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Large trial investigates treatment for chronic chest pain

South Floridians suffering from chest pain but with no documented evidence of heart disease may qualify for a new study called “The Freedom Trial,” aimed at easing the pain.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – South Floridians suffering from chest pain but with no documented evidence of heart disease may qualify for a new study called “The Freedom Trial,” aimed at easing the pain.

By all appearances, Lesley Tascon is a healthy 43-year-old woman, but nearly a decade ago the former triathlete started suffering from debilitating chest pain.

“It was as if there were two big hands pushing front and back,” she said.

Tascon spent years going to doctors who couldn’t figure out what was causing her symptoms.

“The chest pain, the shortness of breath, the pain in my jaw, my left arm, the sudden fatigue,” she said.

Memorial Healthcare interventional cardiologist Dr. Juan Pastor was able to get to the root of the problem: a condition called coronary microvascular dysfunction or CMD.

“We see that the roots or the branches of the arteries are sometimes the ones that get sick,” Pastor said.

The Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute is now enrolling patients for a clinical trial to test a therapy, using the patient’s own cells, to potentially repair the damage to these smaller vessels.

“Small studies have proved beneficial so now we’re looking at a large-scale trial to see if we are going to be getting that response,” Pastor said.

The chance to participate in the Freedom Trial gives patients like Tascon hope.

“Knowing that there are people working to actively solve this matter means a lot to me because I’m working with other patients who have this condition far worse than I am so yeah, it means a lot,” Tascon said.

To be eligible patients must meet the following criteria:

  • Men or women age 18 or older
  • Experiencing angina at least 3 times per week
  • Have a prior diagnosis of coronary microvascular dysfunction
  • Have no obstructive coronary artery disease

To enroll in the study, call 954-265-4184.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.