Switching therapy from natalizumab to fingolimod in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: clinical and magnetic resonance imaging findings
ABSTRACT Clinical and/or neuroimaging evidence of disease reactivation has been described in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients after a break from natalizumab. Whether fingolimod might be a therapeutic option following natalizumab needs to be evaluated. Twenty-two relapsing remitting MS patients having JC virus antibodies (JCVAb+) in serum were shifted from natalizumab to fingolimod after a three-month washout period. Neurological evaluation with the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) was performed monthly for a mean follow-up period of nine months. In 20/22 patients, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was obtained within one month after therapy initiation. Disease reactivation was observed in 11/22 (50%) patients: clinical relapses in six patients (four patients within the first month of therapy) and MRI activity in a further five patients (three patients within the first month of therapy). Clinical and/or MRI signs suggestive of disease rebound were observed in three patients. Our data indicate that fingolimod does not exert clinical activity quickly enough to stop MS reactivation after a break from natalizumab.
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ABSTRACT: A multiple sclerosis (MS) patient developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) after 43months of natalizumab treatment. New clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings were initially misinterpreted as breakthrough MS disease activity and natalizumab treatment was replaced by rituximab treatment. The patient had a single infusion of rituximab 1000mg before a definite PML diagnosis was confirmed. Despite undetectable levels of B-cells, JC virus DNA became undetectable in the cerebrospinal fluid by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The patient partially recovered without any clinical or MRI signs of new MS activity. These findings suggest that B-cell depletion in a non-immune compromised individual did not prevent the patient from clearing the JC virus infection. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Journal of the neurological sciences 04/2015; 353(1-2). DOI:10.1016/j.jns.2015.04.010
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ABSTRACT: Natalizumab treatment has been shown to be very efficacious in clinical trials and very effective in clinical practice in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, by reducing relapses, slowing disease progression, and improving magnetic resonance imaging patterns. However, the drug has also been associated with a risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The first consensus statement on natalizumab use, published in 2011, has been updated to include new data on diagnostic procedures, monitoring for patients undergoing treatment, PML management, and other topics of interest including the management of patients discontinuing natalizumab.Neurologia 11/2011; 27(7):432-41. DOI:10.1016/j.nrl.2011.09.008
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ABSTRACT: After discontinuation of natalizumab (NAT), multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity often recurs. We assessed the recurrence of clinical disease activity during the first year after switching from NAT to fingolimod (FTY) in patients with relapsing-remitting MS. The number of relapses and the annualized relapse rate (ARR) before, during and after NAT discontinuation were determined and compared between 26 MS patients who switched to FTY within 24 weeks, and 10 MS patients who remained without disease modifying therapy (therapy free group = TFG). Median follow-up post-NAT discontinuation was 55.1 weeks. In a subgroup (n = 20), the occurrence of contrast-enhancing-lesions (Gd+) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was determined. Eleven patients (42 %) in the FTY group and seven patients (70 %) in the TFG had one or more relapses after cessation of NAT during follow-up (p < 0.05). One of the 11 (9 %) patients in the FTY group and 6/9 (67 %) patients in the TFG showed Gd+ lesions during follow-up (p < 0.05). Patients who switched to FTY ≤ 12 weeks after NAT discontinuation (n = 9) showed a trend for a lower post-NAT ARR compared to patients who started FTY therapy >12 weeks after NAT was stopped (n = 17). Most relapses in the FTY group occurred just before or within 8 weeks after starting FTY. Our observation suggests that initiation of FTY treatment after NAT discontinuation reduces the recurrence of disease activity compared to withdrawal without further immunomodulatory treatment. In the FTY group the ARR tended to depend on the time interval between discontinuation of NAT and initiation of FTY.Journal of Neurology 12/2012; 260(5). DOI:10.1007/s00415-012-6808-8