08 Ott Milan, a new step forward in the treatment of asthma
This could represent a step forward in the fight against this disease.
Milan, a new step forward in the treatment of asthma. In the capital of lombardy, in fact, is in the course of the international congress of the European Respiratory Society, where she was presented with a molecule capable of improving the lung function, keeping under control the symptoms in adults with severe asthma and this is very useful in synthesizing a drug for the treatment of the disease.
In the world there are an estimated 315 million people living with this disease, with approximately 250 deaths per year caused by the more severe forms.
Patients with asthma are on the rise.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease, characterized by symptoms such as airway obstruction, hyper-responsiveness, bronchial inflammation. According to experts, the number of patients would continue to increase, so much so that we estimate could reach 400 million in 2020.
The symptoms are not the same for each individual, but vary according to the characteristics of the patient: they can be mild, but also very serious.
The majority of asthmatics can treat their disorders with therapies available today, but in more complex cases need pharmacological doses high which can lead to significant side effects. Also, the 5-10% of people with asthma may be exposed to the risk of relapses, hospitalizations, frequent, and, in severe cases, death.
The inflammation underlying the disease
A significant proportion of severe asthma patients develop an inflammation caused by eosinophils, a type of white blood cell involved in allergic reactions.
The latter represent about 1% of the white blood cells present in the blood and tend to move toward the tissue where it is in the course of an inflammation. To activate eosinophils is a protein called interleukin-5.
The researchers, led by Walter Canonica, head of the Centre for personalised medicine, asthma and allergology of the Institute Humanitas, have focused on this element, identifying a molecule, the “reslizumab”, can improve lung function, control of the disease and symptoms in adults with severe forms of asthma.
How it works the molecule ‘anti-asthma’
The medication that contains the molecule reslizumab is an antibody monoclonal (i.e. deriving from a single cell or clone) the humanized anti-interleukin-5.
This would be able to bind to the interleukin and refuse to activate the mechanisms that lead to stimulation of eosinophils. In other words, the drug works as a ‘fire extinguisher is capable of extinguishing the inflammation at the basis of asthma.
Block the interleukin means, therefore, to have a better control of the disease in those patients that do not responded well to the therapies currently used.
A medicine, more and more custom
The authors of the study have explained that you just have to take a blood sample to measure the amount of eosinophils, and distinguish, therefore, between those who have a mild form of asthma and who is a more complex situation.
For the latter, therapy with reslizumab, according to the study authors, would have the best results. The path traced, they conclude, is that of a medicine has become increasingly more personalized, able to minimize side effects and maximize the benefits of the therapies