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Drug-eluting stents outperform radiation treatment for coronary restenosis in bare metal stents

In the first published trial of its kind, a multi-center clinical study has shown that drug-eluting stents outperform the current "gold standard" radiation treatment in managing coronary restenosis and in preventing further clogging of coronary arteries.

Results of the TAXUS Express stent trial led by Columbia University Medical Center researchers at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia were published in the March 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study results were also presented March 12 at the American College of Cardiology's annual scientific meeting in Atlanta.

The trial studied 396 patients whose bare metal stents had become clogged with scar tissue, a common complication called restenosis. About half of the patients received paclitaxel-eluting stents, while the other half received vascular brachytherapy, which delivers radiation to the inside of the artery via a catheter. Vascular brachytherapy is currently the only FDA-approved treatment for restenosis after bare metal stent implantation. Paclitaxel is a drug that inhibits cell migration and prevents restenosis. The TAXUS Express stent is made by Boston Scientific Corp.

After 9 months, the trial showed that the paclitaxel-eluting stents reduced by 40 percent the number of patients needing additional procedures to clear the artery, compared to vascular brachytherapy. Angiographic measurements in both groups showed that patients who had drug-eluting stents experienced less than half as much restenosis (14.5 percent) as those who had brachytherapy (31.2 percent).

The trial also showed that the benefits of paclitaxel-stenting were achieved without compromising safety. Paclitaxel stents reduced major cardiac events from 20.1 percent in the brachytherapy group to 11.5 percent. The two treatments had similar rates of cardiac death or myocardial infarction (5.2 percent for brachytherapy and 3.7 percent for stenting) and thrombosis in the stented artery
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Contact: Craig LeMoult
cel2113@columbia.edu
212-305-0820
Columbia University Medical Center
12-Mar-2006


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