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Monoclonal Antibody Reduces Exacerbations in Asthmatics


“Treatment with infliximab reduced the number of moderate exacerbations in patients with asthma, as monitored by morning and evening use of an electronic spirometer incorporating a clinical diary,” said Dr. Hansel. “Although infliximab therapy did not show significant efficacy for the primary endpoint of monitoring peak expiratory flow (PEF), it did produce a significant decrease in the diurnal (during the day) variation in the PEF rate.”

(With PEF monitoring, patients take as deep as a breath as possible, then exhale as forcefully as possible into the mouthpiece of the PEF meter for three tests. As a gauge for pulmonary function, it is especially useful in patients older than age five who have persistent moderate to severe asthma.)

“None of the exacerbations we saw in our study warranted treatment with oral corticosteroids or hospitalization, so they cannot be considered to have been severe,” said Dr. Hansel.

The researchers noted there were no adverse events associated with using the monoclonal antibody for treatment.

“Given that infliximab therapy was well-tolerated and appeared to reduce the incidence of asthma exacerbations, anti-TNF? therapy merits further study in larger clinical trials in patients with severe asthma,” concluded Dr. Hansel.

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