November 15, 2005

Olivia Fermano
(215) 349-5653


Cardiologists Implant the First Cancion Device at Penn in the Momentum Clinical Trial

(Philadelphia, PA) – Cardiologists at the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) have successfully implanted the first Cancion® investigational device at our site as part of the Momentum clinical trial. The device, made by Orqis Medical, is a blood pump for heart failure patients who either don’t qualify for a transplant or are currently waiting for one. Ideally, it is for patients with severe congestive heart failure who are not responding well to conventional, intravenous therapy.

Daniel Kolansky, MD, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Director of the Cardiac Care Unit at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, placed the device in patient 61-year-old Thomas Sims of Secane, Pennsylvania on November 1st in the HUP cardiac catheterization lab. Kolansky says, “This is an exciting new development for heart failure patients who may have few other options.”

“The device decreases the work load of the heart and may increase renal performance,” explained Shashank Desai, MD, principal investigator and assistant professor of clinical medicine at Penn. He is also a cardiologist with the heart failure and transplantation program at UPHS. “Many patients with severe heart failure that fail potent intravenous medications are the ones eligible for enrollment in this study with the Orqis Medical Cancion CRS cardiac recovery system,” adds Desai. “It is a new concept in the treatment of heart failure. It’s minimally invasive and provides cardiac assistance for a failing heart for 96 hours. It involves a temporary placement of two catheters into arteries from the legs to the aorta and does not enter the heart.”

The Cancion device increases blood flow down the thoracic aorta through two arterial access conduits, a pump, a motor, and a control system. This research is looking to show that by supplementing blood flow in the descending aorta, heart failure and renal failure can be improved in the short and perhaps, even the long-term. This device, like many investigational devices, is looking to improve the quality of life for patients with severe heart failure.

Howard C. Herrmann, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Director, Cardiac Catheterizaton Laboratory at HUP, is also participating in the trial. Kimberly Craig, ESQ, BSN, RN, Faith Pickering, RN, and Judy Marble, RN, all clinical research nurses with the heart failure and transplantation program at UPHS, help round out the team working on the new Momentum clinical trial. Craig adds, "We're so happy to have the opportunity to offer these patients another option that could potentially help them feel better and maybe even keep them out of the hospital. The study team will continue to follow Mr. Sims' progress and hope that this device has a favorable effect."

Eventually, the clinical trial will be done at 40 sites nationwide.


PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System comprises: its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.

This release is available online at