Dupilumab: a novel treatment for asthma
Alessandro Vatrella,1 Immacolata Fabozzi,1 Cecilia Calabrese,2 Rosario Maselli,3 Girolamo Pelaia3
1Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Salerno, Salerno, 2Department of Cardiothoracic and Respiratory Sciences, Second University of Naples, Naples, 3Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University Magna Græcia, Catanzaro, Italy
Abstract: Simultaneously with the steady progress towards a better knowledge of the pathobiology of asthma, the potential usefulness of anticytokine therapies is emerging as one of the key concepts in the newly developing treatments of this widespread airway disease. In particular, given the key role played by interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-13 in the pathophysiology of the most typical aspects of asthma, such as chronic airway inflammation, tissue remodeling, and bronchial hyperresponsiveness, these pleiotropic cytokines are now considered as suitable therapeutic targets. Among the recently developed antiasthma biologic drugs, the monoclonal antibody dupilumab is very promising because of its ability to inhibit the biological effects of both IL-4 and IL-13. Indeed, dupilumab prevents IL-4/13 interactions with the α-subunit of the IL-4 receptor complex. A recent trial showed that in patients with difficult-to-control asthma, dupilumab can markedly decrease asthma exacerbations and improve respiratory symptoms and lung function; these effects were paralleled by significant reductions in T-helper 2-associated inflammatory biomarkers. However, further larger and longer trials are required to extend and validate these preliminary results, and also to carefully study the safety and tolerability profile of dupilumab.
Keywords: Th2-high asthma, interleukin-4, interleukin-13, dupilumab
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