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November 6, 2012 12:00 am

New Cancer Drug For Multiple Sclerosis Best Treatment: Report

LONDON – Researchers have identified that a type of cancer drug can help people with early multiple sclerosis relapsed on previous drugs as well as patients who failed in treatment.

A new study conducted at the University of Cambridge indicated that a drug which reboots a person’s immune system proved to be an effective treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. 

According to the study published in the journal The Lancet, the drug known as ‘alemtuzumab’, which previously used to treat a type of leukemia, through wiping out and resetting the immune system, has shown better results than other current options for MS patients. 

The drug significantly lowers the number of attacks (or relapses) experienced by people with MS compared to those patients who are treated with current drug, interferon beta-1a.

Moreover, the study revealed that patients taking alemtuzumab had less disability than when they started the trial whereas those who were on interferon therapy had experienced worsening disability. 

The effective result was seen both in patients who had not previously received any treatment and those who have continued to show disease activity whilst taking an existing treatment for MS.

“Although other MS drugs have emerged over the last year, which is certainly good news for patients, none has shown superior effects on disability when compared to interferon except alemtuzumab,” said Dr Alasdair Coles, from the University of Cambridge. 

“It is certainly the most effective MS drug, based on these clinical trials, but this is definitely not a cure,” he noted. 

MS is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks nerve fibres and their protective insulation. The resulting damage prevents the nerves from ‘firing’ properly and ultimately leads to the loss of the nerve fibre and consequently physical and cognitive disabilities.

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