Trial readiness in cavernous angiomas with symptomatic hemorrhage (cash)

Sean P. Polster, Ying Cao, Timothy Carroll, Kelly Flemming, Romuald Girard, Daniel Hanley, Nicholas Hobson, Helen Kim, James Koenig, Janne Koskimäki, Karen Lane, Jennifer J. Majersik, Nichol Mcbee, Leslie Morrison, Robert Ph D. Shenkar, Agnieszka Stadnik, Richard E. Thompson, Joseph Zabramski, Hussein A. Zeineddine, Issam A. Awad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND Brain cavernous angiomas with symptomatic hemorrhage (CASH) are uncommon but exact a heavy burden of neurological disability from recurrent bleeding, for which there is no proven therapy. Candidate drugs to stabilize the CASH lesion and prevent rebleeding will ultimately require testing of safety and efficacy in multisite clinical trials. Much progress has been made in understanding the epidemiology of CASH, and novel biomarkers have been linked to the biological mechanisms and clinical activity in lesions. Yet, the ability to enroll and risk-stratify CASH subjects has never been assessed prospectively at multiple sites. Biomarkers and other outcomes have not been evaluated for their sensitivity and reliability, nor have they been harmonized across sites. OBJECTIVE To address knowledge gaps and establish a research network as infrastructure for future clinical trials, through the Trial Readiness grant mechanism, funded by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/National Institutes of Health. METHODS This project includes an observational cohort study to assess (1) the feasibility of screening, enrollment rates, baseline disease categorization, and follow-up of CASH using common data elements at multiple sites, (2) the reliability of imaging biomarkers including quantitative susceptibility mapping and permeability measures that have been shown to correlate with lesion activity, and (3) the rates of recurrent hemorrhage and change in functional status and biomarker measurements during prospective follow-up. EXPECTED OUTCOMES We propose a harmonized multisite assessment of enrollment rates of CASH, baseline features relevant to stratification in clinical trials, and follow-up assessments of functional outcomes in relation to clinical bleeds. We introduce novel biomarkers of vascular leak and hemorrhage, with firm mechanistic foundations, which have been linked to clinical disease activity. We shall test their reliability and validity at multiple sites, and assess their changes over time, with and without clinical rebleeds, hence their fitness as outcome instruments in clinical trials. DISCUSSION The timing cannot be more opportune, with therapeutic targets identified, exceptional collaboration among researchers and the patient community, along with several drugs ready to benefit from development of a path to clinical testing using this network in the next 5 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)954-964
Number of pages11
JournalClinical neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • Biomarkers
  • Cavernous angioma
  • Cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM)
  • Drug development
  • Symptomatic hemorrhage
  • Trial readiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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