The proposed Philadelphia Regional Stroke Trials Network Coordinating Center (PRSTNCC) will be a highly effective collaborative stroke research team comprised of adult and pediatric vascular neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, emergency physicians, rehabilitation specialists, and other experts who conduct clinical trials focused on stroke treatment, prevention, and recovery. The PRSTNCC will be based at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), an urban, tertiary care, academic medical center in Philadelphia, PA, which will serve as the "Hub" of the consortium, and will join forces with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and 4 additional member hospitals ("Spokes") located in geographically and ethnically diverse areas in and around Philadelphia. The PRSTNCC thereby unites a comprehensive stroke center, primary stroke centers, and a regional pediatric center, providing access to a broad range of patients with stroke to a multidisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers. The overarching goal of the PRSTNCC is to reduce the burden of stroke among patients of all ages and backgrounds within this region by conducting interdisciplinary trials of promising clinical interventions for stroke treatment, prevention, and recovery. The multi-disciplinary PRSTNCC leadership team, led by Principal Investigator (PI) Scott E. Kasner, MD, has extensive experience conducting multi-center stroke clinical trials, including Cooperative Group trials. The PRSTNCC aims to build on our leadership position within the Greater Philadelphia Southern New Jersey Neurologic Emergencies Treatment Trials Network (GPSNJ-NETT) by creating a similar infrastructure for the efficient conduct of stroke trials among the participant hospitals that are most successful in conducting stroke research. Research support and expertise will be provided by the Hub, particularly in the areas of human subjects protections and other regulatory activities, and education and orientation of clinical and research staff in an effort to streamline trial implementation and expedite patient enrollment. The Hub will provide ongoing support for data collection and transfer during trial execution, and will provide timely feedback and education about trial results to member specialists and hospitals to encourage translation of research results into clinical practice. In addition, we aim to train a new generation of stroke researchers in the conduct and design of clinical trials by providing them with the knowledge and skills necessary for a successful academic career as independently-funded clinician-scientists.
Stroke is a disabling, often fatal and expensive disorder that is a major public health burden, and is the fourth most common cause of death in the United States. The operation of a successful regional stroke research consortium that includes diverse hospitals and multidisciplinary clinicians will facilitate the ability to perform clinical trials examining promising new therapies for stroke prevention, treatment and recovery among adults and children.