Experts from Australia and China congregate in Chengdu to promote INTERACT3 study

On 8 June, 2018, the INTERACT3 (INTEnsive care bundle with blood pressure reduction in Acute Cerebral hemorrhage Trial) study’s first investigator meeting was held successfully in Chengdu.  Participants included principal investigators from Australia and China, and more than 160 doctors from 85 participating hospital sites in China.

Cardiovascular, including acute stroke, is the leading killer-disease, threatening the health and wellbeing of millions of Chinese people. China has a particular high share of the global burden of these conditions because of the large ‘high-risk’ population. Acute spontaneous non-traumatic intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), or bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel within the brain, is the most serious and difficult-to-treat type of stroke. How best to manage various physiological abnormalities, such as elevated blood pressure and glucose (‘sugar’) in the blood, of patients with ICH is a hot topic at home and abroad.

The INTERACT3 study has been initiated to establish the effects of a ‘care bundle’ of treatment, which involves the rapid use of intensive BP lowering, control of glucose and fever, and correction of anticoagulation, as compared to routine care in ICH patients.  The study will use novel, stepped wedge, cluster clinical trial design and is being rolled out as a quality improvement strategy across hospitals in China and overseas.

Joint principal study investigators, Professor Craig Anderson, Executive Director of the George Institute China and Professor You Chao, senior neurosurgeon at West China Hospital, gave opening warm welcome remarks to express their gratitude to all the attendees for their enthusiasm to overcome the usual challenges in conducting research projects and for their efforts to promote the smooth conduct of the project.

“Despite the magnitude of the burden imposed by stroke and the high cost to health services, there are still limited treatment for the condition.  However, active therapy in the care and management of patients appears beneficial but many aspects require carefull evaluation to ensure that they are incorporated into clinical practice”, said Professor Anderson, confirming the novelty and significance of the study. “The study will provide important further evidence based evidence to support guidelines and clinical practice, not just in China where the burden of stroke is enormous, but all around the world.”

“During the past 8 months, we have recruited 800 patients and aim to accomplish the activation work across up to a total of 85 hospital sites by September this year. This is a very encouraging achievement.” Professor You Chao said, “Furthermore, we are actively screening patients in Australia, South America and Southeast Asia.”

“With the strong support of such a professional research team and national partners, I am quite confident that we can achieve our goals over the next 2 years.”

Subsequently, project implementation leader, Dr. Lily Song, Head of Stroke Research at The George Institute China, and the project manager, Ms. Chunmiao Zhang, updated the progress and shared their experience on implementation of the project. There was extensive discussion between the research team and participating doctors, to deepen their understanding and grasp the research protocol, which provided a solid foundation for continuing to maintain the high-quality and high-impact, of this research work.