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CNIC and Grupo Santander present a new venue for imaging tests included in PESA study

Felipe Ptriz, Secretary of State for Research and Emilio Botn, president of Banco Santander have inaugurated today in Banco Santander Finantial City (located in Boadilla del Monte) the new facilities for developing the first imaging tests included in PESA (Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis) CNIC-Santander study. The research set up by National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) and Grupo Santander is aimed at improving Early detection of Cardiovascular disorders and is lead by Valentn Fuster, MD, PhD, Chairman of the National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) and Mount Sinai Heart Director in New York.

Those facilities have been designed for improving Spanish Research and Development and will host a module for exploration, with innovative equipment that includes last generation imaging techniques, thoracic CAT, tridimensional and bidimensional carotid ultrasound and abdominal ultrasound, among others.

Those tests will bring in more information concerning the presence of Early cardiovascular diseases. In case of monitoring any subclinic pathology, participants will be able to deeply analyze it by using tests with Magnetic Resonance (MR) and Positron emission tomography (PET), provided with the most advanced imaging technologies that will be installed soon at CNIC venue.

The inauguration represents the beginning of the second stage of this study, just after the first group of volunteers has concluded the first trial, which consisted on a medical diagnosis, physical test and measures: Weight, Size, Waist perimeter, Arterial pressure level and Electrocardiogram. Meanwhile, Banco Santander employees keep enrolling daily (eight people per day is forecasted) giving this chance up to 4.000 employees between 40 y 54 years, the main target of the study.

During the inaugural session, Felipe Prez, Secretary of State for Research, has pointed out that "this centre is a good example of two of the goals Ministry of Science and Research is determined to achieve. On one side, we try that scientific advances developed in pioneer research centres such as CNIC can reach citizens and help them improving their health. On the other side, the agreement between Banco Santander and Foundation Marcelino Botin is a good example of Public-Private collaboration and patronage, which represents an essential activity towards the promotion of Science in those countries more advanced and that Spain should still improve".

Emilio Botn, President of Banco Santander and Foundation Botn, publicly underlined the proud of collaborating with CNIC in that study and has appreciated the importance of this union from the point of view of benefits for employees and their contribution to investigation and knowledge generation in such important fields as Health. " Such beneficial project is very important for Banco Santander and represents a new beat for Spanish R+D. PESA study is a good example of how we invest not only on R+D for Technology but also for Health and Science", stated Emilio Botn.

The development of computer networks by CNIC will let the introduction of all the analysis data in a specific data base created for this aim, avoiding printed documents and assuring confidentiality and security guarantees. This platform will let each participant obtain a detailed and personalized report regarding their cardiovascular health progression and some recommendations to improve it.

PESA (Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis), CNIC-Santander study will help improving prevention of atherosclerosis pathology and identifying risk factors and daily habits that certainly have an influence over its development, in order to achieve an early diagnose before the symptoms show up.

PESA CNIC-Santander takes part in a range of big, international investigations, such as the High Risk Plague (HRP) or the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) , both American, as well as the Aragon Workers Health Study (AWSH) that CNIC is currently developing at General Motors Headquarters in Figueruelas (Zaragoza), lead by Institute Health Sciences from Aragon and CNIC.

The research tries to find imaging and biochemical techniques in early stages of cardiovascular diseases. Valentine Fuster has insisted on "prevention and promotion of health as the only way to fight against cardiovascular diseases. PESA study will let the improvement of Early detection measures over a greater percentage of population likely to suffer a Heart attack or a cardiovascular disorder without even be aware of it". Analysis of subclinical Atherosclerosis injuries will be undergone by using modern imaging techniques and evaluating the influence of genetic, metabolic and environmental factors over the evolution of the Atherosclerosis. Up to date, the team is formed by 40 people including employees from Medical Services of Grupo Santander and CNIC, dependent on the Ministry of Science and Innovation through Carlos III Health Institute.

The Carlos III Institute on one hand and Banco Santander and Foundation Marcelino Botin on the other will cofound equally (50% and 50%) this research, which will cost 22 million euros and lasts around nine years, since different type of test will be launching every three years in order to monitoring the Atherosclerosis progression. CNIC and Banco Santander will try to identify more predictive and precise techniques aimed at improve cardiovascular health and optimize the health resources.

Cardiovascular diseases are the major cause of death worldwide, being responsible for about 1,9 million of deaths each year in the European Union. In Spain, they represent 35% of all deaths in men and 43% in women.


Contact: Isabel Perancho

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