History has been made because of a major breakthrough for multiple sclerosis sufferers everywhere. Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), by Genentech, has been finally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is the first drug treatment that includes my type of MS, primary progressive. This is what I’ve been waiting for. It’s groundbreaking, innovative and hopeful — but is it right for me?
Don’t get me wrong, I am excited, even ecstatic. I feel PPMS is no longer the child left out of the game, that those of us with this rare type of MS are not ignored! I am hopeful, but at the same time I am apprehensive. Will the possibility of slowing my MS progression come with a price — possibly that of adding more health concerns to my already full plate?
According to a statement from one of the nation’s leading MS clinics, the International Multiple Sclerosis Management Practice (IMSMP), there are “some serious concerns” when deciding whether to use Ocrevus as your MS treatment plan.
The optimistic side is a possible 25 percent decrease in progression with use of the drug for PPMS patients, and an even better decrease is possible for relapsing forms of MS.
However, I remain cautions because during clinical trials of Ocrevus, there was evidence of cancer and serious infections.
I have read of some promising results for younger patients, but for older patients such as myself, not so much. I have searched to find the criteria to be considered for Ocrevus treatment, and there’s not much of it on the Internet.
I may be fretting over this decision without reason. The decision may have already been made for me. So I will wait to talk to my neurologist and see if I meet the criteria for treatment with Ocrevus.
My situation is that I was diagnosed with PPMS in 2010, and I am over 55 years old. I walk with assistance for short distances and use a manual wheelchair for longer excursions. I have been on the high-dose biotin protocol for one year with some noted improvement.
I would love to hear from those of you in my situation and what your thoughts are about this groundbreaking treatment. We are all in this together, and the sharing of information is a very powerful tool.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.