28 Ago It’s called canakinumab
inflammation. And could prevent heart attack and cancer
It’s called canakinumab. A large study presented at the european congress of cardiologists and published in the NEJM shows that you can turn off the inflammatory process to the accused of causing cardiovascular disease. But it also seems to protect from lung cancer
A drug that fights inflammation. And could prevent heart attack and cancer
BARCELONA – IS the dream of any doctor: to have drugs that act simultaneously on several conditions. Now take a step forward in this direction has just made canakinumab, a monoclonal antibody to interleukin 1β, which is used in the treatment of autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Today the results of the study CANTOS, presented during the Congress of the European Society of Cardiology and published in the NEJM, indicate not only as effective in reducing the risk of stroke, but also in slowing the progression of lung cancer. The key to the mechanism of action is positive, according to Paul Ridker, author of the study and director of the Center for cardiovascular disease prevention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, in the USA, it would be in the reduction of inflammation.
The study, led by Ridker part of the consideration for which about half of heart attacks occur in people who do not have cholesterol levels are too high. Not only that: almost a quarter of patients who have had a stroke and who are treated with statins, the drugs used to hold off the cholesterol, and suffer a second within five years. This means that the cholesterol cannot be considered the only responsible for the cardiovascular event.
And that’s probably part of the reason must be sought in a state of inflammation. By the time it is known that inflammation plays an important role in the onset of myocardial infarction and stroke: patients presenting with elevated levels of biomarkers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein high sensitivity, have a greater vascular risk. And however, it was not at all clear whether the direct inhibition of inflammation could bring benefits in terms of reduction of cardiovascular risk in patients who have already had a heart attack.
The study CANTOS was intended to respond to this very question:“For the first time, commented today Ridker – we were able to demonstrate that lowering inflammation lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease”. The that, continued the cardiologist, opens up new avenues to therapy, especially in certain populations of patients are particularly at risk.
Researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital have therefore checked the activity of canakinumab, which by inhibiting interleukin 1β has an anti-inflammatory effect, on over ten thousand patients who had had a stroke, and that showed high levels of C-reactive protein high sensitivity (and therefore in a state of inflammation).
In addition to the standard therapy based on statins to reduce cholesterol, patients were randomized into three groups to receive an injection quarterly 50, 150, or 300 milligrams of canakinumab or a placebo, then followed for four years.
After four years of follow up, the preliminary results seem to be gone well beyond the objective of the initial research: the canakinumab, in fact, has shown an intense activity ancicancro, reducing significantly the incidence and deaths from cancer, to the lungs in particular. An effect of this – as is said – is dose dependent:
the greater the dose, the better the results. “We have verified that in high-risk patients, a molecule that acts on the inflammation but not on the levels of cholesterol, is able to reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular events, said Ridker – opening the door to a new era of prevention in cardiology”: after having understood the importance of healthy lifestyle habits,
and have implemented the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins, now a new chapter opens, what about the role of inflammation. And although these data should be validated by other studies, the conditions are, as it says Ridker – exciting.