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Anti-inflammatory effects of salmeterol/fluticasone propionate 50/250 mcg combination therapy in Japanese patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Authors Asai K, Kobayashi A, Makihara Y, Johnson M

Received 24 December 2014

Accepted for publication 20 February 2015

Published 17 April 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 803—811

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S79842

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Kazuhisa Asai,1 Akihiro Kobayashi,2 Yukio Makihara,3 Malcolm Johnson4

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan; 2Biomedical Data Sciences, 3Medical Affairs Respiratory Department, GlaxoSmithKline, Tokyo, Japan; 4Respiratory Global Franchise, GlaxoSmithKline, Uxbridge, UK

Purpose: Using sputum neutrophils as the primary measure, and other inflammation biomarkers, this study evaluated the anti-inflammatory effects of the combination salmeterol 50 mcg and fluticasone propionate 250 mcg (SFC 250) in Japanese patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Patients and methods: Patients were treated in a randomized, double-blind, parallel group, placebo-controlled trial with SFC 250 twice daily (n=26) or placebo (n=26) for 12 weeks. At the start and end of treatment, inflammation biomarkers (sputum and serum), lung function, and health status (COPD Assessment Test [CAT] questionnaire) were measured.
Results: Although a numerical decrease in differential neutrophil count was observed from baseline, SFC 250 did not significantly reduce sputum neutrophils compared with placebo, nor were there significant changes from baseline in the other biomarkers (sputum or serum), lung function, or CAT, versus placebo. Squamous epithelial cell contamination in some sputum samples rendered them unacceptable for analysis, which reduced the sample size to n=19 (SFC 250) and n=10 (placebo). However, inclusion of contaminated samples did not affect the overall trend of the outcome. Ad hoc bootstrap statistical analysis showed a 27.9% (SFC 250) and 1.3% (placebo) decrease in sputum neutrophils. Sputum IL-8 decreased by 43.2% after SFC 250 but increased by 48.3% with placebo. Responder analyses showed 42% of patients had ≥20% decrease in neutrophils from baseline; and 47% of patients had a ≥200 pg/mL change in sputum IL-8 following SFC 250 versus 20% after placebo; both changes are considered clinically relevant.
Conclusion: This study provides additional information about inflammation in Japanese COPD patients and is the first to study the anti-inflammatory effects of SFC 250 in this context and population. In the primary analysis, SFC 250 did not produce significant changes from baseline in sputum neutrophil levels or other sputum or serum inflammatory markers compared with placebo. Secondary ad hoc statistical analysis showed that SFC 250 reduced the number of sputum neutrophils and IL-8 compared with placebo.

Keywords: biomarkers, IL-8, neutrophils, serum, sputum

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