MS News that Caught My Eye This Week: aHSCT Studies, MS Progression in African-Americans, Gilenya for Pediatrics

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by Ed Tobias |

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#AAN2018 – Stem Cell Transplant is Effective Treatment for ‘Aggressive’ MS, Study Shows

I like the fact that a study shows that stem cell transplant treatment is effective for aggressive MS. I love the fact that the efficacy was dramatic, reducing the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) levels of the people treated from a median of about 6.5 to around 2. But I don’t like the fact that this study involved only 19 patients. I sure wish it could have been larger.

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) has been shown to be safe and highly effective to treat patients with “aggressive” multiple sclerosis (MS). Tested in 19 patients, transplantation of stem cells was found to induce clinically meaningful improvements in disability.

These findings were shared at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Los Angeles, California, in a presentation titled “Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Treatment Naïve Patients with ‘Aggressive’ Multiple Sclerosis.”


#AAN2018 – Blood Stem Cell Transplant Superior to DMDs in Highly Active RRMS, MIST Trial Shows

I asked for a larger study. Here it is — a study of 110 patients who were divided 50/50 between those receiving aHSCT and a disease-modifying therapy (DMT). While the amount of change in disability level wasn’t as dramatic as the first study in this week’s column, the level did decrease for the aHSCT patients. The DMT patients’ EDSS level, on the other hand, increased.

Autologous non-myeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplant was found to be significantly better at reducing risks for disability in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients compared to disease-modifying drug (DMD) therapies, interim results of the MIST clinical trial show.

The results will be shared at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, in a presentation titled “Non-myeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is superior to disease modifying drug (DMD) treatment in highly active Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS): interim results of the Multiple Sclerosis International Stem cell Transplant (MIST) Randomized Trial.”


#AAN2018 – MS Progresses Quickly in African-Americans and May Warrant More Aggressive Treatment

A study published in the journal Neurology in 2013 found that African-Americans had a 47 percent increased risk of MS compared to Caucasian patients. Now, a study shows that it also may be more aggressive, warranting more aggressive treatment. I hope the neurologists who treat some African-American friends of mine who have MS know about this study.

Multiple sclerosis in African-Americans progresses much faster than in Caucasian patients, new research reports, suggesting that African-Americans would benefit from a more aggressive treatment approach.

Led by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting taking place in Los Angeles through April 27, the study is titled “Longitudinal assessment of rates of brain and retinal atrophy in African American versus Caucasian American patients with Multiple Sclerosis.”


#AAN2018 – Review of Phase 3 Trial Data Supports Gilenya as Treatment for Pediatric MS

Here’s some encouraging news for youngsters who have MS — patients who sometimes seem to be overlooked.

An additional analysis of data collected during the Phase 3 PARADIGMS trial found Gilenya (fingolimod) can prevent the progression of disability and control multiple sclerosis (MS) activity in pediatric patients.

Results of the analysis were the subject of an oral presentation Tuesday at the 2018 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. The presentation was titled “Effect of fingolimod in pediatric MS: further insights from sensitivity, supportive and post-hoc analyses from PARADIGMS.”


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.


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