cardiovascular research communities.

Case in point, per CPC Clinical Research executive director Marc Bonaca, MD: this year’s American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2021 Scientific Sessions featured a lone sub-analysis of data from the pivotal VOYAGER PAD trial in its late-breaking sessions, and little else to represent PAD clinical care.

"I think that has to change,” Bonaca told HCPLive. “I think we need dedicated trials in this space. We need to understand what therapies do, their risks and benefits in a fragile population, and we need to look at outcomes that are relevant for this population.”

In the second segment of an interview with HCPLive during ACC 2021, Bonaca, a member of the original VOYAGER PAD research team, discussed the complications of PAD—which range from a fairly diverse cardiology and radiology team, to a persistence of patient risks beyond more well-understood complications like myocardial infarction (MI).

“The PAD patient is complicated, because they are not only like MI and stroke patients who are at high risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, but they are at very high risk of limb events,” Bonaca explained. “And the risk there is not the same over time.”

Bonaca discussed the opportunity for VOYAGER PAD assessments to continue fueling necessary discussion into PAD at major meetings like ACC.

“I hope that VOYAGER PAD is the beginning of a new paradigm where we start to study this very fragile and prevalent disease state in dedicated trials,” he said.

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