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Imatinib can reduce mortality for severe F0

Older brotherSevere Covid-19 patients taking imatinib may have a 90-day reduction in mortality, according to research published at the ATS 2022 international conference.

Imatinib is a cancer drug that blocks an abnormal protein from signaling to cancer cells. At the same time, this substance also inhibits tyrosine kinase, which prevents small blood vessels in the lungs from leaking, which can be fatal in humans under inflammatory conditions, often seen in severe cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Now, the researchers want to explore imatinib’s ability to treat severe Covid-19 patients, in order to improve the results of their clinical studies.

Severe Covid-19 patients taking imatinib had a 90-day reduction in mortality.  Photo: Shutterstock

Severe Covid-19 patients taking imatinib had a 90-day reduction in mortality. Image: Shutterstock

According to Job R. Schippers, University Medical Center Amsterdam, Netherlands, study author: “Imatinib is considered a treatment for severe Covid-19 patients. The researchers found in addition to reducing the rate of death 90-day mortality with imatinib, severe F0 requires shorter duration of mechanical ventilation and less oxygen supplementation”.

Mr. Schippers and colleagues believe these findings imply that Covid-19 patients requiring ICU treatment benefit from treatment with imatinib. The expert also clarified that there are currently three other clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of imatinib against Covid-19.

Over the past 10 years, many preclinical studies have been conducted by the University Medical Center Amsterdam on imatinib’s ability to treat leaky blood vessels. The researchers were able to determine clinical outcomes for all 385 patients, both in the imatinib and placebo groups. On day 90, 18 (9.1%) patients in the imatinib group and 31 (16.5%) patients in the placebo group had died.

Whereas ICU patients treated with imatinib had a median of 84 days without mechanical ventilation, patients treated with placebo had a median of 64 days. The median duration of invasive ventilation was 7 days in the imatinib group and 12 days in the placebo group. Mean duration of hospitalization and ICU stay was 9 days in the imatinib group and 13 days in the placebo group.

At the time of the study, the participants also received other medications to treat Covid-19. The most frequently used drug was dexamethasone (72%), a corticosteroid. The use of these therapies was similar between the imatinib and placebo groups.

“We hypothesized that imatinib may benefit by reducing pulmonary edema in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS),” the study authors said. In addition, they stressed that if other studies confirm their findings, imatinib could make a significant contribution to the treatment of Covid-19.

In the future, the team hopes to evaluate the effectiveness of imatinib in non-Covid-19 ARDS (severe acute lung injury of other causes).

Thanh Thu (follow Medical News Today)

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