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Targeting an Inflammatory Protein May be Crucial in Asthma Treatment

Researchers in Australia have achieved a breakthrough in the treatment of severe asthma cases. In a study published on Monday, they discovered that beta common cytokines, a family of proinflammatory molecules, play a crucial role in controlling inflammation and scarring of the airways, particularly in cases of severe and steroid-resistant asthma. According to the World Health Organization, asthma, a chronic lung disease, affected approximately 262 million people globally in 2019. The study, led by a team from the University of South Australia (UniSA), suggests that a human therapeutic antibody called trabikihart may be the key to effectively blocking the inflammation and scarring.

Damon Tumes, co-leader of the study and head of the Allergy and Cancer Immunology Laboratory at UniSA, explained in a press release that existing treatments are constrained as they focus solely on individual molecules, whereas asthma involves various cells and pathways. Tumes highlighted, “In severe asthma, inflammation and tissue damage result from multiple types of immune cells infiltrating the lungs due to exposure to allergens, viruses, and other microbes interacting with the airways.” He noted that, for some individuals, inflammation proves resistant to steroids, the primary treatment for managing severe asthma. Tumes suggested, “Targeting multiple inflammatory cytokines with a single drug could be the key to addressing and controlling complex and severe chronic airway disease.”

As per information released by the National Asthma Council Australia in November 2023, asthma led to 467 fatalities in Australia in 2022, marking an increase from 355 deaths in 2021 and reaching the highest count since 2017. Specifically in South Australia (SA), there was an 88 percent rise in asthma-related deaths between 2021 and 2022.

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