Minocycline is an off-the shelf anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic drug that is neuroprotective in animal models of stroke, trauma, and neurodegenerative disorders, and also prolongs survival and reduces motor neuron loss in transgenic mouse models of ALS. Phase II trials suggested that minocycline could be taken safely by patients with ALS. On the basis of these positive results plans were made for many trials of minocycline in neurodegenerative conditions.
Dr Paul H Gordon (Columbia University, New York, USA) and colleagues in the United States Western ALS Study Group did a randomised phase III trial to test the efficacy of minocycline as a treatment for ALS in 412 patients. Compared with patients who took placebo, minocycline-treated patients deteriorated at a 25% faster rate according to the ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R), and showed non-significant tendencies towards faster decline of forced vital capacity (FVC) and muscle strength.
In light of these findings, the authors suggest that trials of minocycline in other neurological diseases should be reassessed, as minocycline might be detrimental in patients with neurological diseases other than ALS. They conclude: “Our results are contrary to many published reports from laboratories, and thus have implications for trials of minocycline in patients with other neurological conditions, for the preclinical evaluation of potential neuroprotective therapies, and for the design of future clinical trials in ALS”.
In an accompanying comment Dr Michael Swash highlights the need for early diagnosis in ALS: “Clinicians and patients alike would prefer ALS therapy to be tested as early as possible, but there are unresolved difficulties with accurate early diagnosis, particularly the absence of a specific diagnostic test. Might some of the compounds that have failed in clinical trials show benefit if tested at disease onset in human beings?” He concludes that the time has come for new approaches to trial design: “The aim must be to design informative, short, inexpensive, and sensitive phase I/II studies before large phase III studies are attempted”.
Tony Kirby | alfa
3D images of cancer cells in the body: Medical physicists from Halle present new method
16.05.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Better equipped in the fight against lung cancer
16.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
22.05.2018 | Life Sciences
22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News