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 TrialA 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.