Doctors have found that canakinumab, a drug that reduces inflammation in the body, can be a serious aid in the fight against heart attacks and several types of cancer. According to a study, patients who took the drug have a 25 percent less chance of getting a heart attack. In addition, fatalities due to cancerous tumors are reduced by 50%. Canakinumab also has positive effects against gout and arthritis.
Some doctors are already calling it a wonder drug that ushers in a “new era of therapeutics” in the medical world.
Up until now, doctors and scientists have primarily focused on medication that counters an excessive amount of cholesterol in the body which would, in turn, lead to cardiovascular issues. However, it is estimated that half of the people who have suffered a heart attack don’t suffer from high cholesterol at all.
A research group has discovered that instead of focusing on cholesterol, inflammation in the body plays an important factor in heart attacks. Inflammation occurs whenever there is an infection or injury, but can be more dangerous than it sounds. It is even called to have a “really dramatic effect” on deaths related to cancer.
“We suddenly know we can address the inflammation itself, the same way we learned almost 25 years ago that we could address cholesterol. It’s very exciting,” Dr. Paul Ridker of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said, leader of the study. “For the first time, we’ve been able to definitively show that lowering inflammation independent of cholesterol reduces cardiovascular risk,” he said.
Scientists examined the effects of the drug canakinumab, an inflammation-reducing medicine. It is given by injection four times a year and its effects in the study were very promising.
Repeat heart attacks decreased by a quarter – which is a ten percent improvement over the current method with statins.
Doctor Ridker even calls it a “third era” in the fight against heart attacks.
“In the first, we recognized the importance of diet, exercise and smoking cessation. In the second, we saw the tremendous value of lipid-lowering drugs such as statins. Now, we’re cracking the door open on the third era.”
The drug was given to 10,000 people who have suffered a heart attack before. 25% of heart attack victims generally will have a repeat heart attack within the next five years.
Doctors are currently urging for more research and testing of canakinumab in regards to cancer, as results aren’t consistent across all cancer types. The death rate from cancers halved, especially fatalities due to lung cancer. It’ll take more research to see how exactly canakinumab has an effect against tumors, but it’s without a doubt a promising lead.
The inflammation-reducing treatment is in its early stages and costs significantly more than regular statins – up to 52,000 dollars – but doctors claim that the costs would go down severely if the method became widespread.
The company behind the drug, Novartis, will apply for a license to use it as medication for heart attack victims and will continue to focus their research on canakinumab as an anti-cancer drug as well.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.