Partner 5: Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC)

Clinical Centre

The LUMC is a modern university medical centre for patient care, research, and education with a high quality profile and a strong scientific orientation. One of the characteristics of LUMC is that it meets a considerable part of the supraregional and national demand for 'last resort' care in many fields, care that cannot be provided elsewhere. In addition, LUMC delivers a broad package of top clinical care, including organ transplants, cardiovascular interventions, and all types of bone marrow transplants.

Priority research areas of LUMC include: (a) vascular and regenerative medicine, (b) immunity, infection, and tolerance, (c) translational neuroscience, (d) ageing, (e) cancer pathogenesis and therapy, (f) innovation in health strategy quality of care, and (g) biomedical imaging.

The Departments of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Paediatric/Congenital Cardiac Surgery will participate in the ARISE project. The clinical programme as well as the research programme of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery is divided into three major sections:

I Paediatric/congenital cardiac surgery
II Surgical treatment for functional/acquired heart disease
III General thoracic/lung surgery

The general aim of the clinical programme is to improve patient safety, clinical efficacy, and longterm surgical outcome. To support and achieve this aim, the research programme focuses on: (i) optimising diagnostics and analysis of short- and long-term outcome, (ii) development, implementation, and evaluation of novel surgical methods/approaches, and (iii) investigating (patho)physiological mechanisms involved in disease and treatment.

The programme for patients with paediatric/congenital heart disease has a long history at LUMC. Since 1995, it is an integrated part of the Centre for Congenital Heart Abnormalities Amsterdam Leiden, CAHAL (in Dutch: Centrum voor Aangeboren Hartafwijkingen Amsterdam Leiden), a collaboration with the Academic Medical Centre of the University of Amsterdam and VU University Medical Centre Amsterdam. CAHAL is the largest facility in the Netherlands dealing with 40% of all patients with paediatric/congenital heart disease. Children’s operations are primarily carried out at LUMC. Research in this section is performed in close collaboration with the Departments of Paediatric Cardiology, Cardiology, Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine, and Radiology (outcome research), and the Department of Anatomy and Embryology (translational research).

Specific programmes in this section are:

  • pulmonary trunk in the systemic circulation;
  • patient/histology/immunohistology studies after Ross operation;
  • patient/histology/immunohistology studies after arterial switch operation;
  • improving paediatric cardiopulmonary bypass;
  • right ventricular function in/after surgery for congenital heart disease.

Recently, the Departments of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Cardiology have been integrated into the Heart Centre Leiden. Through this integration, a comprehensive programme for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of patients with functional/acquired heart disease was established.

Extensive collaboration in research exists with clinical partners in Vascular Surgery, and Intensive Care Medicine, as well as with various laboratories. The Cardiac Cell Therapy Programme started in 2000 and comprises both basic research and clinical studies, with almost exclusively human cell material. In addition to studying native cells, stimulation of cells to promote angiogenesis and neocardiomyogenesis using pharmacological and genetic approaches is also examined. In collaboration with the Haemolab Cardiovascular Engineering in Eindhoven a working isolated pig heart model, the PhysioHeart, was developed. The PhysioHeart is a world renowned testing environment for intracardiac interventions. A range of surgical treatment options is integrated in this programme.

These treatments include:

  • revascularisation;
  • valve reconstruction and replacement (including percutaneous valves);
  • ventricular reconstruction;
  • application of external constraint and support devices.

Main tasks

LUMC will contribute predominantly to WP 3, 4 and 5 as one of the clinical centres and will be actively involved in the WP 6 Dissemination and Outreach. The main tasks of the participant are:

  • Homograft supply by local tissue banks: Draft Memoranda of Understanding and preparation of reimbursement agreements with the supporting local tissue banks
  • Setting up the local framework for the clinical trial, e.g. contact with local ethics committees and other involved institutions, submission of the respective forms and applications
  • Setting up the national framework for the clinical trial, e.g. contact with national ethics committees and other regulatory and legal authorities, submission of the respective forms and applications
  • Implementation of the clinical trial, e.g. patient identification and information, operation and follow-up
  • Participation in dissemination activities at scientific congresses, publication of the results and public outreach activities

Contributors to ARISE

Prof. Dr. M.G. Hazekamp, Head of Paediatric Cardiac Surgery
Prof. Dr. R.J.M. Klautz, Head of Dept. of Cardiothoracic Surgery
E.F. Bruggemans, MSc, Senior Researcher