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Can Tezepelumab Reduce the Dose of Steroids Needed to Control Asthma?

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Clinical trial finds tezepelumab not effective in reducing oral corticosteroids in asthma patients

Asthma is a debilitating disease affecting millions of people around the world. For more than 50 years steroids have remained the most effective treatment for asthma. However, there are concerns regarding the side effects associated with their long-term use.

Asthma is a major noncommunicable disease affecting the lungs. It affects more than 262 million people every year and causes more than 455,000 deaths per year. Asthma affects the air passages of the lung which become narrow due to inflammation and tightening of the muscles around them. This causes asthma symptoms such as cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

Steroids have been the mainstay of asthma treatment for several decades, however, their harmful side effects have caused great concern among patients and their healthcare providers. These side effects include weight gain, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, weakening of the bones, increased risk of infections, etc. 

Tezepelumab is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the activity of thymic stromal lymphopoietin. It has been proposed as a potential treatment for reducing the use of oral corticosteroids (OCS) in adults with severe asthma who are dependent on them. However, strong clinical studies were needed to confirm its effectiveness.

Clinical Trial

A clinical trial, called the SOURCE study has investigated the safety and effectiveness of tezepelumab in reducing the need for oral steroids in steroid-dependent asthma.

The trial was conducted on 150 adults with severe asthma from 60 sites across 7 countries. Participants aged 18-80 years with physician-diagnosed asthma, who had been receiving medium-dose or high-dose corticosteroids and had at least one asthma exacerbation in the 12 months were included in the trial.

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These patients were randomly assigned to either receive tezepelumab 210 mg every 4 weeks for a period of 48 weeks or a placebo. The goal was the measurement of daily oral corticosteroid dose reduction at week 48 without the loss of asthma control.

Results

The results of the clinical trial showed that tezepelumab did not significantly reduce the need for OCS compared to the placebo group. The findings demonstrated that the odds of achieving a meaningful reduction in oral corticosteroid dose for daily maintenance at week 48 were similar in both groups.

The trial showed that tezepelumab was well tolerated, with no safety concerns. 53 (72%) of 74 tezepelumab-assigned participants and 65 (86%) of 76 placebo-assigned participants reported an adverse event. Serious adverse events were reported in 12 (16%) participants in the tezepelumab group and 16 (21%) participants in the placebo group.

Conclusion

The SOURCE clinical trial has shown that tezepelumab may not be beneficial for significantly reducing the need for OCS in adults with severe asthma who are dependent on OCS. Therefore, results suggest that tezepelumab may not be an effective treatment option for steroid-dependent asthma patients.
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The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, July 22
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03406078





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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. CenTrial Data Ltd. does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. Treatments and clinical trials mentioned may not be appropriate or available for all trial participants. Outcomes from treatments and clinical trials may vary from person to person. Consult with your doctor as to whether a clinical trial is a suitable option for your condition. Assistance from generative AI tools may have been used in writing this article.