What it is: The CIMIT Strategic Project award is a new CIMIT grant providing $2.1 million over three years to one multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional team. This is largest initiative yet for CIMIT, whose grants are generally limited to one year and between $40,000 and $100,000.
Goal: CIMIT seeks to facilitate the delivery of better medical care to patients more quickly. The goal of the CSP is to select one project where a concentrated effort and commitment of funds can help accelerate and advance progress. We want to bring better technology and systems to the bedside within a relatively short window of time.
Background: This is the first award of the CIMIT Strategic Project, though the organization has been supporting research teams for almost a decade. In 2007, CIMIT committed close to $5 million for awards in science and clinical systems innovation. During its strategic planning session with program leaders, site miners and others, four specific areas were chosen as having potential for transformational change in the next five or six years: medical simulation, point-of-care diagnostic and treatment systems, translumenal endoscopic surgery (NOTES) and traumatic brain injury. Pre-proposals were solicited in those four areas of interest to CIMIT. Twenty-seven pre-proposals were submitted from multidisciplinary teams representing area medical centers, engineering schools and academic institutions. Full proposals were then invited from the top-ranked pre-proposal of each area. A panel of external and internal experts was convened to review and evaluate the proposals submitted.
Evaluation: Criteria for identifying the top proposal included innovation, quality of the proposal, collaborative nature of the project, impact on patient care, appropriateness of budget, value of intellectual property and potential for commercialization. The panel was comprised of eight experts, including representatives of the CIMIT member institutions and one external reviewer – a nationally known civilian authority in military medicine. Each reviewer submitted detailed written reviews evaluating the proposals against specific criteria. Chaired by Warren Grundfest, MD, from UCLA, the panel convened to listen to the three project presentations and pose questions of the principal investigators. Team participation was permitted. Following the presentations, the committee met in closed session and determined a ranking of the submissions, based on the published criteria. Executive Director John Parrish, MD, who reviewed the rankings, accepted the recommendation of the panel.
Collaboration: In addition to the financial commitment of $2.1 million, CIMIT will provide a full complement of facilitation expertise to help the project succeed. Investigators will get assistance on regulatory issues, intellectual-property rights, preparation for commercial development, and more.
Quote from executive director: “I am pleased to name NOTES as the first CIMIT Strategic Project. As we begin our second decade of catalyzing innovation to benefit patients, we are looking for a breakthrough that has the potential for significant impact on medical care in a relatively short period of time,” said CIMIT Executive Director John Parrish, MD. “NOTES is an innovative approach to surgery, and we are excited that it has the potential to dramatically transform minimally invasive surgery and provide better patient care through no scarring, less chance for infection and a shorter recovery time. It could be a valuable new approach for developing countries as well.”
Significant decision: By choosing NOTES, CIMIT is helping to pioneer the next generation of innovation in the area of minimally invasive surgery. At its founding a decade ago, CIMIT’s core focus was in developing new technologies to advance minimally invasive surgery. This award of $2.1 million brings the total CIMIT investment in NOTES to nearly $3 million, making CIMIT the world’s single largest backer of this procedure. One of the original founders of CIMIT, David Rattner, MD, was also the advocate and champion of CIMIT’s “Operating Room of the Future” project at MGH; CIMIT's first “living laboratory.” In addition to being a world renowned leader in minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Rattner is a co-founder of NOSCAR, the national collaboration of surgeons and endoscopists coordinating the multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary NOTES research initiative.
NOTES Project: The immediate goal of the NOTES strategic initiative is to develop key NOTES devices and procedures to be readied for human trials. There will be several major projects leading to human trials during the third year of the grant. The anticipated procedures include 1) creating a method by bypass blockages in the stomach caused by pancreatic canter, 2) removing a diseased segment of the large intestine entirely through the anal canal 3) diagnosing and treating diseases in the area near the heart and lungs without using painful incisions between the ribs. These procedures will be enabled by the creation of a stable working platform designed to allow complex tissue manipulation.
Massachusetts General Hospital
David W. Rattner, MD
William R. Brugge, MD
Field Willingham, MD
Denise Gee, MD
Patricia Sylla, MD
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Christopher C. Thompson, MD, MSc
Marvin You, MD
Jeffrey Lang, PhD
Dartmouth Medical Center
Richard Rothstein, MD
VIDEO Q&A with David Rattner, MD:
» What is NOTES?
» NOTES vs. Endoscopy
» What is TEM?
» TEM Procedure and Collaboration
» What is the Boston-based NOTES Initiative?
» Is NOTES an Improvement over Traditional Laparoscopic Procedures
» What Procedures Might Benefit from the NOTES Approach?
» What is a Typical Minimally Invasive Thoracic Procedure?
» What is the Potential for NOTES?
» NOTES vs. Single-Port Surgery
» The Evolution of NOTES
» The Role of CIMIT
» When might Patients Benefit from NOTES?
Press Releases &
» July 2010: NOTES Progress Report