New Hope For Patients With Heart Damage
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Each year, approximately 35,000 coronary artery angioplasty procedures are conducted in Canada and more than one million are conducted in the United States to treat atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis occurs when the arteries are obstructed with deposits of fat, calcium, and cellular waste. Over time, the arteries lose their elasticity and narrow, which slows down or blocks blood flow. Often times, this blockage results in complications, such as, angina, heart attack, or stroke. Patients may ultimately need an angioplasty, which is a percutaneous intervention that dilates the narrowed artery to re-establish blood flow. However, heart tissue can become damaged during an angioplasty, and an inflammatory cascade can lead to other complications.
Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the Research Centre at the Montreal Heart Institute and his colleagues came across an amazing discovery. They found that a single dose of an investigational anti-inflammatory drug called inclacumab could considerably reduces damage to heart muscle during angioplasty.
For this clinical study, Dr. Tardif and his team compared the effects of a single dose of this new anti-inflammatory drug with placebo. Inclacumab is an antibody that blocks P-selectin, a molecule that drives inflammation and plays an important role in vascular disease.
To study the effects of the drug, Dr. Tardif and his team administered a single dose of inclacumab and then measured the subjects' levels of troponin I, which is a marker used clinically to diagnose heart attack. They found that inclacumab reduced troponin l levels by 24%. "It is very exciting to discover that a single dose of inclacumab can provide benefits," Dr. Tardif was quoted as saying.
The trial involved 530 patients with myocardial infarction whose median age was 61 and 78.9% of whom were men. Patients were randomized to receive an infusion of inclacumab at 20 mg/kg, inclacumab at five mg/kg, or placebo one to 24 hours before angioplasty. Markers for heart damage were then measured at eight, 16, and 24 hours after angioplasty.
"Inclacumab could indeed become an integral part of the therapeutic arsenal of modern cardiology if we can reproduce these results in subsequent studies. We could use the drug for a broader patient population, or for all patients who present with a heart attack, but this will require further study," concluded Dr. Tardif.
SOURCE: SELECT-ACS, March, 2013