Clinical Trial Opportunities in Transfusion Medicine: Proceedings of a National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute State-of-the-Science Symposium
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The use of blood products to support patients undergoing the large variety of medical and surgical interventions requiring such support has continued to escalate very significantly over time. Relevantly, significant practice variation in the use of blood products exists among practitioners and institutions, largely because of the lack of robust clinical trial data, in many instances, which are critical for providing practitioners with evidence-based guidelines for appropriate blood product utilization. Recognizing this gap, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recently established a State-of-the-Science Symposium to help define areas of clinical trial research that would enhance the opportunity for developing appropriate practice guidelines for both Transfusion Medicine and Hemostasis/Thrombosis. Such a Symposium was held in September 2009 to identify important clinical trial research issues in these 2 subject areas of endeavor. The aims of this Symposium were to specifically identify phase 2 and 3 clinical trials that, if conducted over the next 5 to 10 years, could impact the treatment of patients with hemostatic and other disorders as well as to optimize the use of blood products in patients who need such interventions. This article reports on the deliberations that were held relating to the various clinical trial concepts developed by 7 Transfusion Medicine subcommittees. This Symposium generated a rich assortment of clinical trial proposals that will undergo further refinement before final implementation into pilot or full randomized clinical trials. The various proposals identified many opportunities for clinical trial research and most importantly underscored the ongoing need for well-developed evidence-based clinical trial research in the field of Transfusion Medicine.