31 August 2017

Sheffield scientists contributed to the foundation of the landmark Canakinumab (CANTOS) trial

Research undertaken in Sheffield over the past 25 years funded by the BHF and the MRC (MRC ILA HEART) laid strong foundations for the newly published CANTOS trial which has proved that inhibition of interleukin-1 beta in cardiovascular disease is beneficial.

The Medical School as seen from outside.

The classical innate immune cytokine interleukin-1 beta is abundant in human diseased coronary arteries, especially in endothelium and in microvessels in the outer layers of arteries, and increases as disease worsens.

In the new study, sponsored by Novartis, patients who received an injection of an antibody to block interleukin-1 beta had significantly reduced excess inflammation and there were fewer deaths from heart attacks and strokes. There were also reductions in arthritis-related conditions and deaths from cancers.

Sheffield researchers past and present working on IL-1 beta have always believed in its primacy in controlling important physiological and disease causing processes. Now, the challenge is to decide which patients need this treatment (and similar ones) and when.

NEJM DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1707914

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