There is a great need for effective treatments in stroke as the disease is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Despite scientific and technological advances, there has been limited translation into clinical outcome benefits for stroke patients. As several recent trials illustrate, a key factor in developing breakthrough stroke treatments is the rapid execution of clinical trials with sufficient sample sizes, robust enrollment, timely completion, and rigorous and uniform infrastructure across sites. This application is in response to the recent NINDS request for Regional Coordinating Stroke Centers (RCC) in the NINDS Stroke Trials Network (RFA-NS-13-011). The Chicago Stroke Trials Consortium (CSTC) led by the RCC at Northwestern University (NU) is a collaborative network of 7 centers in the Chicago metropolitan area: Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH), Lurie Children's Hospital (LCH), Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) [all part of NU's McGaw Medical Center], the University of Chicago (UC), Rush University Medical Center (RUMC), Loyola University Chicago (LUMC), and the Hektoen Institute for Medical Research/John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County (CCH). We have enlisted institutional support including agreements to utilize a federated institutional review board process (central IRB) and master trial agreements to ensure rapid implementation of future trials from each of our participating sites. The RCC aims to combine resources, diverse faculty with stroke expertise, and access to a multi-ethnic population of stroke patients spanning from children to elderly and from acute treatment to rehabilitation. The CSTC will participate in acute stroke, rehabilitation, and prevention trials, and has expertise from investigators in vascular neurology, neurosurgery, neurocritical care, neuroradiology, interventional neuroradiology, neurorehabilitation, pediatric neurology, and emergency medicine. The amassed investigators have backgrounds in all aspects of stroke research and leadership roles in many recently completed and ongoing NIH and industry-sponsored trials. The consortium has a combined geographic referral base encompassing almost 10 million people and has a history of collaboration in clinical and scientific endeavors. Drawing from the vast geographic reach of our hospitals and their resources and investigators, the CSTC is uniquely qualified to deliver a diverse stroke patient population, provide consolidated multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional expertise and leadership for network trials, and ensure mentoring for trainees and junior faculty seeking academic careers in stroke.
Despite many advances in the scientific understanding of stroke, there has been limited translation into proven therapies. Our application as a regional coordinating center (RCC) aims to deliver a diverse stroke patient population, provide consolidated multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional expertise and leadership for network trials and ensure mentoring for trainees and junior faculty seeking academic careers in stroke. These efforts will identify new treatments that can reduce death and disability from the disease.