The Wakefield Lab employs a number of strategies toward our goal of understanding the complex biology of thrombogenesis, the role of inflammation and developing new and safer treatments. We investigate the processes of selectin inhibition in several animal models including primates. We are also investigating the potential of combination therapy with a selectin inhibitor and standard but lower-dose anticoagulation therapy to help reduce bleeding risk. In fact, we're nearing the end of a three-year National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Vascular Interventions/Innovations and Therapeutic Advances (VITA) effort to look at this novel combination of agents in primates. The next step we hope will be a clinical trial in human patients.
Since multiple factors lead patients to develop VT, such as cancer, sepsis and stasis/ischemia, we are working to identify the mechanisms, biomarkers and therapeutic targets of each. This work is leading us to look at circulating tissue factor, extracellular traps and blood flow characteristics, and the intercellular adhesion molecule ICAM-1 (CD54), among other promising receptors and factors. Today, VT treatment is one-size-fits-all. We expect that tomorrow's approaches will be targeted and personalized.