It is a great pleasure for me to introduce the International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy (ISCP) section on cardiovascular pharmacotherapy. This issue features a variety of excellent manuscripts on intriguing topics, including the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin, the effects of statins on T-cell function in acute coronary syndrome in Asian populations, and the cost-effectiveness of tailored antiplatelet treatments.
Kana Shimizu and colleagues summarise available data on the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a polyphenol found in turmeric that is used as a ‘natural’ pharmacological agent.1,2 Curcumin has several physiological actions that can make it useful in the management of ischaemic heart disease, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.3
The authors review the available clinical evidence on curcumin use for treating different lifestyle-related diseases, such as atherosclerotic vascular disease, myocarditis and heart failure, dementia, ischemic myocardial injury, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity and diabetes. All the clinical trials reviewed in the paper have been registered at Clinicaltrials.gov and a large body of evidence is expected to continue to accumulate over the coming years, with many trials still ongoing.1
It is known that the therapeutic effects of statins are not solely due to the reduction of LDL cholesterol because these agents have a number of immunomodulatory properties that may contribute to their beneficial effects, although the exact mechanisms involved are still being debated. Sorathia et al. performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate whether statin therapy enhances the frequency of regulatory T-cells determined by CD4+CD25+FOXP3+.4
Acute coronary syndromes are characterised by a diminished frequency and function of regulatory T-cells, and it has been speculated that their induction could potentially shift the immunomodulatory balance toward an anti-inflammatory state. The article by Sorathia et al. is the first systematic review published on this intriguing topic, compiling results from randomised controlled trials in patients with acute coronary syndromes.
I hope you will enjoy reading this ISCP Pharmacotherapy section as much as I did.