File - This Oct. 25, 2011 file photo shows the logo of Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG on one of their buildings in Basel, Switzerland. (Georgios Kefalas/Keystone via AP)
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For the first time, a drug has helped prevent heart attacks by curbing inflammation, a new and very different approach than lowering cholesterol, the focus for many years.Doctors say the results on the drug, canakinumab, open a new frontier.The study tested it in 10,000 heart attack survivors with low cholesterol but high CRP. They got the usual heart medicines including statins and were given one of three different doses of canakinumab or a placebo as a shot every three months.The highest dose also lowered risk but not by enough to say the drug was the reason. The lowest dose had no effect.Inflammation also affects how cancers grow and spread.
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