Physician Views: What do cardiologists think about Novartis' new CANTOS analysis?

Novartis has identified a sub-population of prior heart attack patients enrolled into its CANTOS trial who derived significantly greater cardiovascular benefit from quarterly treatment with canakinumab. It is hopeful these patients can be easily identified and clinical data will prove compelling to regulators, payers and physicians.

We are snap-polling cardiologists (in the US and EU5) to gauge reaction to the new data and assess the feasibility of using high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) testing as a means of identifying prospective canakinumab patients.

What we're asking… 

In patients who had suffered a prior heart attack and who achieved high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels below 2mg/L at three months after an initial dose of canakinumab, continued treatment with this therapy showed a 25% reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) versus placebo. These patients also had a significant reduction of 31% in the rate of cardiovascular death and all-cause death.

The safety profile of canakinumab in the subgroup of patients whose hsCRP levels dropped below 2mg/L was consistent with the overall study population. Overall rates of adverse events (AEs), serious AEs, and discontinuations due to AEs in CANTOS were similar to placebo across all canakinumab doses.

In your opinion, are these results practice changing?



Do you agree that on-treatment hsCRP testing (blood-based) may offer a quick and reliable way to identify the patients most likely to achieve the greatest benefits from long-term canakinumab treatment? (Note: there was no significant reduction in MACE or cardiovascular/all cause death observed among patients treated with canakinumab who achieved hsCRP levels equal to or above 2mg/L)



Have you used hsCRP testing previously?

Yes – frequently

Yes – infrequently


If canakinumab was approved for use in this indication and your patients had access to the therapy, how frequently would you anticipate using hsCRP testing to identify eligible patients?






If canakinumab is approved with labelling to reflect its efficacy in patients with hsCRP levels below 2mg/L and is priced at a level payers deem acceptable, at what speed would you expect adoption to occur in these patients?





Very quickly

Results and related analysis will shortly be published for FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to read, with the opportunity for non-FirstWord Pharma PLUS subscribers to purchase these findings. To be notified when poll results and analysis become available, please click here.

As always, FirstWord would very much like to receive your feedback and suggestions. Note: FirstWord Polls are powered by Medefield MedePolls, a fast-turnaround service to conduct instant polls of up to five questions with guaranteed samples that include physicians from dozens of specialties and over 100 markets. To conduct this poll with a different audience, or an entirely different poll, contact us at

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