Selective bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor treatment may improve oxygenation and reduce inflammation.
THURSDAY, June 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with severe COVID-19, treatment with acalabrutinib, a selective bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, appears to improve oxygenation and reduce measures of inflammation, according to a study published in the June 5 issue of Science Immunology.
Mark Roschewski, M.D., from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues administered acalabrutinib off-label to 19 patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 (11 on supplemental oxygen, eight on mechanical ventilation); at baseline, 18 of the patients had increasing oxygen requirements.
The researchers found that acalabrutinib improved oxygenation in most patients during a 10- to 14-day treatment course, often within one to three days, with almost no toxicity observed. In most patients, measures of inflammation (C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 [IL-6]) normalized rapidly, as did lymphopenia, in association with improved oxygenation. At the end of treatment, eight of 11 patients receiving supplementation oxygen had been discharged on room air, and four of eight receiving mechanical ventilation had been extubated; two had been discharged on room air.