ABSTRACT: Severe asthma is a complex and heterogeneous phenotype where management can be challenging. While many patients with severe asthma respond to high-dose inhaled corticosteroids in combination with a long-acting beta-agonist, there remains a significant subset of patients that require oral corticosteroids to control symptoms. Alternative therapies are needed to help reduce the need for continuous oral corticosteroids; however, there are currently very few effective options. Several new alternatives to oral corticosteroids have been evaluated in severe asthma as add-on to conventional therapy. These include macrolide antibiotics, omalizumab, tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors, cytokine receptor antagonists, and bronchial thermoplasty. The challenge with these entities is determining the appropriate phenotype of severe asthma where effectiveness is demonstrated, given the significant heterogeneity of the disease. Therefore, there is a crucial need to better understand the mechanisms and pathophysiology of severe asthma so more effective immunomodulators and biologic therapies can emerge.
Project description:Severe asthma affects between 5 and 10% of patients with asthma worldwide and requires best standard therapies at maximal doses. A subgroup of patients remains refractory to all treatments. We describe two case reports with severe allergic asthma who progressively worsened over the years despite the best therapy. The patients were first treated with omalizumab, which was completely ineffective, and then with bronchial thermoplasty (BT), again without clinical benefit. Since our patients met the AIFA criteria for inclusion in mepolizumab treatment, a therapy with this anti-IL5 biological agent was initiated. In the first case (a 53-year-old female), after the second mepolizumab administration, symptoms improved progressively, with a reduction in the number and severity of exacerbations, so the patient could finally be discharged from hospital. At follow-up, it was possible to reduce oral corticosteroids and continuing with inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting beta-agonists and montelukast. The patient had only one exacerbation/year. Symptom control and quality of life improved significantly. In the second case report (a 55-year-old male), after the sixth mepolizumab administration, symptoms improved progressively, with a reduction in the number and severity of exacerbations. At follow-up, it was possible to reduce and stop oral corticosteroids, continuing with inhaled therapy and montelukast. Symptom control and quality of life improved significantly.These are the first cases of patients unresponsive to sequential omalizumab and BT but with good and prolonged clinical response to mepolizumab. Both cases suggest that also after the failure of two consecutive third-line treatments, a third treatment (mepolizumab) should be attempted.
Project description:Severe asthma affects between 5% and 10% of patients with asthma worldwide and requires best standard therapies at maximal doses, but there is a subgroup of patients refractory to all treatments. We share a case report of a 53-year-old woman with a history of severe allergic asthma that progressively worsened over the years despite the best therapy. She had been hospitalized 35 times, including nine admissions to the respiratory intensive care unit due to severe exacerbations. To rule out other possible diagnoses, several investigations were performed, such as computed tomography scan of the chest and neck, fiberoptic laryngoscopy, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies, and complete blood cell count. The patient was first treated with omalizumab, which was completely ineffective, and then with bronchial thermoplasty (BT), again without clinical benefit. The situation remained critical for about 3 months during the last hospitalization, but in February 2017, the Italian Medicines Agency approved the treatment of severe refractory eosinophilic asthma with mepolizumab (Nucala®). Given a blood eosinophil count of 300 cells/?L, our patient was started on 100 mg mepolizumab treatment. After the second administration, symptoms improved progressively, with a reduction in the number and severity of exacerbations, so the patient could finally be discharged from hospital. At follow-up, it was possible to reduce and then suspend oral corticosteroids by continuing only with inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting beta-agonists and montelukast. No further asthmatic exacerbations occurred; symptom control and quality of life improved significantly. To our knowledge, this is the first case of a patient unresponsive to omalizumab and BT but with excellent clinical response to mepolizumab. She is also the first patient to be treated with an anti-IL5 agent in Italy in a real-life clinical setting. The availability of new effective biological agents will allow many patients to resume as normal a life as possible, with a positive outcome also from a social and economic point of view.
Project description:Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airways disease associated with reversible airflow obstruction and bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Asthma is prevalent worldwide and results in significant morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs, the majority of which arise from those with severe disease. Omalizumab is a monoclonal antibody to immunoglobulin E (IgE) that has been developed for the treatment of severe persistent allergic (IgE mediated) asthma.The aim of this review is to evaluate the available clinical evidence on omalizumab to determine the role it has to play in the treatment of persistent allergic asthma.There is clear evidence to show that omalizumab is effective in reducing the rate of asthma exacerbations, inhaled corticosteroid dose, and the need for rescue medication in patients with allergic asthma. Clinical data indicate beneficial effects on patient-reported symptoms and perceived quality of life, as well as a reduction in unscheduled healthcare visits. There is little evidence to suggest omalizumab may enhance lung function or reduce the requirement for oral corticosteroids. Omalizumab has a favorable safety profile, although anaphylaxis has occurred. A study in children showed similar results to those achieved in adults and adolescents, with fewer asthma exacerbations and school days missed. Omalizumab may be cost effective in patients when used as add-on therapy to inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta(2) agonists (LABA).Omalizumab is an effective add-on therapy to inhaled corticosteroids and LABAs in adults and adolescents with severe persistent allergic asthma. Currently there is insufficient evidence to support the use of omalizumab in children.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Bronchial thermoplasty (BT) is a recently developed treatment for patients with moderate-to-severe asthma. A few studies have suggested the clinical efficacy of this intervention. However, no study has evaluated the cost-effectiveness of BT compared to other alternative treatments for moderate-to-severe allergic asthma, which currently include omalizumab and standard therapy.<h4>Objective</h4>To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of standard therapy, BT, and omalizumab for moderate-to-severe allergic asthma in the USA.<h4>Methods</h4>A probabilistic Markov model with weekly cycles was developed to reflect the course of asthma progression over a 5-year time horizon. The study population was adults with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma whose asthma remained uncontrolled despite using high-dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICS, with or without long-acting beta-agonists [LABA]). A perspective of the health-care system was adopted with asthma-related costs as well as quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and exacerbations as the outcomes.<h4>Results</h4>For standard therapy, BT, and omalizumab, the discounted 5-year costs and QALYs were $15,400 and 3.08, $28,100 and 3.24, and $117,000 and 3.26, respectively. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) of BT versus standard therapy and omalizumab versus BT was $78,700/QALY and $3.86 million/QALY, respectively. At the willingness-to-pay (WTP) of $50,000/QALY and $100,000/QALY, the probability of BT being cost-effective was 9%, and 67%, respectively. The corresponding expected value of perfect information (EVPI) was $155 and $1,530 per individual at these thresholds. In sensitivity analyses, increasing the costs of BT from $14,900 to $30,000 increased its ICER relative to standard therapy to $178,000/QALY, and decreased the ICER of omalizumab relative to BT to $3.06 million/QALY. Reducing the costs of omalizumab by 25% decreased its ICER relative to BT by 29%.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Based on the available evidence, our study suggests that there is more than 60% chance that BT becomes cost-effective relative to omalizumab and standard therapy at the WTP of $100,000/QALY in patients with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma. However, there is a substantial uncertainty in the underlying evidence, indicating the need for future research towards reducing such uncertainty.
Project description:Background:Anti-IgE (omalizumab) and anti-IL5/IL5R (reslizumab, mepolizumab and benralizumab) treatments are available for severe allergic and eosinophilic asthma. In these patients, studies have shown beneficial effects in oral corticosteroid use and exacerbations. The aim of this retrospective single-center study was to evaluate the effect of biological therapy on severe asthma and to compare different therapies. Methods:We collected and analysed results of anti-IL5/IL5R and anti-IgE therapies for asthma from January 2009 until October 2019 in specialized care. We compared number of exacerbations, asthma symptoms and use of per oral corticosteroids and antimicrobics because of asthma before and during biological therapy, and in a separate analysis need for per oral corticosteroids, antimicrobics or surgery due to upper respiratory tract diseases in asthmatics receiving biologicals. The analyses were done using the Chi square test, T-test or Mann-Whitney U -test, the Kruskall-Wallis test or the Wilcoxon test. Results:Of 64 patients, 40 used continuous per oral corticosteroid therapy prior to biological therapy. The mean daily dose of per oral corticosteroid was reduced in those with anti-IL5/IL5R therapy (-?3.0?mg, p?=?0.02). The number of annual per oral corticosteroid courses decreased in both the anti-IL5/IL5R (-?2.8 courses, p?<?0.05) and anti-IgE groups (-?1.3 courses, p?<?0.05). The number of annual antibiotic courses (-?0.7 courses, p?=?0.04) and total number of exacerbation events (-?4.4 events/year, p?<?0.05) were reduced in the anti-IL5/IL5R group. In the 55 asthma patients analysed for upper respiratory tract findings, the results suggested a reduction in need for chronic rhinosinusitis surgery during biological therapy. Conclusions:Results with biological therapies in this real-life clinical setting are comparable to those reported in clinical trials. Biological therapy reduces exacerbations and per oral corticosteroid use. Trial registration:NCT04158050, retrospectively registered 6.11.2019.
Project description:Despite several therapeutic choices, 10-20% of patients with severe uncontrolled asthma do not respond to maximal best standard treatments, leading to a healthcare expenditure of up to 80% of overall costs for asthma. Today, there are new important therapeutic strategies, both pharmacological and interventional, that can result in improvement of severe asthma management, such as omalizumab, bronchial thermoplasty and other biological drugs, for example, mepolizumab, reslizumab and benralizumab. The availability of these new treatments and the increasing knowledge of the different asthmatic phenotypes and endotypes makes correct patient selection increasingly complex and important. In this article, we discuss the features of benralizumab compared with other anti-interleukin-5 biologics and omalizumab, the identification of appropriate patients, the safety profile and future developments.
Project description:Bronchial thermoplasty is an endoscopic therapy for severe asthma. The previously reported, randomised sham-controlled AIR2 (Asthma Intervention Research 2) trial showed a significant reduction in severe asthma exacerbations, emergency department visits and hospitalisations after bronchial thermoplasty. More "real-world" clinical outcome data is needed.This article compares outcomes in bronchial thermoplasty subjects with 3 years of follow-up from the ongoing, post-market PAS2 (Post-FDA Approval Clinical Trial Evaluating Bronchial Thermoplasty in Severe Persistent Asthma) study with those from the AIR2 trial.279 subjects were treated with bronchial thermoplasty in the PAS2 study. We compared the first 190 PAS2 subjects with the 190 bronchial thermoplasty-treated subjects in the AIR2 trial at 3 years of follow-up. The PAS2 subjects were older (mean age 45.9 <i>versus</i> 40.7 years) and more obese (mean body mass index 32.5 <i>versus</i> 29.3 kg·m<sup>-2</sup>) and took higher doses of inhaled corticosteroids (mean dose 2301 <i>versus</i> 1961 μg·day<sup>-1</sup>). More PAS2 subjects had experienced severe exacerbations (74% <i>versus</i> 52%) and hospitalisations (15.3% <i>versus</i> 4.2%) in the 12 months prior to bronchial thermoplasty. At year 3 after bronchial thermoplasty, the percentage of PAS2 subjects with severe exacerbations, emergency department visits and hospitalisations significantly decreased by 45%, 55% and 40%, respectively, echoing the AIR2 results.The PAS2 study demonstrates similar improvements in asthma control after bronchial thermoplasty compared with the AIR2 trial despite enrolling subjects who may have had poorer asthma control.
Project description:In asthmatic adults, monoclonals directed against Type 2 airway inflammation have led to major improvements in quality of life, reductions in asthma attacks and less need for oral corticosteroids. The paediatric evidence base has lagged behind. All monoclonals currently available for children are anti-eosinophilic, directed against the T helper (TH2) pathway. However, in children and in low and middle income settings, eosinophils may have important beneficial immunological actions. Furthermore, there is evidence that paediatric severe asthma may not be TH2 driven, phenotypes may be less stable than in adults, and adult biomarkers may be less useful. Children being evaluated for biologicals should undergo a protocolised assessment, because most paediatric asthma can be controlled with low dose inhaled corticosteroid if taken properly and regularly. For those with severe therapy resistant asthma, and refractory asthma which cannot be addressed, the two options if they have TH2 inflammation are omalizumab and mepolizumab. There is good evidence of efficacy for omalizumab, particularly in those with multiple asthma attacks, but only paediatric safety, not efficacy, data for mepolizumab. There is an urgent need for efficacy data in children, as well as data on biomarkers to guide therapy, if the right children are to be treated with these powerful new therapies.
Project description:Refractory asthma represents a significant unmet clinical need. Data from a national online registry audited clinical outcome in 349 adults with refractory asthma from four UK specialist centres in the British Thoracic Society Difficult Asthma Network. At follow-up, lung function improved, with a reduction in important healthcare outcomes, specifically hospital admission, unscheduled healthcare visits and rescue courses of oral steroids. The most frequent therapeutic intervention was maintenance oral corticosteroids and most steroid sparing agents (apart from omalizumab) demonstrated minimal steroid sparing benefit. A significant unmet clinical need remains in this group, specifically a requirement for therapies which reduce systemic steroid exposure.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The UK Severe Asthma Registry (UKSAR) is the world's largest national severe asthma registry collecting standardised data on referrals to UK specialist services. Novel biologic therapies have transformed the management of type 2(T2)-high severe asthma but have highlighted unmet need in patients with persisting symptoms despite suppression of T2-cytokine pathways with corticosteroids.<h4>Methods</h4>Demographic, clinical and treatments characteristics for patients meeting European Respiratory Society / American Thoracic Society severe asthma criteria were examined for 2225 patients attending 15 specialist severe asthma centres. We assessed differences in biomarker low patients (fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) <25?ppb, blood eosinophils <150/?L) compared with a biomarker high population (FeNO ?25?ppb, blood eosinophils ?150/µL).<h4>Results</h4>Age (mean 49.6 (14.3) y), age of asthma onset (24.2 (19.1) y) and female predominance (62.4%) were consistent with prior severe asthma cohorts. Poor symptom control (Asthma Control Questionnaire-6: 2.9 (1.4)) with high exacerbation rate (4 (IQR: 2, 7)) were common despite high-dose treatment (51.7% on maintenance oral corticosteroids (mOCS)). 68.9% were prescribed biologic therapies including mepolizumab (50.3%), benralizumab (26.1%) and omalizumab (22.6%). T2-low patients had higher body mass index (32.1 vs 30.2, p<0.001), depression/anxiety prevalence (12.3% vs 7.6%, p=0.04) and mOCS use (57.9% vs 42.1%, p<0.001). Many T2-low asthmatics had evidence of a historically elevated blood eosinophil count (0.35 (0.13, 0.60)).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The UKSAR describes the characteristics of a large cohort of asthmatics referred to UK specialist severe asthma services. It offers the prospect of providing novel insights across a range of research areas and highlights substantial unmet need with poor asthma control, impaired lung function and high exacerbation rates. T2-high phenotypes predominate with significant differences apparent from T2-low patients. However, T2-low patients frequently have prior blood eosinophilia consistent with possible excessive corticosteroid exposure.