Alemtuzumab lessens relapses, improves disability in MS - studies
Two new trials offer proof that a leukemia drug long used to treat multiple sclerosis works better than a common treatment.
When compared with the widely used drug interferon beta, the leukemia drug alemtuzumab reduced relapse rates by half, researchers say.
Alemtuzumab Reverses Disability in Some
Alemtuzumab has been used to treat MS for close to two decades, but it has never been approved for this use. It is given by IV infusion.
The drug not only reduced relapses, but improved disability associated with MS, such as loss of coordination or difficulty walking, in some patients.
Side effects include infusion reactions, infections, and potentially serious autoimmune disorders. Patients taking it must be followed closely.
“In the menu of treatment choices for MS patients, I think alemtuzumab falls into the ‘high-reward, high-risk’ category,” says Alasdair Coles, MD, of Britain’s University of Cambridge, who led one of the newly published studies.
“No other drug has been shown to offer the benefits in terms of disability improvement that this drug shows,” he says. "It comes with problems, but these problems are manageable.”... Read More - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... ageid/1307