Alemtuzumab versus interferon beta 1a as first-line treatment for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: a randomised controlled phase 3 trial
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: The anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab reduced disease activity in a phase 2 trial of previously untreated patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. We aimed to assess efficacy and safety of first-line alemtuzumab compared with interferon beta 1a in a phase 3 trial. METHODS: In our 2 year, rater-masked, randomised controlled phase 3 trial, we enrolled adults aged 18-50 years with previously untreated relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Eligible participants were randomly allocated in a 2:1 ratio by an interactive voice response system, stratified by site, to receive intravenous alemtuzumab 12 mg per day or subcutaneous interferon beta 1a 44 μg. Interferon beta 1a was given three-times per week and alemtuzumab was given once per day for 5 days at baseline and once per day for 3 days at 12 months. Coprimary endpoints were relapse rate and time to 6 month sustained accumulation of disability in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00530348. FINDINGS: 187 (96%) of 195 patients randomly allocated interferon beta 1a and 376 (97%) of 386 patients randomly allocated alemtuzumab were included in the primary analyses. 75 (40%) patients in the interferon beta 1a group relapsed (122 events) compared with 82 (22%) patients in the alemtuzumab group (119 events; rate ratio 0·45 [95% CI 0·32-0·63]; p<0.0001), corresponding to a 54·9% improvement with alemtuzumab. Based on Kaplan-Meier estimates, 59% of patients in the interferon beta 1a group were relapse-free at 2 years compared with 78% of patients in the alemtuzumab group (p<0·0001). 20 (11%) of patients in the interferon beta 1a group had sustained accumulation of disability compared with 30 (8%) in the alemtuzumab group (hazard ratio 0·70 [95% CI 0·40-1·23]; p=0·22). 338 (90%) of patients in the alemtuzumab group had infusion-associated reactions; 12 (3%) of which were regarded as serious. Infections, predominantly of mild or moderate severity, occurred in 253 (67%) patients treated with alemtuzumab versus 85 (45%) patients treated with interferon beta 1a. 62 (16%) patients treated with alemtuzumab had herpes infections (predominantly cutaneous) compared with three (2%) patients treated with interferon beta 1a. By 24 months, 68 (18%) patients in the alemtuzumab group had thyroid-associated adverse events compared with 12 (6%) in the interferon beta 1a group, and three (1%) had immune thrombocytopenia compared with none in the interferon beta 1a group. Two patients in the alemtuzumab group developed thyroid papillary carcinoma. INTERPRETATION: Alemtuzumab's consistent safety profile and benefit in terms of reductions of relapse support its use for patients with previously untreated relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis; however, benefit in terms of disability endpoints noted in previous trials was not observed here. FUNDING: Genzyme (Sanofi) and Bayer Schering Pharma.
SourceAvailable from: Luca Peruzzotti-Jametti[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common causes of chronic neurological disability beginning in early to middle adult life. Multiple sclerosis is idiopathic in nature; yet increasing correlative evidence supports a strong association between one's genetic predisposition, the environment and the immune system. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis have primarily been shown to result from a disruption in the integrity of myelinated tracts within the white matter of the central nervous system. However, recent research has also highlighted the hitherto underappreciated involvement of grey matter in multiple sclerosis disease pathophysiology, which may be especially relevant when considering the accumulation of irreversible damage and progressive disability. This review aims at providing a comprehensive overview of the interplay between inflammation, glial/neuronal damage and regeneration throughout the course of multiple sclerosis via the analysis of both white and grey matter lesional pathology. Further, we describe the common pathological mechanisms underlying both relapsing and progressive forms of multiple sclerosis, and analyze how current (as well as future) treatments may interact and/or interfere with its pathology. Understanding the putative mechanisms that drive disease pathogenesis will be key in helping to develop effective therapeutic strategies to prevent, mitigate, and treat the diverse morbidities associated with multiple sclerosis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Progress in Neurobiology 03/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.pneurobio.2015.02.003 · 10.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In recent decades, pregnancy-related issues in multiple sclerosis (MS) have received growing interest. MS is more frequent in women than in men and typically starts during child-bearing age. An increasing number of disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) for the treatment of MS are becoming available. Gathering information on their influences on pregnancy-related issues is of crucial importance for the counselling of MS patients. As for the immunomodulatory drugs (interferons and glatiramer acetate), accumulating evidence points to the relative safety of pregnancy exposure in terms of maternal and foetal outcomes. In case of higher clinical disease activity before pregnancy, these drugs could be continued until conception. As for the 'newer' drugs (fingolimod, natalizumab, teriflunomide, dimethyl fumarate and alemtuzumab), the information is more limited. Whereas fingolimod and teriflunomide are likely associated with an increased risk of foetal malformations, the effects of natalizumab, dimethyl fumarate and alemtuzumab still need to be ascertained. This article provides a review of the available information on the use of DMDs during pregnancy, with a specific focus on fertility, foetal development, delivery and breast-feeding.CNS Drugs 03/2015; 29(3). DOI:10.1007/s40263-015-0238-y · 4.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The interface of multiple sclerosis (MS) and infection occurs on several levels. First, infectious disease has been postulated as a potential trigger, if not cause, of MS. Second, exacerbation of MS has been well-documented as a consequence of infection, and, lastly, infectious diseases have been recognized as a complication of the therapies currently employed in the treatment of MS. MS is a disease in which immune dysregulation is a key component. Examination of central nervous system (CNS) tissue of people affected by MS demonstrates immune cell infiltration, activation and inflammation. Therapies that alter the immune response have demonstrated efficacy in reducing relapse rates and evidence of brain inflammation on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Despite the altered immune response in MS, there is a lack of evidence that these patients are at increased risk of infectious disease in the absence of treatment or debility. Links between infections and disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) used in MS will be discussed in this review, as well as estimates of occurrence and ways to potentially minimize these risks. We address infection in MS in a comprehensive fashion, including (1) the impact of infections on relapse rates in patients with MS; (2) a review of available infection data from pivotal trials and postmarketing studies for the approved and experimental DMTs, including frequency, types and severity of infections; and (3) relevant risk minimization strategies, particularly as they pertain to progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).CNS Drugs 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s40263-015-0226-2 · 4.38 Impact Factor