The Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference (TCT) is the largest U.S. meeting devoted to interventional cardiology (angioplasty, stents, and related procedures) and it starts next week. Organizers are predicting a new attendance record of over 12,000 cardiologists and associated healthcare professionals, as well as members of the device, imaging and pharmaceutical industries, venture capitalists, and press. Speaking of which, yes…I will be there and Angioplasty.Org will be reporting on late-breaking trials, new directions and innovative devices.
The annual meeting is truly international: attendees will be traveling from 70 countries; in fact, this year more than two-thirds of the registrants hail from outside the United States.
Dr. Gregg W. Stone, co-director of the TCT, told a press briefing this morning that there will be nine late-breaking trials presented and six “first reports.” At the top of Dr. Stone’s list are the two PFO Closure trials being presented on Thursday morning: RESPECT (A Prospective, Randomized Trial of PFO Closure vs. Medical Therapy in Patients with Cryptogenic Stroke) and the PC Trial (A Prospective, Randomized Trial of PFO Closure vs. Medical Therapy in Patients with Cryptogenic Embolism). These trials will address a problem and a possible therapy that has not yet been proven. PFO closures are performed to attempt to avoid stroke, but these procedures are off-label and a definitive trial has not yet been presented to determine the efficacy of this intervention. This hopefully will change on next Thursday.
There are more activities crammed into this week than is possible to cover completely: the sessions begin with breakfast seminars at 7:00am and end with evening satellite symposia, usually lasting until 9:30 or 10:00pm. There will be seminars, workshops, posters and abstracts presented, plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, an all-day FDA Town Hall meeting…and live cases being broadcast from 20 different sites around the world. A complete agenda can be found on the TCT website.
There will be studies about stents, balloons, transcatheter aortic valves, mitral clips, renal denervation to treat resistant hypertension and more. A few studies I am looking forward to in particular are the cost effectiveness study of FAME II, being presented by Dr. William Fearon of Stanford. Also the results of the STEMI-RADIAL study, comparing angioplasty from the wrist vs. the femoral/groin artery for the emergency treatment of heart attack. And the ADAPT-DES IVUS Substudy which may show the utility of intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) in revealing the causes and possible prevention of stent thrombosis.
And did I mention Miami Beach? You know, as in “beach…?”
Stay tuned next week. The main portion of the TCT starts on Wednesday and we’ll be covering the highlights.