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Omalizumab and asthma control in patients with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma: A 6-year pragmatic data review

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Controlled clinical trials have shown the recombinant humanized monoclonal anti-IgE antibody omalizumab to improve asthma control and reduce symptom exacerbations in patients with moderate-to-severe allergic asthma who remain clinically unstable despite optimal medical therapy. An objective retrospective review compared clinical experience with the data reported in the controlled studies. Data tracking for 167 patients progressively enrolled between 2003 and 2010 treated with omalizumab included symptoms, forced expiratory volume at 1 second (FEV1), systemic steroid bursts, and need for short-acting bronchodilator rescue measured at the start of therapy; 3, 6, and 12 months after starting treatment, and yearly thereafter. Exacerbations were compared for the 12 months before and the 12 months after starting treatment in a subgroup of patients. Asthma control improved with omalizumab over time (up to 6 years) as indicated by fewer symptoms and less need for rescue medication (p < 0.001 for both). FEV1 remained stable. The number of patients reporting asthma exacerbations requiring urgent care decreased by 49% during the first 12 months of treatment (p ≤ 0.01), and significant reductions in exacerbations were also evident when measured by hospitalizations or systemic corticosteroid bursts (p < 0.001 for both). This is the first long-term pragmatic review of omalizumab. Our clinical experience (up to 6 years in some patients) supports the results of earlier controlled studies, confirming the usefulness of adding omalizumab to the long-term management of patients with difficult-to-treat disease who suffer from persistent symptoms despite optimal therapy with medications.
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Keywords: Allergic asthma; IgE; asthma; difficult-to-control asthma; exacerbation; long-term trial; omalizumab; pragmatic trial; symptoms

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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