Upfront

Stent drug in a haystack

Upfront is a quick look at the latest developments from Stanford Medicine.

Four years ago, heart researchers at Stanford set out to find a better drug for coating the tubes, known as stents, used to prop open the blood vessels of people with coronary artery disease. Current coatings reduce the chances of vessels closing up again, but they can increase the risk of blood clots and heart attacks.

Using a “big data” approach, associate professor Euan Ashley, MD, and colleagues combined a text analysis of the whole medical literature with data from large-scale genetic studies in humans to build a theory that they then tested in mice. The result pinpoints the chemotherapy drug Crizotinib as a possible alternative for coating stents. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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