Canada's Dr. Michael E. Shannon, Chairs CCSVI Coalition's Scientific Advisory Board of experts on CCSVI Treatment and MS

Experts provide advice on government funded research
so studies will satisfy both sceptics and believers

TORONTO, Nov. 3, 2011 /CNW/ - Today the CCSVI Coalition announced its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The advisory group of diagnostic, treatment and pathology experts has extraordinary insight into CCSVI and MS and a wealth of practical experience in assessing and treating people with CCSVI. They have been assembled to be an expert resource for researchers and government on these issues and to facilitate a balanced and open dialogue regarding CCSVI and MS.

The CCSVI Coalition Scientific Advisory Board of experts includes:

  • Dr. Bill Code, Duncan, BC, Can - MD and chronic pain specialist
  • Dr. Mark Godley, Vancouver, BC, Can - anaesthesiology, cross discipline medical interventions
  • Dr. Sandy McDonald, Barrie, ON, Can. - Cardiovascular & thoracic surgeon; Dopler sonography protocols
  • Dr. Mark Haacke, Detroit Mich, USA - Phd, MR research & MRV protocols
  • Dr. David Hubbard, San Diego Calif., USA - MD, neurologist & sponsor CCSVI multi-centre registry
  • Dr. Salvatore Sclafani, Brooklyn, NY USA, Interventional Radiologist; Intravascular Ultra Sound (IVUS)
  • Dr. Gary Siskin, Albany, NY, USA  - Interventional Radiologist; CCSVI safety co-author
    Taken together, Drs. Sclafani and Siskin have performed over 400 CCSVI treatments as practicing Interventional Radiologists.

The Scientific Advisory Board is Chaired by Dr. Michael E. Shannon, an acknowledged expert in designing and running large clinical trials. He is well known to government and medical experts in Canada through his past positions as Deputy Surgeon General, Director General of The Laboratory Centers for Disease Control and Senior Medical Advisor to the Canadian Public Health Agency.

"We are delighted that there are to be CCSVI trials in Canada. This is an exciting new area of study that has aroused many hopes and much controversy," said Dr. Michael Shannon. "We wish to contribute constructively to the process of preparing an RFP for the Phase I/II trial for CCSVI and MS by offering our expert help to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Health Canada to make the trials the best they possibly can be."

In a letter to the CIHR, the CCSVI Coalition SAB highlighted key issues and recommendation inclusions for a detailed RFA or RFP to be issued by the CIHR. These issues relate to diagnostics, treatment and post treatment care regimes and represent new insights in the growing body of practical knowledge in the CCSVI field.

"The CCSVI Coalition Scientific Advisory Board has a depth of knowledge and expertise second to none in the area of CCSVI diagnosis and treatment." explained Dr, Shannon. "Canada has the opportunity to become a leader in the understanding of how the venous system affects a debilitating neurological disease. The implications for people with MS could be life changing, and the possibilities to learn about other neurological disorders have immeasurable potential benefit."

"We offer our expertise to help ensure that the trials will be, and will be seen to be, robust enough to satisfy all interested parties despite the diversity and disagreements in their current opinions. This is a rare expertise that can make a significant contribution to the CIHR trials."

In June 2011, the Government of Canada on the unanimous advice of the CIHR approved funding for clinical trials of CCSVI related to Multiple Sclerosis.

Biographies of SAB members can be found at

The CCSVI Coalition ( is a not-for-profit corporation, founded to encourage education and research into CCSVI as it relates to all neurological diseases, including Multiple Sclerosis. The founding members of the group were partly responsible for securing funding for the St. Joseph's and McMaster research project relating to CCSVI.  Some are also a part of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada's CCSVI Working Group, a group that has been tasked to advise the MS Society's Board regarding CCSVI.


For further information:

Media Contact: Victoria Ollers, (416) 822-2288

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