Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Missoula’s Providence St. Patrick Hospital is participating as one of five sites around the world in the "groundbreaking APOLLO Research trial”.

I spoke with Dr. Dan Spoon, Division Chief of the Cardiovascular Service Line at the Providence Heart Institute about an innovative new device called “the 29 French Intrepid transcatheter mitral valve replacement system,” according to a press release from the hospital.

Providence Heart Institute Gets Prestigious Clinical Trial

"Clinical trials are industry-sponsored trials,” began Dr. Spoon. “That is how all devices end up getting approved. So if there's a new device that's brought to the FDA, it isn't just approved for mass use; it is studied with pivotal trials and different clinical trials to make sure of its efficacy and safety profile, etc. and so being a part of clinical trials gives you access to the newest technologies before most places do.”

Dr. Spoon explained the role that Providence is playing in the research.

“We've got a staff of six coordinators,” he said. “We have a big clinical trials unit that organizes, enrolls patients, and monitors those patients after we've done the procedures and the therapies to them to ensure that they get the best outcomes.”

Groundbreaking Procedure Performed in Missoula

Dr. Spoon explained the groundbreaking procedure that took place right here in Missoula.

“One of the trials that we're just doing, we implanted the ninth valve in the world and so we're really pioneering the therapy so that down the line when these things are FDA approved and they're offered to the masses, there will already be a good understanding of how they perform and how to best implant them minimally invasively,” he said.

In addition, Dr. Spoon mentioned a personal honor he recently received.


Dr. Spoon also Received a Special Honor

“I've been asked to be one of the Proctors for the Medtronic Apollo trial,” he said. “That means I will actually go around and help other centers that are just getting started with the implanted device,” he said. “Dr Maddux, one of my partners, is also a proctor for a number of different therapies and so building an expertise here. We're happy to share that (expertise) with other hospital systems in various parts of the United States.”

According to the press release, “Providence Heart Institute-Montana is the largest and most advanced heart program in Western Montana and Eastern Idaho.”

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