New promising strategy to treat dilated cardiomyopathy
Doctors and researchers of Ospedale San Raffaele and Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele attested the effectiveness of anakinra in a patient affected with dilated cardiomyopathy. The case report has been published in Annals of Internal Medicine and paves the way to further studies about anakinra’s use to treat several inflammatory diseases.
Dilated cardiomyopathy affects the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively and still lacks treatments. Scientists already knew that the disease leads immune cells to produce interleukin-1 (IL-1), a molecule that may damage heart cells and reduce their ability to contract. A team of scientists guided by Lorenzo Dagna, associate professor of internal medicine at Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele and head physician of the Immunology, rheumatology, allergology and rare diseases Unit at Ospedale San Raffaele, supposed that blocking IL-1 pharmacologically could prevent or reduce the disease progression. After positive results of anakinra – which inhibits IL-1 – in the treatment of acute myocarditis (another inflammatory heart disease), doctors and researchers of San Raffaele treated with the same drug a 57-year-old patient with dilated cardiomyopathy. His conditions improved significantly.
“IL-1 inhibition is an innovative strategy which we have been experimenting for several inflammatory diseases” explain Giulio Cavalli and Giacomo De Luca, who coordinated the study. “Such results suggest we should investigate further the role of inflammation in heart failure and anakinra’s therapeutic potential” say Cavalli and De Luca. The Arrhythmology and cardiac electrophysiology Unit of Ospedale San Raffaele, directed by professor Paolo Della Bella, contributed to the study.
De Luca G, Campochiaro C, Dinarello CA, Dagna L, Cavalli G; Treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy with Inlerleukin-1 inhibition, Annals of Internal Medicine, 31 July 2018, doi:10.7326/L18-0315