As the scope of the coronavirus pandemic broadens, it is only natural for people to look to the scientific and research communities for solutions. In recent weeks, however, the thirst for viable treatment options has contributed to drug shortages and misinformation for patients with rheumatic diseases.
Rheumatologists have a critical role to play in optimizing the response to COVID-19 and outcomes for our patients with rheumatic diseases. In just the past few weeks, rheumatologists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and around the world have joined forces for this purpose.
“I’ve been very impressed by how quickly the rheumatology community has come together,” said rheumatologist Susan Y. Ritter, MD, PhD, associate medical director of the Brigham’s Arthritis Center. “I’ve seen multiple people communicating via email, Twitter and Facebook to get the word out to rheumatologists and make sure we have as much data as possible.” Read More
“The ACR has taken a very proactive stance to try to address COVID-19,” Dr. Gravallese said. “We understand how difficult this pandemic has been for rheumatologists in caring and making the best decisions for their patients while at the same time limiting community exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus as much as possible. We hope the work we are doing at the ACR will provide immediate assistance to physicians in these efforts.” Read More
Brigham and Women’s Hospital successfully validated a COVID-19 test for admitted patients, offering results within 24 hours. A team of experts from the Department of Pathology have been racing against the clock in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
As the number of patients in need of heart or lung transplants continues to exceed the number of donor organs that are viable and available, many patients die while waiting for a transplant. Through the DONATE HCV Trial, a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is expanding the donor pool by enabling transplantation from hepatitis C-infected donors.
In a recent publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, a multidisciplinary team of experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital reported a 100 percent success rate for transplant recipients who received lungs or a heart infected with hepatitis C (HCV).
Six months after transplantation, patients remained hepatitis C free and had functioning transplanted organs. The trial showed that a four-week antiviral treatment regimen started immediately following organ transplantation prevented HCV infection in all patients and led to excellent outcomes. Given the success of the trial, enrollment continues.
The DONATE HCV Trial is the largest clinical trial to date for HCV thoracic organ transplantation. “If even half the other centers in the United States were to adopt the Brigham protocol, we would, in fact, shorten the time to transplantation by nearly half,” says Mandeep Mehra, MD, medical director of the Heart & Vascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The team has enrolled 69 participants to date.
In the above video, hear more from the investigators pioneering this trial, including: