This historic discovery in the medical field just change the way many strokes are treated around the world.

In the largest stroke clinical trial ever run in Canada, researchers have shown Tenecteplase (TNK), a safe, well-tolerated drug, commonly used as a clot-buster for heart attacks, is an effective treatment for acute ischemic stroke.

Brian Buck, a neurology professor in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and co-author of the study, explains ischemic strokes are caused by a blocked artery.

According to the study, the new treatment was shown to cut in half the death rate from major ischemic strokes in the ESCAPE trial, which was co-funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Results of the trial also showed reductions in stroke-related disability.

Dr. Michael Hill, the senior author of the study and a professor at the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine said:

“This is the most significant and fundamental change in acute ischemic stroke treatment in the last 20 years. These results will impact stroke care around the world.”

According to the study, published in ‘The Lancet’, “Intravenous tenecteplase (0·25 mg/kg) is a reasonable alternative to alteplase for all patients presenting with acute ischaemic stroke who meet standard criteria for thrombolysis.”

Dr. Bijoy Menon, MD, the co-principal investigator of the study, said the findings from the trial are “truly important” and “could revolutionize stroke treatment throughout the world.”

“Tenecteplase is known to be an effective clot dissolving drug. It is very easy to administer, which makes it a game changer when seconds count to save brain cells,” Menon added.

Medical Express explained in their report that the current drug that is recommended for ischemic stroke patients, Alteplase (tPA), comes with certain challenges.

“The challenge is that the drug is more complex to administer. It takes up to an hour and requires an infusion pump that needs to be monitored. The pump can be cumbersome when transporting a patient within a hospital, or to a major stroke center for treatment.”

Tenecteplase, though, “can be administered as a single immediate dose,” said Dr. Rick Swartz, MD, Ph.D., clinician-researcher at the University of Toronto, co-principal investigator, and stroke neurologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

“That’s a big advantage, saving critical time and complication. TNK could potentially be administered wherever the patient is seen first, at a medical center or small hospital,” Swartz said.

More of Brian Buck’s statements from Daily Wire:

Buck emphasized that the tenecteplase “can be administered in a single bolus of drug in less than a minute wherever the patient is first seen, without requiring an infusion pump.”

This is beneficial to mobile stroke units, too. “This means the crew can then attend to moving the patients to the hospital,” Buck said, adding, “Going forward, tenecteplase will be an important medical therapy that will hopefully be available to Albertans who are suffering from an ischemic stroke.”

Moreover, according to the University of Alberta, the researchers “developed a simple consent and enrolment process that included a mobile app that allowed them to enroll patients quickly and safely.”

“This was important during the peak of COVID since it was essential to minimize return visits to the hospital and contact between study patients and staff,” Buck said.

Sources: DailyWire, Medical Express, TheLancet

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