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Pearl Toh, 13 Jan 2018
A study finds no evidence that using pharmaceutical aids alone for smoking cessation helps improve the chances of successful quitting despite promising results in previous randomized trials and routine prescription of such drugs to help quit smoking.
Roshini Claire Anthony, 05 Jan 2018

The addition of daratumumab to a bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) regimen appears to improve progression-free survival (PFS) over VMP alone in individuals newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma who are ineligible for stem-cell transplantation, according to findings from the phase III ALCYONE* trial.

01 Jan 2012
A phase III, open-label, single-centre study presents the suitability of DTaP-IPV//PRP-T booster following primary vaccination with DTaP-IPV-Hep B-PRP-T vaccine.
Roshini Claire Anthony, Yesterday

The combination of ceftazidime and avibactam proved noninferior to meropenem in adults with nosocomial pneumonia, positioning it as a potential treatment option for this condition, results from the phase III REPROVE* trial show. Nonetheless, the combination was associated with a higher number of safety events compared with meropenem.

Long-term omalizumab treatment provides continued benefit for patients with asthma

Audrey Abella
25 Sep 2017

Patients with moderate-to-severe persistent allergic asthma on long-term omalizumab therapy had improved symptoms and reduced exacerbation risk with continued omalizumab use compared with those who discontinued use of the drug, according to the XPORT* trial.

The intent-to-treat population comprised 176 patients with persistent asthma who had a history of omalizumab exposure for approximately 5 years. Participants were randomized 1:1 to omalizumab continuation or withdrawal (switched to placebo) and were followed up every 4 weeks for 1 year. [J Allergy Clin Immunol 2017;140:162-169]

More than half of the participants in the omalizumab arm did not experience severe exacerbations compared with the withdrawal arm (67 percent vs 47.7 percent), translating to a significant reduction in exacerbation risk (adjusted odds ratio, 0.44, 95 percent confidence interval, 0.23–0.82).

The results from the withdrawal arm could also be suggestive of continued benefit in some patients, noted the researchers. “[T]hese subjects presumably, but not necessarily, experienced frequent exacerbations before starting omalizumab.”

Symptoms were better controlled with continued omalizumab therapy than withdrawal as evidenced by the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) scores (mean change from baseline to week 52, -1.16 vs -2.88; p=0.0188 and 0.22 vs 0.63; p=0.0039, respectively).

Additionally, participants in the withdrawal arm who experienced exacerbations had a higher peripheral eosinophil count at baseline (p<0.001) and increased FENO** values from baseline to week 12 (p=0.038) than those who did not have exacerbations.

Persistently high blood eosinophil counts while under omalizumab therapy may reflect a higher likelihood of exacerbations upon omalizumab withdrawal, while the increase in FENO values was considered a positive predictor of exacerbations, said the researchers. “[Both may] provide some insights for clinicians and might be useful biomarkers to guide treatment decisions.”

The lack of pretreatment exacerbation rates and ACT/ACQ scores might have limited the findings, noted the researchers, as these are essential for comparing postwithdrawal rates to accurately address a persistent benefit.

Overall, the findings suggest that patients will continue to benefit from ongoing omalizumab use after long-term therapy given the sustained benefit in terms of risk and impairment, according to the researchers.

However, the extent of a persistent effect after omalizumab withdrawal was not clearly elucidated, noted the researchers. “Had the study shown equal and extremely high or extremely low percentages of subjects in both arms without exacerbations, it would be easier to infer that omalizumab had a persistent effect or had lost its efficacy … Neither of these extremes was seen in this study.”

 

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Most Read Articles
Pearl Toh, 13 Jan 2018
A study finds no evidence that using pharmaceutical aids alone for smoking cessation helps improve the chances of successful quitting despite promising results in previous randomized trials and routine prescription of such drugs to help quit smoking.
Roshini Claire Anthony, 05 Jan 2018

The addition of daratumumab to a bortezomib-melphalan-prednisone (VMP) regimen appears to improve progression-free survival (PFS) over VMP alone in individuals newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma who are ineligible for stem-cell transplantation, according to findings from the phase III ALCYONE* trial.

01 Jan 2012
A phase III, open-label, single-centre study presents the suitability of DTaP-IPV//PRP-T booster following primary vaccination with DTaP-IPV-Hep B-PRP-T vaccine.
Roshini Claire Anthony, Yesterday

The combination of ceftazidime and avibactam proved noninferior to meropenem in adults with nosocomial pneumonia, positioning it as a potential treatment option for this condition, results from the phase III REPROVE* trial show. Nonetheless, the combination was associated with a higher number of safety events compared with meropenem.