What Is The VCRC?

The Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC) is a founding member, in 2003, of the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN).  The VCRC is the major clinical research infrastructure in North America dedicated to the study of vasculitis.  The VCRC has grown to include 18 academic medical centers in the United States and Canada conducting investigator-initiated clinical and translational research.  The VCRC also partners with 50 other centers worldwide for the conduct of clinical trials. 

The VCRC conducts observational cohort studies, biomarker development, studies of genetics and genomics, clinical outcomes research, studies using an online patient registry, pilot clinical projects, and multicentered, randomized clinical trials.  Core components of the VCRC include the VCRC Clinical Data Repository, the VCRC Biospecimen Repository, the VCRC Patient Contact Registry, the VCRC-NIH Data and Safety Monitoring Board. 

The VCRC currently has over 1,900 patients enrolled in clinical research projects in 6 types of vasculitis, and has established a large longitudinal cohort of patients with the six VCRC diseases: eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg Strauss syndrome), giant cell arteritis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's), microscopic polyangiitis, polyarteritis nodosa, and Takayasu’s arteritis.  The VCRC Patient Contact Registry and electronic resources are important for patients worldwide. 

Partnership with Patient Advocacy Groups has been a critical component of the success of the VCRC.

Training new investigators is a core mission of the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC) and of high-priority to the Vasculitis Foundation (VF), and the VCRC-VF Fellowship provides support for 2-years of mentored training focused on clinical care and research in vasculitis.  The VCRC-VF Fellowship addresses the need to train more physicians in the care of patients with vasculitis and to develop a new generation of vasculitis clinical investigators.

The generous support of the NIH provides us with the resources necessary to create this ongoing clinical research infrastructure and the VCRC investigators are excited to be involved in this large collaborative effort.

Goals

Goals of the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium:

  • Enroll a large group of patients with vasculitis into an observational cohort study (where subjects are followed over time and clinical, laboratory and radiological data as well as blood samples specifically for research are collected at regular intervals).
  • Conduct clinical trials of promising new drugs for the treatment of vasculitis.
  • Establish a patient contact registry.
  • Discover new laboratory markers of disease that will lead to better treatment and deeper scientific understanding of the causes of these diseases.
  • Develop improved methods for studying vasculitis.
  • Work with vasculitis patient support groups to help those patients who wish to be involved in research connect with those doctors conducting the research.
  • Help other scientists do more research on vasculitis by providing specimens and clinical data from the VCRC for analysis.
  • Train new young investigators in the field of vasculitis.
  • Construct and maintain an electronic website resource with significant information for clinicians, researchers, and patients.
Mission Statement

The mission of the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium is to conduct clinical research and clinical trials to learn more about these diseases with the goal of developing new and better treatments to improve the care of patients with vasculitis. We also seek to provide up-to-date information for patients to help them manage their diseases and to assist in connecting patients with support groups, expert doctors, and clinical research opportunities.