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      Oral glucocorticoid-sparing effect of mepolizumab in eosinophilic asthma.

      The New England journal of medicine

      Administration, Oral, Adult, Aged, Anti-Asthmatic Agents, administration & dosage, adverse effects, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized, Asthma, drug therapy, immunology, physiopathology, Double-Blind Method, Drug Therapy, Combination, Eosinophilia, Female, Forced Expiratory Volume, Glucocorticoids, Humans, Intention to Treat Analysis, Maintenance Chemotherapy, Male, Middle Aged

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          Abstract

          Many patients with severe asthma require regular treatment with oral glucocorticoids despite the use of high-dose inhaled therapy. However, the regular use of systemic glucocorticoids can result in serious and often irreversible adverse effects. Mepolizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to and inactivates interleukin-5, has been shown to reduce asthma exacerbations in patients with severe eosinophilic asthma. In a randomized, double-blind trial involving 135 patients with severe eosinophilic asthma, we compared the glucocorticoid-sparing effect of mepolizumab (at a dose of 100 mg) with that of placebo administered subcutaneously every 4 weeks for 20 weeks. The primary outcome was the degree of reduction in the glucocorticoid dose (90 to 100% reduction, 75 to less than 90% reduction, 50 to less than 75% reduction, more than 0 to less than 50% reduction, or no decrease in oral glucocorticoid dose, a lack of asthma control during weeks 20 to 24, or withdrawal from treatment). Other outcomes included the rate of asthma exacerbations, asthma control, and safety. The likelihood of a reduction in the glucocorticoid-dose stratum was 2.39 times greater in the mepolizumab group than in the placebo group (95% confidence interval, 1.25 to 4.56; P=0.008). The median percentage reduction from baseline in the glucocorticoid dose was 50% in the mepolizumab group, as compared with no reduction in the placebo group (P=0.007). Despite receiving a reduced glucocorticoid dose, patients in the mepolizumab group, as compared with those in the placebo group, had a relative reduction of 32% in the annualized rate of exacerbations (1.44 vs. 2.12, P=0.04) and a reduction of 0.52 points with respect to asthma symptoms (P=0.004), as measured on the Asthma Control Questionnaire 5 (in which the minimal clinically important difference is 0.5 points). The safety profile of mepolizumab was similar to that of placebo. In patients requiring daily oral glucocorticoid therapy to maintain asthma control, mepolizumab had a significant glucocorticoid-sparing effect, reduced exacerbations, and improved control of asthma symptoms. (Funded by GlaxoSmithKline; SIRIUS ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01691508.).

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          Most cited references 21

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          Standardisation of spirometry.

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            A self-complete measure of health status for chronic airflow limitation. The St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire.

            A need was identified for a fixed-format self-complete questionnaire for measuring health in chronic airflow limitation. A 76-item questionnaire was developed, the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ). Three component scores were calculated: symptoms, activity, and impacts (on daily life), and a total score. Three studies were performed. (1) Repeatability was tested over 2 wk in 40 stable asthmatic patients and 20 patients with stable COPD. The coefficient of variation for the SGRQ total score was 19%. (2) SGRQ scores were compared with spirometry, 6-min walking distance (6-MWD), MRC respiratory symptoms questionnaire, anxiety, depression, and general health measured using the Sickness Impact Profile score. A total of 141 patients were studied, mean age 63 yr (range 31 to 75) and prebronchodilator FEV1, 47% (range 11 to 114%). SGRQ scores correlated with appropriate comparison measures. For example, symptom score versus frequency of wheeze, r2 = 0.32, p less than 0.0001; activity versus 6-MWD, r2 = 0.50, p less than 0.0001; impact versus anxiety, r2 = 0.38, p less than 0.0001. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that SGRQ scores summed a number of areas of disease activity. (3) Changes in SGRQ scores and other measures were studied over 1 yr in 133 patients. Significant correlations were found between changes in SGRQ scores and the comparison measures (minimum r2 greater than 0.05, p less than 0.01). Multivariate analysis showed that change in total SGRQ score summed changes in a number of aspects of disease activity. We conclude that the SGRQ is a valid measure of impaired health in diseases of chronic airflow limitation that is repeatable and sensitive.
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              International ERS/ATS guidelines on definition, evaluation and treatment of severe asthma.

              Severe or therapy-resistant asthma is increasingly recognised as a major unmet need. A Task Force, supported by the European Respiratory Society and American Thoracic Society, reviewed the definition and provided recommendations and guidelines on the evaluation and treatment of severe asthma in children and adults. A literature review was performed, followed by discussion by an expert committee according to the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach for development of specific clinical recommendations. When the diagnosis of asthma is confirmed and comorbidities addressed, severe asthma is defined as asthma that requires treatment with high dose inhaled corticosteroids plus a second controller and/or systemic corticosteroids to prevent it from becoming "uncontrolled" or that remains "uncontrolled" despite this therapy. Severe asthma is a heterogeneous condition consisting of phenotypes such as eosinophilic asthma. Specific recommendations on the use of sputum eosinophil count and exhaled nitric oxide to guide therapy, as well as treatment with anti-IgE antibody, methotrexate, macrolide antibiotics, antifungal agents and bronchial thermoplasty are provided. Coordinated research efforts for improved phenotyping will provide safe and effective biomarker-driven approaches to severe asthma therapy.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                25199060
                10.1056/NEJMoa1403291

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