BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Our Lady of the Lake has been selected as one of just 51 sites nationwide to participate in a one-year study, led by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, of convalescent plasma as a treatment option for COVID-19.
The study is called Passive Immunity Trail for Our Nation (PassItOn) and is funded by a $34 million grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
”Our Lady of the Lake has cared for more than 1,500 COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began and we remain committed to leading in best practices and rigorous scientific evaluation of therapies,” said Dr. Vince Cataldo, primary investigator for PassItOn at OLOL. “We’ve seen promising results with the use of convalescent plasma and this nationwide study will help definitively determine whether or not convalescent plasma is a proven therapy that can save lives.”
Convalescent plasma from those who have recovered from COVID-19 is currently being used across the country to treat those seriously ill with the virus. To date, there have been two randomized, controlled clinical trials and both concluded without definitive results, OLOL officials say.
OLOL doctors, Hollis O’Neal and Christopher Thomas, are both working on PassItOn.
”We are excited to partner with Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the National Institute of Health on this study,” said Dr. O’Neal. “As a nationally recognized academic medical center, research is one of our top priorities and we’re proud to be at the forefront of trials that will save lives and help our medical colleagues continue to fight COVID-19.”
The trial will study whether infusions of convalescent plasma from recovered patients can help those hospitalized with the virus.
”We are months into this pandemic and we are still figuring out what works and what doesn’t. This study is important in identifying if our resources and attention are focused on the right therapies for COVID-19,” said Dr. Thomas. “Our fight against COVID-19 isn’t over and we must focus on proven treatments that will help patients recover.”
Using the convalescent plasma is a type of treatment called passive immunization. The technique has been used for more than a hundred years to treat a wide variety of infections, including pneumonia, meningitis, measles, influenza, and Ebola. However, more testing needs to be performed to determine safety and effectiveness.
Dr. Todd Rice and Dr. Wesley Self with Vanderbilt will lead the study, which will recruit 1,000 participants at 51 sites across the country. They hope to have participants enrolled by Oct. 31, with results reported in November.
To learn more about the study, click here.
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