Dr. Douglas L. Packer on the CABANA Trial comparing Catheter Ablation to Antiarrhythmic Drugs for Atrial Fibrillation — Video
In this video, Dr. Douglas L. Packer of the Mayo Clinic provides details about the landmark CABANA Trial comparing Catheter Ablation to Antiarrhythmic Drugs for Atrial Fibrillation. Dr. Packer is the Lead Investigator for the CABANA Trial.
About Douglas L. Packer, MD:
Douglas L. Packer, MD, is an Electrophysiologist and Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and the developer and Lead Investigator for the Catheter Ablation Versus Antiarrhythmic Drug Therapy for Atrial Fibrillation (CABANA) Trial of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He is also the 2010-2011 President of the Heart Rhythm Society.
He attended medical school at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, UT, and did his internship, residency, and fellowship in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. He holds certifications from the American Board of Internal Medicine in Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology and Cardiology.
Dr. Packer also serves on the StopAfib.org Medical Advisory Board.
For more information about Dr. Packer, see:
- Profile and contact info
- Previous article: Sophisticated New 4-D and 5-D Imaging May Soon Guide Catheter Ablations
About the CABANA Trial:
The Catheter Ablation versus Antiarrhythmic Drug Therapy for Atrial Fibrillation Study (CABANA) is being done to compare drug therapy and catheter ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation. This study will help decide which treatment approach is best or when one or the other therapy is preferred. The CABANA study will also compare the cost of care for the two treatment approaches and determine the effect these therapies have on quality of life. The plan is to have 3000 people take part in this study at 140 medical centers located around the world.
If you are interested in knowing more, or participating, see: CABANA Trial
Mellanie True Hills: This is Mellanie True Hills, at Boston Atrial Fibrillation Symposium 2010. I’m here with Dr. Doug Packer, of the Mayo Clinic, and he is the principal investigator on the CABANA study, which I know many Afib patients are interested in. I’ve asked Dr. Packer to share with us some information about the CABANA study. Dr. Packer, thank you for joining us.
Dr. Doug Packer: Thank you. The CABANA Trial is something that we’re getting up and running now. This is a study for patients with atrial fibrillation. We’re looking to find out what the best form of therapy is.
Now, if we put this into a formal hypothesis, we’re going to study whether or not catheter ablation, for the purpose of eliminating atrial fibrillation, is superior to drug therapy. There are always a couple of ways of treating patients with atrial fibrillation, and some of those are guided by very clear data, and some of them aren’t.
What we’re trying to do is do a very formal study—3000 patients, 140 different centers around the world—to ask the question of which is best. The plan is that the patients will be randomized to either drug treatment or to catheter ablation. Now, with randomization, it’s in essence flipping a coin, such that half the patients, or 1500, will be randomized to drug therapy, and that might be in the form of an antiarrhythmic drug, or it could be in the form of a rate control drug. The other half of the patients, 1500 again, will be randomized to ablation.
Now, these ablations will be done in centers that have a fair amount of experience. We are requiring that patients undergo pulmonary vein isolation [PVI] as a minimum. You have to standardize the treatment approach to some degree. But if patients need more than simple pulmonary vein isolation, then they may qualify for other ancillary or additional procedures.
What we hope to do is enroll patients over a period of a couple of years and then follow them, and find out which treatment is better, but also find out whether or not treatment makes a difference in terms of how long people live. We want to know what impact it has on hospitalization. We want to know what impact it has upon cost.
As we all know, atrial fibrillation is an expensive process. And so we need to get additional information about whether one form of therapy or another is the most cost effective. And in an era when there’s a shrinking dollar, I think we really have to pay attention to that in a very major way.
MTH: Excellent. Dr. Packer, thank you so much for joining us today. This is Mellanie True Hills, for StopAfib.org.