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Clinical Neuroscience

NOVEMBER 30, 2017

[Alemtuzumab therapy 2017]

BIERNACKI Tamás, BENCSIK Krisztina, SANDI Dániel, VÉCSEI László

[Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system comprising of inflammation, demyelinisation and neurodegeneration. The natural history of MS is heterogenous. Owing to the vast range and severity of the symptoms MS can cause the effect of the disease on one’s cognitive and physical status is unpredictable. According to the new, phenotype based classification two subgroups can be distinguished; relapsing-remitting (RR) and progressive MS. Relapsing-remitting MS can be further divided into active and inactive disease. The activity of the disease can be proven either clinically and/or by radiological means. A patient’s disease is considered inactive, if it fulfills the criteriae set in the “no evidence of disease activity-3” (NEDA-3) concept, meaning that no progression can be seen on the MRI scans, the patient is relapse free and there is no worsening on any disability scale. Nowadays a paradigm shift can be seen in the treatment of MS. The aim of this shift is to provide each and every patient with the most potent medication best suiting his/her illness as soon as possible. Alemtuzumab offers a great option as either a first line treatment or as escalation therapy for patients with a highly active disease. The efficacy of alemtuzumab was proven in two phase III trials (CARE-MS I, II), where it was compared to subcutaneous interferon b-1a, administered three times weekly. In both studies alemtuzumab was superior to subcutaneous interferon b-1a in terms of relapse rate reduction, in all scouted MRI parameters. In the CARE-MS II trial it was found superior in terms of progression slowing. In the studies’ first 2 years 32% and 39% of the alemtuzumab treated patients managed to achieve the NEDA-3 state (data from CARE-MS II and I respectively). At the end of the 4 year extension of both studies these numbers have increased to 60% and 55% respectively. The aim of our synopsis is to suggest neurologists an evidence based guideline, a therapeutic algorithm to be used when they give their MS patients the very best, personalised treatment, and also to appoint the recently introduced alemtuzumab to its proper place in the algorithm.]

Clinical Neuroscience

JULY 30, 2017

[Is second-line immunomodulatory treatment effective in multiple sclerosis?]


[Purpose - Natalizumab is the first evidence based monoclonal antibody, which was launched for treatment in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in Hungary in 2010. Standardized follow-up is required to use it. Our aim was to evaluate the efficacy and to monitor the safety of natalizumab treatment by using an electronic database established for MS registry. Clinical activity was measured by annual relapse rates, functional status of patients measured by EDSS and MFSC. Radiological activity was evaluated by standard MRI protocol. Data, results of MS patients and side effects of natalizumab treatment were recorded in iMed software. Results - 31 patients started the natalizumab treatment after 6.5±5.8 years from the onset of MS. The efficacy of treatment was evaluated after a mean of 67 (min: 14 max: 128) infusions in December 2016. The drop-out rate was low, due to the presence of neutralising antibodies in one case, pregnancy in two cases and development of malignant disease in one case which was not related to the natalizumab treatment. The treatment was well tolerated with excellent compliance without serious side effects. The annual relapse rate reduced from a mean of 1.7 to 0.03 (p<0.000001) in the first 12 months of treatment compared to the pretreatment 12 month activity, and it stayed at low level during the whole follow up. EDSS was stable or improved with an exception of two cases. In 23 subjects (77%) lack of new/enlarging T2 lesions and lack of gadolineum-enhancing lesions on MRI were observed. 18 patients (60%) had no evidence of disease activity (NEDA-3). PASAT test improved in most of the cases. Conclusion - The natalizumab therapy was very effective in all cases including those patients who had active disease under the previous immunomodulatory treatment.]