The most significant Alemtuzumab Multiple Sclerosis trials have been in Canada.  There, an important trial has shown that Alemtuzumab MS treatments kept relapses from occurring in more than 70% of the participants.  The study goes on to report that not only did these patients have no relapses, but they showed “no clinical disease activity.  This is statistically much better than patients that were treated with subcutaneous interferon Beta-1a.  Interferon Beta – 1A, also known as Rebif only showed a 48.5% relapse free rate while the Alemtuzumab Multiple Sclerosis treated patients had a relapse free rate of about 90%.  The study was conducted in Toronto, Canada.  The patients got 5 injections in the first week of the study and then 3 more on consecutive days a year later.


Outcomes for the Alemtuzumab MS treatment was the same even when dosage varied.


The Alemtuzumab (MS) Multiple Sclerosis study was done with two different dosage amounts.  One group of the MS patients got 12mg/day doses while the other group doubled the dosage at 24mg/day. The results ended up being combined by the study’s sponsor, Genzyme, because the results were statistically identical.  With the drug Alemtuzumab, Multiple Sclerosis is attacked by depleting both the T-cells and the B-cells.  These cells are thought to mistakenly target nerve structures that are healthy.  Attacking both of the cells at the same time may be the critical difference with Alemtuzumab. MS patients have reason to be optimistic, but of course should discuss this therapy course with their doctor before deciding it is correct for them, as there are side effects to consider as is always the case.  The most serious side effect seems to be increased risk of infection, which is a common side effect with most MS treatment options.


Autoimmune disease after Alemtuzumab MS treatment


One unwelcome side effect of Alemtuzumab MS treatment has been the onset of autoimmune disease.  One study has as many as 22.2% of the participants treated with Alemtuzumab went on to develop autoimmune disease.  Sex and age of the patients didn’t seem to be a factor in any of these cases, but smoking or a family history of autoimmune disease did seem to have a role.  Thyroid autoimmune disease was the most commonly seen, comprising 15.7% of the cases seen.  This important result should be shared with anyone considering Alemtuzumab MS treatment, so they can discuss the possible benefits and compare them to the risks with their physician.  It shouldn’t be the deciding factor but nevertheless must be accounted for.