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Alemtuzumab, currently used to treat leukemia, proved better than interferon in treating relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. When checked, Shutterstock's safe search screens restricted content and excludes it from your search results. Lightboxes allow you to categorize groups of photos and send them to your friends or colleagues. I agree to Shutterstock's Website Terms, Privacy Policy, Licensing Terms and to receive emails that I can opt out of at any time.
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The drug was also more effective in treating patients who had failed treatment with current drugs.
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Once you have downloaded your image, you have life-long rights to use it under the terms of the license purchased. If at any time you're unsatisfied with your experience with us, you can cancel your subscription. The drug has some relatively severe side effects, but clinicians are confident those can be controlled with careful monitoring of patients. Many physicians have already been prescribing the drug to their patients, but the outcome of the new trials has been widely anticipated.Multiple sclerosis affects about 400,000 people in the United States. The precise cause is not known, but symptoms occur when the body's immune system attacks the myelin sheaths surrounding nerves -- in effect, short-circuiting the nerves. Characteristic symptoms include impairments of vision, movement, balance, sensation, bladder control and, eventually, memory and cognition.
In the relapsing-remitting form, symptoms appear sporadically, then fade away, either partially or completely. Alastair Compston of the University of Cambridge, conducted separate two-year clinical trials of the drug, the results of which were reported Wednesday in the medical journal Lancet.
In one trial, called CARE MS I, researchers compared alemtuzumab to inteferon beta 1a, the primary existing treatment for MS, in 563 patients who had not yet received any treatment for the disease. About 40% of patients who received interferon relapsed within two years, compared with 22% of those who received the new drug.In the second trial, called CARE MS II, researchers compared the same two drugs in 628 patients who had been treated with either interferon or glatiramer, another MS drug, but suffered a relapse.


In this group, 51% of patients receiving interferon suffered another relapse, compared with 35% of patients receiving alemtuzumab. Also in this trial, 20% of patients receiving interferon showed an accumulation of new disabilities during the two years of the trial, compared with13% of those receiving the new drug. In CARE MS I, there was no statistically different accumulation of disabilities in the two groups.The primary side effects of the drug were inflammation at the infusion site, thyroid autoimmunity and immune throbocytopenia, a decrease in blood platelets.
Some data indicate that it may be possible to identify people who are most susceptible to these side effects, according to Dr.
Studies are now underway to attempt to identify these susceptible individuals, as well as studies in which a novel drug is given in conjunction with alemtuzumab to block their development.The drug has been marketed by Genzyme (a Sanofi company) under the brand name Campath for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and T-cell lymphomas. According to an editorial by the editors of the Lancet, the company has withdrawn the drug from the U.S.




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