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Therapies that are available and under development for Duchenne muscular dystrophy: What about lung function?

TitleTherapies that are available and under development for Duchenne muscular dystrophy: What about lung function?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsGogou, M., Pavlou E., & Haidopoulou K.
JournalPediatr Pulmonol
Date Published2020 02
KeywordsGlucocorticoids, Humans, Lung, Male, Morpholinos, Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne, Prospective Studies, Quality of Life, Respiratory Function Tests, Ubiquinone

BACKGROUND: Respiratory failure is the principal source of morbidity and mortality among patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy exerting a negative influence on their total quality of life. The aim of this review is to provide systematically current literature evidence about the effects of different treatment options (available or under development) for Duchenne muscular dystrophy on the pulmonary function of these patients.
METHODS: A comprehensive search was undertaken using multiple health-related databases, while two independent reviewers assessed the eligibility of studies. A third person addressed any disagreements between reviewers. The quality of the methodology of the included studies was also assessed.
RESULTS: A total of 19 original research papers (nine evaluating the role of steroids, six idebenone, three eteplirsen, one stem-cell therapy, and one ataluren) were found to fulfill our selection criteria with the majority of them (14 of 19) being prospective studies, not always including a control group. Endpoints mainly used in these studies were values of pulmonary function tests. Current and under development treatments proved to be safe and no significant adverse events were reported. A beneficial impact on pulmonary function was described by authors in the majority of these studies. The principal effect was slowing of lung disease progress, as expressed by spirometric values. However, the risk of bias was introduced in many of the above studies, while high heterogeneity in terms of treatment protocols and outcome measures limits the comparability of the results.
CONCLUSION: Glucocorticoids remain the best-studied pharmacologic therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and very likely delay the expected decline in lung function. With regard to new therapeutic agents, initial study results are encouraging. However, larger clinical trials are needed that minimize the risk of study bias, optimize the comparability of treatment groups, examine clinically meaningful pulmonary outcome measures, and include long-term follow up.

Alternate JournalPediatr Pulmonol
PubMed ID31834673


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