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Health Innovation Matters

Mar 19, 2019

Robin chats with cardiologist Peter Libby, Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, who has researched the role of inflammation as a cause of disease. According to Libby, inflammation consists of two key arms — innate immune response, which is very rapid, blunt, and primitive, and the adaptive immune response, including T and B cells, which requires an “education” to fine tune a response to the body, as in the case with vaccines. Many chronic diseases involve dis- regulation of certain systems that leads to harmful inflammation in the body. The trick in dealing with this inflammation is to activate an inactive precursor in the “supermolecular inflammazone” that recognizes these dangers and produces helpful antibodies, such as occurred in the recent CANTOS trial. The CANTOS trial was a very large-scale study helping to advance the understanding of the importance of antibodies in fighting inflammation. The bottom line is the realization that lifestyle primary prevention can help prevent different kinds of inflammatory changes and reduce the need for drug therapies in a variety of diseases.