Our 1000th patient

The MaGiCAD team began recruiting patients in November 2001, and two-and-a-half years later we have recruited our 1,000th subject. The aim of the study is to generate detailed profiles of the study participants to determine what factors might be used as a simpler diagnostic test for the presence of heart disease.

At present, the only definitive diagnosis of heart disease comes from a coronary angiogram, which is both expensive to provide and, being invasive, also carries a small risk to the patient. In contrast, we are applying cutting-edge molecular screening technologies to prepare metabolic and genetic profiles of individuals to see whether these “molecular fingerprints” can accurately diagnose the presence of heart disease.

Study co-ordinator Sarah Hayns preparing the serum sample
from a MaGiCAD recruit
Using an NMR spectrometer (upper right) to generate a metabolic profile of the serum sample from an individual (lower panel). Profiles such as these might be useful for the diagnosis of coronary heart disease

We have already shown that a metabolic profile like the one above can distinguish people with severe heart disease from healthy individuals [Nature Medicine (2002) 8:1467], but before this diagnostic test can be considered for wider use, we need to confirm our findings in a much larger group of individuals with varying severity of heart disease.

The MaGiCAD study will provide approximately 1,500 individuals for such an analysis. For each of these individuals we have collected over 1,000 data points (so the MaGiCAD database already contains more than one million data elements). This has been a tremendous effort for all those involved, both directly as members of the MaGiCAD team, and indirectly in the cath-labs and on the wards at Papworth, in the clinical laboratories at Hinchingbrooke and in the research labs in Cambridge. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their help and support, and hope that with your continuing assistance we will be able to report a successful outcome to the study shortly after recruitment is completed sometime during 2005. We are also grateful to the patients, and in some cases their partners as well, who have agreed to participate in our study.

MaGiCAD is run by a management committee consisting of Dr Peter Schofield, Dr Sarah Clarke, Dr Hester Goddard and Dr David Grainger, under the chairmanship of Dr David Mosedale. The MaGiCAD team includes Claire Nugent, Caryl Barnard, Annik Pannicker and Sarah Hayns, who is currently the MaGiCAD Study Co-ordinator. Dr Sadia Kahn is on the Medical Advisory Panel.

This news article is available for download in a printer-friendly pdf format.