Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) may slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) and lower the conversion rate of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) to secondary progressive MS (SPMS), a long-term study suggests.
The results showed that patients converting to SPMS — in which a person’s disability gets steadily worse — were older, had longer disease duration, and had greater brain lesions.
The study, “Proportion of alemtuzumab-treated patients converting from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis over 6 years,” was published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal – Experimental, Translational and Clinical.
Most people with RRMS will eventually convert to SPMS, and this conversion is an important predictor of long-term prognoses in patients. The development of disease-modifying treatments capable of lowering the relapse rate and treating MS symptoms has allowed for fewer people to convert to SPMS and/or for this transition to occur later.
To fill this knowledge gap, a multi-national research team determined the proportion of patients treated with Lemtrada who converted from RRMS to SPMS during the CARE-MS Phase 3 trials and an extension study. In total, CARE-MS I (NCT00530348), CARE-MS II (NCT00548405), and the extension (NCT00930553) spanned six years.
These studies compared Lemtrada’s effectiveness with that of Rebif (interferon beta-1a) in patients with RRMS not undergoing treatment (CARE-MS I, ages 18-50 years) or with inadequate response to an earlier therapy (CARE-MS II, ages 18-55 years).
In these trials, participants received 12 mg doses of Lemtrada (intravenously, or into the vein) for five consecutive days at the start of the study and at three consecutive days one year later.
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