Experts have been searching and analyzing potential COVID-19 treatments. Now, early data from a clinical study suggests that there’s an off-label cancer drug that managed to provide clinical benefit to a small group of patients who were suffering from severe COVID-19.
Fox News just revealed that the cancer drug called acalabrutinib, which blocks the Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) protein and is approved to treat some blood cancers, was associated with reduced respiratory distress.
More than that, it was also associated with a reduction in the overactive immune response in most of the treated patients.
The data was revealed is a new study published last Friday in Science Immunology.
The findings are not clinical advice
Experts made sure to highlight the fact that these findings should not be considered clinical advice – they are being shared in order to assist with the public health response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the BTK inhibitors are not approved for COVID-19 treatment – their potential must be tested in a randomized and controlled clinical trial, experts said.
The BTK protein is involved with macrophages – this is a type of innate immune cell that can cause inflammation. How it can do this? The response is by producing proteins known as cytokines, which help to stimulate the body’s immune response.
“In some patients with severe COVID-19, a large number of cytokines are released in the body all at once, causing the immune system to damage the function of organs such as the lungs, in addition to attacking the infection,” official data from the study reveals.
In other coronavirus-related news, there’s some new data hinting at the fact that the novel virus might have been created in a Wuhan lab. There’s new evidence that’s being discussed in this direction.
Other than this, there’s more and more data that supports the claims saying that the novel coronavirus has been here for much longer.