PRESTIGE-AF at European Researchers’ Night in London

On 27th September, PRESTIGE-AF researchers from Imperial College London connected with hundreds of museum-goers at the Natural History Museum after-hours for a festival of science. As part of other Horizon2020 projects showcasing, PRESTIGE-AF were in the ‘EU Pub’ where the public had one-on-one access to ask questions and connect in deep conversations about the EU-funded project.

It was incredible to be part of the ‘world wild webs’, as was the theme for the night and bring the project to an engaged and curious audience.

Partner in focus: Universitaetsklinikum Wuerzburg

Time to focus on a partner organisation of PRESTIGE-AF. Collaborating in a major, pan-European research project is no small feat. Our partners are what make the research come to life, and it is only fair to regularly bring under the spotlight, the dedicated and passionate researchers behind PRESTIGE-AF. The ‘partner in focus’ this time around is Universitaetsklinikum Wuerzburg (UKW). Located in Germany, UKW is closely linked with The University of Würzburg and its Medical Faculty as clinics, preclinical and clinico-theoretical institutes work together closely in the field of science and research.

What does it mean for you and your team to be part of this EU-funded project? What are the highlights? The challenges?

Stroke is one of the most frequent causes of death, and its prevention presents a considerable challenge for research. The PRESTIGE-AF trial brings together top-ranking researchers in the field of stroke research and is precisely working on this challenge. The fact that the EU funds the PRESTIGE-AF trial makes it possible to pool capacities of all consortium partners for such research efforts. The collaborative effort of all contributing parties, in particular, enabled us to develop new scientific and innovative ideas, which are realised in the form of PRESTIGE-AF substudies, and represent a highlight of the project. Through the cooperation, the consortium partners benefit from each others’ expertise, which also gives us the opportunity to look at situations from a different perspective. This unique opportunity to cooperate with many partners at the same time also represents a challenge, as it demands great communication skills to consider each partner’s ideas. It is an exceptional opportunity for us to be part of such an amazing international research collaboration.

Tell us more about your team working in PRESTIGE-AF. Who are they and what are they working on?

Our team at the University Clinics Wuerzburg (UKW) includes project managers, data managers, and biostatisticians. With professionals from different areas and years of experience conducting clinical trials, we support the Sponsor Imperial College as Clinical Trial Support Center in the implementation, execution, and completion of the PRESTIGE-AF trial providing support in the areas project management, data management, monitoring, as well as biometrics. Our project management activities include, among others, regulatory advice, development of documents, and execution oversight. Besides project management support, the development of a validated database system in compliance with the ICH E9 guideline and other regulatory requirements is one of our central tasks, so that valid data can be provided for analysis at the end of the trial. During the course of the trial, we will oversee clinical monitoring in France, UK, Italy, and Spain, and will monitor the sites in Germany and Austria. We also developed the statistical analysis plan, perform the final statistical analysis at the end of the trial, and participate in the Steering Committee. Therefore, our project management team, our data management team, and our statistician are involved in PRESTIGE-AF trial and working closely together with the sponsor and the consortium partners.

How did UKW get involved in PRESTIGE-AF2020?

As Clinical Trial Support Center of the UKW, we focus specifically on the conduct of investigator-initiated clinical trials. Due to previous cooperation with the project coordinator and the Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biometry (ICE-B) of the University Wuerzburg, it was obvious to bring in our expertise in the PRESTIGE-AF trial as well.

What is UKW main motivation to participate in international collaborations such as PRESTIGE-AF2020?

Our goal is to accompany the project partners throughout all steps of the clinical trial and to enable the successful start-up, execution, and completion of the trial. It drives our motivation that PRESTIGE-AF allows us to learn from partners in other countries, to gain a deeper insight into their processes and structures, to exchange experiences, and develop innovative ideas together. The new contacts with the consortium partners are also of great value for possible future collaborations in the clinical field at the end of the PRESTIGE-AF trial. We live Europe, through such projects.

PRESTIGE-AF at ESOC19 in pictures

award winners on stage at ESOC2019

The European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC) is a premier European forum for stroke research and rapidly becoming the global platform for the release of major trial data.

The PRESTIGE-AF team went to ESOC 2019 in Milan of which several members of the team presented and showcased. Alongside the main conference, the PRESTIGE-AF local investigators were invited to a meeting specific to PRESTIGE-AF activities and project status.

Here is the conference in photos taken by the PRESTIGE-AF team. Enjoy!

outside a convention centre in Milan. ESCO2019 flag waving
entrance to the convention centre in Milan with sign 'Welcome to ESOC2019'
This and above: The team arriving for the first day of ESOC
Prof Stephanie Debette (Universite de Bordeaux, PRESTIGE-AF consortium member and leader of the genetics component) sitting on a panel with Rustam Al-Shahi Salman (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland) and two other people
Prof Stephanie Debette (Universite de Bordeaux, PRESTIGE-AF consortium member and leader of the genetics component) on the panel as a mentor giving feedback on young researchers’ protocols. Also in the photo (far left) is Rustam Al-Shahi Salman (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland) who is a leader in haemorrhage research and part of the RESTART trial.
Prof Stephanie Debette presenting at the conference with “My Journey, Highs and Lows in Stroke Research”.
Prof Stephanie Debette standing at a podium with microphone
This and above: Prof Stephanie Debette presenting at the conference with “My Journey, Highs and Lows in Stroke Research”.
Dr Eleni Korompoki standing at a podium presenting at ESOC2019
Dr Eleni Korompoki standing at a podium presenting at ESOC2019
This and above: Dr Eleni Korompoki (member of the Imperial College London team for PRESTIGE-AF team) presenting in the transient ischemic attack (TIA) session.
outside conference centre looking at ESOC sign
ESOC day 2!
Prof Roland Veltkamp presenting at a podium with a big screen of ICH data
Prof Roland Veltkamp (Imperial College London, UK) in the controversies in stroke debate. Prof Veltkamp was arguing in the affirmative for starting anticoagulants after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).
Prof Karin Klijn presenting at a podium with a big screen of ICH data
Prof Roland Veltkamp (Imperial College London, UK) above] in the controversies in stroke debate with Prof Karin Klijn (Radboud University) [here] – Prof Veltkamp was arguing in the affirmative for starting anticoagulants after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) with Prof Klijn as the opposing.
award winners on stage at ESOC2019
ESOC award winners including PRESTIGE-AF’s very own Prof Stephanie Debette!
Dr Yanzhong Wang on a big screen with a slide title 'Burden of Stroke in Europe: 30-year projections of incidence, prevalence, deaths, and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs)'
PRESTIGE/AF collaborator Dr Wang discussing the burden of stroke over the next 30 years
A female standing at a podium presenting with a big screen of powerpoint slides
The PRESTIGE-AF team were eagerly anticipating the presentation of the results of the PRACTISE Trial. Amongst a full house in the “Large Clinical Trials” session the PRACTISE trial demonstrated that when patients were given multimodal imaging, 1 in 5 patients were given IV thrombolysis without any reduction in patient outcomes. Extra imaging may reduce unnecessary thrombolysis in patients.
crowd shot of people looking at a big screen
The PRESTIGE-AF team were eagerly anticipating the presentation of the results of the PRACTISE Trial. Amongst a full house in the “Large Clinical Trials” session the PRACTISE trial demonstrated that when patients were given multimodal imaging, 1 in 5 patients were given IV thrombolysis without any reduction in patient outcomes. Extra imaging may reduce unnecessary thrombolysis in patients.
A man speaking at a podium with a big screen to a crowd of people
Results of sub analysis of WAKE-UP trial: thrombolysis is effective in large vessel occlusion stroke patients with unknown symptom onset and gives twice the likelihood of a favourable outcome.
exit of convention centre in Milan with sign 'Save the Date ESO-WSO Conference, Vienna 12-15 May 2020'
Conference ends at 15.45. It’s a wrap! We will see PRESTIGE-AF next year in Vienna!

We are underway! First participant recruited

Congratulations to the team at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (UK) who randomised the first participant into the PRESTIGE-AF Study. Our other sites across Europe are underway to do the same and we look forward to continuing the marvellous work in the PRESTIGE-AF Study.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust team of four people standing looking at the camera
The team at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust who randomised the first participant. From left: Vaishali Dave, Peter Wilding, Ana Gil, Sheila Mashate (front-right). Congratulations to the team!

For further information about the clinical trials across Europe:
UK
Omid Halse
omid.halse@nhs.net
Austria
Franz Fazekas (contact Chris Enzinger)
chris.enzinger@medunigraz.at
France
Igor Sibon
igor.sibon@u-bordeaux.fr
Italy
Valeria Caso
valeria.caso@ospedale.perugia.it
Germany
Peter Ringleb
peter.ringleb@med.uni-heidelberg.de
Spain
Joan Montaner
joan.montaner@vhir.org

PRESTIGE-AF going to ESOC 2019

Banner for ESOC2019

The PRESTIGE-AF team are going to Milan in May to participate in one of Europe’s leading forums for stroke research, the European Stroke Organisation Conference (ESOC).

The European Stroke Organisation Conference is a premier European forum for stroke research and rapidly becoming the global platform for the release of major trial data. Last year the conference welcomed over 4,500 participants from around the world with 1800 abstracts submitted, and over 1300 e-posters on display. With one participant suggesting “it is the stroke conference in Europe I think at the moment (participant from ESOC 2019 promotional video), the 2019 conference will provide a unique opportunity for the PRESTIGE-AF team to network with fellow clinicians and scientists.

The PRESTIGE-AF team will present, discuss and trade expertise in the most rapidly evolving area of stroke management and care. We have quite a few from the PRESTIGE-AF team presenting at the conference including the project’s coordinators from Imperial College London, Roland Veltkamp, Stephanie Debette from Universite de Bordeaux, and Joan Montaner from Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR). Roland will convene the session on Intracerebral Haemorrhage and do a short presentation looking at the causes of recurrent ischemic stroke after embolic stroke of an undetermined source. The team will take full advantage of the conference with holding their own Investigator Meeting and Steering Committee breakfast.

ESO president Bart van der Worp, notes that “ESOC 2019 will be even greater…with major trial results to be presented” (ESOC Youtube Video), so we are looking forward to the team’s review of the conference including presentations of major clinical trials.

Go to the ESO Conference website for more information about the 2019 European Stroke Organisation Conference.

PRESTIGE-AF’s Year 1 Annual Meeting at Imperial College London

On the 14th December 2018, members of the PRESTIGE-AF Consortium travelled from across Europe to our year one annual meeting, held in the majestic 170 Queen’s Gate in the grounds of Imperial College London.

During the one-day meeting, the attendees discussed administrative, legal, financial and operational aspects of the project and we also welcomed two members of the  Expert External Advisory Board (EEAB) for the first time. The Coordinator (Imperial)  led the process, providing a framework for discussion while ensuring that all attendees were made aware of the project’s ambitions, scope, and obligations.

Professor Roland Veltkamp kicked-off the meeting by clearly summarising the objectives and aims of PRESTIGE-AF, whereby scientists and clinicians across Europe have been brought together to reduce the risk of further Stroke in this group of patients.

The day was a great success which allowed collaborative learning and exchange of information. Plans have already begun for our year two annual meeting, scheduled to take place at the end of 2019.

PRESTIGE-AF’s kick-off meeting at Imperial College London

Following the successful bid for funding from the European Commission, the PRESTIGE-AF Consortium members came together for the project’s kick-off meeting which took place on Wednesday 6th December 2017 and hosted by Imperial College London.

Representatives from each of the project’s partner institutions travelled to London to attend the first annual meeting of this exciting new initiative, which aims to help prevent stroke in patients with existing conditions.

Held at the historic Royal Geographical Society, some of the world’s leading experts began discussions centred on the design and delivery of the first steps to begin their research to achieve the project goals.

Our Principal Investigator Professor Roland Veltkamp said: “Prevention of stroke is challenging in vulnerable stroke patients with multiple disorders and interacting risks. It’s this complexity that makes it difficult to work out the best individual preventive strategy for a particular patient. Working with our international partners through the PRESTIGE-AF initiative we hope to tackle some of the unmet needs of these patients and develop more personalised treatments. Prevention is key, and ultimately we aim to prevent stroke and the impact it has on patients’ lives.”

More information please follow our most recent news and developments on our Prestige-AF Twitter account.

For more information about PRESTIGE-AF, please contact us.

Our 6.9 million euro EC funded research project PRESTIGE-AF is launched

A new 6,9 million euro initiative has been launched with the aim of enhancing more established measures around Stroke prevention in patients with a heart condition called atrial fibrillation (AF) who have previously had a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain (termed intracerebral haemorrhage or ICH).

Financed by the European Commission, the PREvention of Stroke in Intracerebral haemorrhaGE survivor with Atrial Fibrillation (PRESTIGE-AF) brings together scientists and clinicians across Europe to reduce the risk of further Stroke in this subset of patients.

Stroke is one of the largest Public Health challenges worldwide, being the most common cause of adult-acquired disability, the second leading cause of death and the second most frequent cause of dementia.

As stroke is a disease of the elderly, its societal impact is expected to further increase in the coming decades due to the ageing of the population. Importantly, stroke is a heterogeneous disease comprising various subtypes with distinct mechanisms. Thus, the variability of individual risks demands that more specifically targeted and better-personalised approaches are developed to tailor stroke prevention for individual patients.

This project comprises of a clinical trial to establish evidence for medication recommendations for these patients. Several substudies will explore other aspects such as individual predictive risk modelling, cognitive and psychological factors and drug adherence in these patients.

The project will be led by Professor Roland Veltkamp from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London and involves 11 other partner institutions throughout the UK and across Europe including Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria and France. The Consortium members will work collaboratively within the European Commission framework to deliver the desired outcomes over the next 5 years.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 754517.