Canakinumab Antiinflammatory Thrombosis Outcome Study (CANTOS) trial

Last reviewed 03/2021

Canakinumab Antiinflammatory Thrombosis Outcome Study (CANTOS) trial

Canakinumab targets IL-1beta, a highly specific mediator of inflammation

  • the IL-1 pathway has considerable preclinical data to support its involvement in atherogenesis
    • atherogenesis can be described as an inflammatory processs that leads to lipid accumulation in monocyte-derived macrophages that become foam cells

  • CANTOS investigators tested the hypothesis that inhibiting the action of the cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1) beta would have beneficial effects on a composite endpoint in patients with a prior myocardial infarction and a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) level that constituted a vascular risk (=2 mg/L) (2)
    • three different doses of the IL-1 beta neutralising antibody Canakinumab were tested against placebo over 48 months
      • trial compared three doses of canakinumab (50 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg, administered subcutaneously every 3 months) with placebo. The primary efficacy end point was nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or cardiovascular death.

    • a dose-dependent reduction in hsCRP was demonstrated without significant alteration in lipid levels
      • Canakinumab did not reduce lipid levels from baseline

      • there was a dose graded reduction in the primary endpoint of first occurrence of nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or cardiovascular death with the pre-specified, complex statistical threshold for primary and secondary endpoints being met with the 150-mg dose. There was no difference in all-cause mortality, however, there was a significant increase in infection-related deaths when all treated patients were compared with placebo

      • the study authors concluded "Antiinflammatory therapy targeting the interleukin-1ß innate immunity pathway with canakinumab at a dose of 150 mg every 3 months led to a significantly lower rate of recurrent cardiovascular events than placebo, independent of lipid-level lowering"