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Focus on EAS Innsbruck 2016: Introducing the faculty - Erik S.G. Stroes

Tuesday 5 January 2016   (0 Comments)
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A forward-looking scientific Programme to excite, inspire and inform!

The EAS 2016 Scientific Committee has created a programme featuring ground-breaking speakers in their respective fields. EAS 2016 Innsbruck welcomes a distinguished international faculty to share their forward-looking perspectives on the latest developments in basic research and clinical practice in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. You can find details of the Plenary and Workshop sessions now on the Congress website,

Abstract submission is now open. Submit your abstract by January 11, 2016 for the opportunity to present your findings at this prestigious international Congress.

Here, in a series of newsletters, we introduce members of the EAS 2016 Innsbruck faculty.

Plenary session 3, Wednesday, June 01, 2016: Future Therapeutic Challenges

Erik S.G. Stroes, The Netherlands: The use of novel therapies in atherosclerosis: from antibodies to nanotechnology

Erik Stroes is Chairman, Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Over the last two decades, the role of the vessel wall in atherogenesis development has been his major research interest. His current focus of investigation is lipid disorders in relation to atherogenesis. Professor Stroes has participated in numerous lipid lowering trials using surrogate markers such as intima media thickness (ENHANCE study) and flow mediated dilation. More recently, 3T-MRI has been added as a surrogate marker for vascular disease progression. In addition, novel gene defects contributing to lipid disorders have been pursued by collecting families with autosomal dominant forms of these disorders. In parallel, Professor Stroes has been involved in the development of novel therapeutic agents for the management of dyslipidaemia, including lipoprotein lipase gene therapy, apolipoprotein B antisense treatment and reconstituted high-density lipoprotein infusion.

Much of the emphasis on novel treatments in atherosclerosis has been on apolipoprotein (apo)B-containing lipoproteins, especially in view of extensive information establishing the causality of the predominant apoB-containing lipoprotein, low-density lipoprotein (LDL). In 2015, the first of the monoclonal antibody therapies targeting proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) were licensed in Europe and the USA. These treatments have been shown to provide reductions in LDL cholesterol of 50-60% against a background of statin therapy, with consistency in response demonstrated across the spectrum of high cardiovascular risk patients. No significant safety signal has been observed to date, even at very low LDL cholesterol levels. Exploratory analyses suggest potential for reduction in cardiovascular outcomes, although definitive evidence for both efficacy and long-term safety is still needed from ongoing studies with hard clinical endpoints.

In addition, increasing knowledge of plaque biology has driven the development of nanotechnology as a strategy to facilitate management of atherosclerosis. This approach is already starting to have an impact in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of atherosclerosis. Of key interest is the development of adaptive biosensors for detection of disease-specific biomarkers, as well as the use of plaque homing cells for long-term imaging and therapy delivery. The use of multifunctional nanoscale devices capable of providing clinical feedback or releasing therapy in response to molecular cues is another possibility. Finally, given that atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory condition, the use of nanoparticle-based delivery of pharmacotherapy to inhibit local macrophage proliferation within the plaque may offer future potential for the attenuation of atherosclerosis.  


Verweij SL, van der Valk FM, Stroes ES. Novel directions in inflammation as a therapeutic target in atherosclerosis. Curr Opin Lipidol 2015 Sep 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Bernelot Moens SJ, van Capelleveen JC, Stroes ES. Inhibition of ApoCIII: the next PCSK9? Curr Opin Lipidol 2014;25:418-22.

van der Valk FM, Kroon J, Potters WV, Thurlings RM, Bennink RJ, Verberne HJ, Nederveen AJ, Nieuwdorp M, Mulder WJ, Fayad ZA, van Buul JD, Stroes ES. In vivo imaging of enhanced leukocyte accumulation in atherosclerotic lesions in humans. J Am Coll Cardiol 2014;64:1019-29.

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