An antibody therapy against a key inflammatory molecule involved in migraines reduces the number of headaches that chronic migraine patients experience per month in a phase III trial
A new study of fremanezumab, an immunotherapy that counteracts one of the molecules released during migraine, was found successful in reducing the number of days that chronic migraine sufferers experienced headaches. The results of the phase III clinical trial were published November 29, 2017 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The World Health Organization estimates that between 127 and 300 million people around the world experience chronic migraine, defined as 15 or more headaches per month for at least three months. The disease can be debilitating and although a number of interventions exist, many only work for a certain time before they fail to prevent or relieve pain.
“This therapeutic approach offers new hope for people whose migraines cannot be treated with existing medicine,” says Stephen D. Silberstein, M.D., principal investigator of the HALO CM trial, Professor of Neurology and Director of the Jefferson Headache Center at the Vicki & Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. “Our worldwide effort to evaluate this novel therapeutic approach has shown positive results and was safe in patients.”
Fremanezumab, a monocolonal antibody developed by Teva Pharmaceuticals, is a biological agent that binds to and blocks the action of a migraine-associated protein called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). Mounting evidence of its importance in migraines has made CGRP a focal point of research and drug development. The peptide is released at high levels during migraine in response to inflammation, and triggers a cascade effect that stimulates more CGRP release. This results in increasing sensitivity of the brain to pain. By blocking this peptide, doctors hope to break the cycle of increasing inflammation and increased pain sensitivity that contributes to migraine headaches.
Researchers from 132 sites across nine countries enrolled 1130 patients and randomly assigned them to one of three groups: one that received quarterly treatments, a group that received one treatment per month, and one that received placebo injections. The trial lasted for 16 weeks, with a 12-week treatment window.
The results of the trial show that treatment with fremanezumab reduced the number of days patients experience headache by an average of 4.3 days with quarterly treatment and 4.6 days with monthly treatment. “We saw some patients with 100 percent reduction in migraine, others with 75 percent reduction,” says Dr. Silberstein. The level of response varied between patients.
The researchers also looked at how well the therapy worked relative to each patient’s headache burden. They calculated the percent of patients who had more than a 50 percent reduction in the number of days they experienced either a severe or moderate headache per month. Using this measure, the researchers saw that 37.6 percent of patients on the monthly regimen, and 40.8 percent on the quarterly regimen had at least a 50 percent reduction in the number of moderate headaches per month, compared to 18.1 percent in the placebo group.
The therapy had a favorable safety profile with the most common adverse event reported as irritation at injection site, which was reported in the placebo group as well.
“If approved, this treatment would provide physicians with an important new tool to help prevent migraine, reduce a patient’s migraine load, and potentially help patients return to normal” says Dr. Silberstein.
The Latest on: Migraines
- Expert explains how Botox injections help relieve chronic migraineon June 21, 2021 at 7:00 am
Chronic migraines can be debilitating and can significantly impact sufferers' quality of life. But over the past few years, botulinum toxin injections (known by the brand name Botox) have decreased ...
- Dealing With Migraineson June 21, 2021 at 7:00 am
Chestnut, faculty in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the University of Houston College of Medicine has some advice on how to deal with them. “Migraine headaches typically start off mild and ...
- Pregnant women with migraine at higher risk of complications, new research findson June 21, 2021 at 6:05 am
Women who suffer from migraines are more likely to endure obstetric and postnatal complications, a study presented today at the 7th Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN) has found.
- 12 Foods That Might Help Migraineson June 21, 2021 at 4:23 am
While there is certainly no promise that eating particular foods will magically make a migraine disappear, there is some evidence that some foods can help prevent—and maybe even lessen the severity of ...
- Mum’s intuition told her that her son’s ‘migraines’ were something more seriouson June 19, 2021 at 10:00 pm
A mum whose intuition was spot on when her 12-year-old son’s ‘migraines’ were found to be a deadly brain tumour is now trying to raise £500K for treatment abroad – in a last ditch attempt to save his ...
- How to cope with, treat migraineson June 18, 2021 at 11:12 am
The first time Kimberly Grizzle experienced a full-blown migraine, she misinterpreted it for a life-ending stroke.
- Can exercise help relieve migraines? How to train if you're prone to the conditionon June 17, 2021 at 10:30 pm
Before you reach for your running trainers, it’s important to note that there are other studies that suggest movement can be a migraine trigger. The name given for these types o ...
- Stretch Could Help You Stop Headaches And Migraines Before They Happenon June 17, 2021 at 2:15 pm
A doctor who specialises in headaches has provided a stretch that could help to prevent tension headaches and migraines before they even come about. If that's something that interests you, have a peep ...
- Why You Get Migraines During Your Period and How to Prevent Themon June 16, 2021 at 9:14 am
Period or menstrual migraines are triggered by hormonal changes. Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options to help you cope.
- Can green light treatment help to prevent migraines?on June 10, 2021 at 2:38 pm
A new study from University of Arizona Health Sciences has found that green light therapy resulted in about a 60 percent reduction in the pain intensity of the headache phase and number of days per ...
via Google News and Bing News