The “Buzz” on ACC.15 Late-Breaking Clinical Trials

MARCH IS HERE! Time for the ACC’s Annual Scientific Session in sunny San Diego! As in previous years, ACC.15 brought with it the presentation of landmark late-breaking clinical trials (LBCTs) in our field. These trials spanned the breadth of clinical cardiology, ranging from interventional cardiology to preventive cardiology.

As team leaders for clinical trials and members of the editorial board, we have been present at the majority of LBCT presentations over the past 8 years. We have shared in the enthusiasm during the presentation of some truly practice-changing trials, such as PARTNER Cohort A (ACC.11), EINSTEIN PE (ACC.12), MASSCOM and PARTNER II (ACC.13) and HEAT-PPCI (ACC.14). We have also experienced the disappointment when long-held and newly emerging beliefs were dispelled by rigorously conducted clinical trials—for example, HPS2-THRIVE during ACC.13 and SYMPLICITY-HTN3 during ACC.14.

This year’s presentations promised to be as exciting, if not even more, than prior years. Probably the most eagerly awaited presentation was the TOTAL trial, presented on the last day of the meeting by Sanjit S. Jolly, MD, MSc. The benefit of aspiration thrombectomy has become debatable after the TASTE trial; therefore, the results of this trial may help to clarify the use of this technology. The results of the MATRIX trial were also a major source of discussion leading up to the meeting. This trial is a factorial design, comparing radial versus femoral catheterization and comparing bivalirudin versus unfractionated heparin. The optimal anti-coagulation during percutaneous coronary intervention is also debatable.

There were also many other great trials. Other notables included PROMISE, presented the first day of the meeting, and SCOT-HEART (computed tomography angiography in the evaluation of low-risk patients with chest pain), updates on transcatheter heart valve procedures (balloon and expandable valves), and BEST (drug-eluting stents versus coronary artery bypass grafting for coronary disease).

As always, ACC.15 LBCT presentations delivered on their promise to provide some important insights and potential breakthroughs for the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease. For those who are unable to make it for these presentations, visit the meeting coverage page at for in-depth same-day coverage and commentaries on these and other clinical trials. Also visit the CSWN YouTube channel for in-depth interviews with many of the investigators involved in these LBCTS.

Anthony A. Bavry, MD, MPH, and Dharam J. Kumbhani, MD, SM, MRCP, are members of the editorial board for

Keywords: CardioSource WorldNews, ACC Publications, ACC Annual Scientific Session

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