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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Third course of Alemtuzumab (LEMTRADA) can improve MS outcomes

Key clinical point: Patients who experience relapse of MS after alemtuzumab therapy may benefit from additional therapy.

Major finding: The annual relapse rate significantly decreased following a third course of alemtuzumab, from 0.85 in the 12 months prior to the third course to 0.20 in the 12 months after (P less than .0001).

Study details: An extension study of the CARE-MS II trial involving 393 of the original study participants.

Disclosures: Sanofi and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals supported the study. Dr. Bass reported that she is a principal investigator, speaker, and member of the advisory board for Sanofi Genzyme.

Source: Bass A et al. ACTRIMS Forum 2018 Poster P035.


 – Approximately 30% of people with active multiple sclerosis who initially responded well to two courses of alemtuzumab in the CARE-MS II trial experience relapse or MRI activity over time. But investigators set out to determine whether retreatment with a subsequent course of alemtuzumab is worthwhile.
“What we found is, after the third course, they continued to do well again – at this point for an average of another 3-4 years,” Ann D. Bass, MD, said in an interview at the meeting, held by the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.
Dr. Ann D. Bass of the Neurology Center of San Antonio
Dr. Ann D. Bass
“The take-home message is if they do need to be retreated after those two courses, it doesn’t [necessarily] mean they are a treatment failure. Give them another chance and see if they will do well with a third course, which is what they did,” said Dr. Bass, of the Neurology Center of San Antonio.
Through year 6 of an extension study with 393 of the original CARE-MS II trial participants, 45% received one or more additional courses of alemtuzumab. Participants were required to wait 12 months or more after completion of the two initial courses of therapy. This figure includes 30% who received a third course of alemtuzumab, 12% who received a fourth course, and 2% and 1% who received a fifth or sixth course, respectively.
“The average time until they needed a third course was 2.5 years after the second course; so they didn’t need it right away,” Dr. Bass said. “The majority, even at 6 years, did not need to have a third course.”


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