A new treatment for severe asthma could improve lung function and reduce the need for corticosteroids by as much as 70 percent, according to researchers from McMaster University’s Firestone Institute for Respiratory Health at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton in Ontario, Canada, who developed the therapy.
The Canadian researchers conducted a study involving more than 200 participants who had been using oral corticosteroids (prednisone) for severe asthma symptoms for at least six months. In addition to their standard treatment regimen, the study participants were given either dupilumab or a placebo for 24 weeks. The prednisone dose was gradually reduced from week 4 to 20, and then maintained.
Dupilumab reduces asthma symptoms by blocking two specific proteins associated with airway inflammation, according to researchers. Corticosteroids can cause serious side effects – especially when used for prolonged periods of time – so it’s important to develop safe, effective alternatives to treat severe asthma.