After conversations with my neurologists and doing a little reading (always dangerous) I'm trying to decide what are the serous risks of Lemtrada. I'm 13 years with ms and several family members passed due to complications of MS. I know you don't know my case, but I'd really like to quit the treatment I'm currently on. What does Lemtrada do and is there long term data?
Dr Coles group in Cambridge has followed 87 patients for up to 12 years after Lemtrada (Alemtuzumab) treatment was started. The biggest risk is the development of autoimmunity. 50% of patients developed autoimmunity mostly involving the thyroid (hyper or hypothyroid). Additional autoimmune conditions include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and autoimmune glomerulonephritis and autoimmune skin disease. All of these conditions are treatable. The risk of infections is highest shortly after treatment. The long term risk of unusual infections or malignancies is less clear.
Dr Coles also reported on the remarkable long term efficacy of treatment in these patients with only 4 developing progressive MS.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
University of California San Diego