CANTOS: A breakthrough that proves the inflammatory hypothesis of atherosclerosis


  • Mohamed Hassan Cardiology Department, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt Cardiology Department, Aswan Heart Centre, Aswan, Egypt



Atherosclerosis is no longer considered solely a disorder of subintimal deposition of modified low-density lipoprotein particles in the arterial wall. Rather, it is known to be a chronic inflammatory disorder. No evidence has shown that reducing vascular inflammation in the absence of concomitant lowering of lipoproteins levels reduces the rates of adverse cardiovascular (CV) events. Canakinumab, a fully human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes interleukin (IL)-1β, significantly reduced the rate of recurrent CV events in patients with prior myocardial infarction in the Canakinumab Anti-inflammatory Thrombosis Outcome Study (CANTOS). Canakinumab has no effect on CV or all-cause mortality, however it was associated with high incidence of fatal infections. Thus, the net benefit needs to be properly addressed in future studies that evaluate the potential benefit of the anti-inflammatory therapies and whether it can change clinical practice in the near future. 






Lessons from the trials