Christopher deFilippi, MD, is a cardiologist board certified in cardiovascular disease. He is a member of Inova Medical Group and the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, and practices at Inova Fairfax Hospital.


Most patients who have experienced one heart attack are understandably worried about having a second. At Inova Fairfax Hospital, we’re excited to be participating in a national research study testing new therapies that might reduce the risk of a second heart event.

We are currently enrolling patients in the study. If you’re over 50, have type 2 diabetes and have had a prior heart attack, you might be eligible to participate in the second Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT2).

What is Chelation Therapy?

The TACT2 study will explore whether a treatment known as chelation, in combination with high-dose oral vitamin supplements, reduces the risk of heart events, such as heart attack, stroke or bypass surgery.

Chelation involves giving a medication called EDTA through IV treatment. EDTA can scrub heavy metals such as lead and cadmium from the blood. Such heavy metals are present in low levels in just about all of us, but higher levels have been linked to heart disease. This study will test the theory that lower levels of those toxic metals could reduce heart disease risk.

While chelation therapy has been used to treat heart disease for half a century, it has been considered an alternative therapy. Until recently, there wasn’t much good scientific evidence to show that it was effective.

Then the original TACT study came along. That study, which ended in 2012, found that among people who had a previous heart attack, those who received chelation had an 18% drop in heart events. Among prior heart attack patients with diabetes, the benefit was even bigger: a 41% decline in heart events, and a 43% reduction in deaths.

Following up on those promising results, TACT2 will continue to explore the benefit of chelation therapy in patients with diabetes who have survived a heart attack – those who are expected to benefit the most.

A Unique Therapy

Hospitals around the country are recruiting patients for the TACT2 study. At Inova, we’ve already started enrolling patients and we’re pleased about the strong interest we’ve seen from patients.

Most clinical trials offer patients new variations of drugs that are already on the market. This study offers an opportunity to receive a unique therapy that has a relatively low risk of side effects, and possible life-saving benefits.

At the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, one of our chief goals is to offer patients cutting-edge therapies. In the last several years, we’ve put a strong emphasis on participating in clinical research, both to help our patients and to move the science forward.

For more information about participating in the TACT2 study at Inova Fairfax Hospital, call 703-776-6028.

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