Mitoxantrone is an immunosuppressant drug approved by the FDA for treatment of several forms of advancing MS. It is one of only two drugs that has been shown to benefit people with secondary progressive MS who are having attacks. However, the drug can cause heart damage at high total doses. Due to this, the lifetime cumulative dose is equal to about eight to 12 doses over two to three years.
Previous studies have also shown that the people with MS treated with the drug have an increased risk of developing leukemia. Those studies showed that acute leukemia occurred in .07 percent to .25 percent of MS patients taking mitoxantrone. Today's retrospective study of 2,854 Italian people with MS receiving the drug found that leukemia occurred in .74 percent.
"This rate is significantly higher than what has been previously reported," said study author Vittorio Martinelli, MD, of University Vita-Salute in Milan, Italy. "The potential risk of leukemia should be carefully considered against the potential benefits of mitoxantrone treatment on every single patient."
The study participants all had at least one cycle of mitoxantrone treatment and were observed for at least one year. A total of 21 people developed leukemia, eight of whom died. The people who developed leukemia had more treatment cycles than those who did not develop leukemia—8.6 cycles versus 7.2 cycles. They also had a greater cumulative dose of mitoxantrone.
The leukemia occurred an average of three years after the first use of the drug and an average of 18 months after the end of treatment.
"It is vital that all MS patients treated with mitoxantrone undergo prolonged and careful hematological follow-up to check for acute leukemia," Martinelli said.
The American Cancer Society has estimated there were 44,270 new cases of leukemia in the general U.S. population last year.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 21,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, restless legs syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, narcolepsy, and stroke. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit www.aan.com.
The AAN 61st Annual Meeting, the world's largest gathering of neurology professionals, takes place April 25–May 2, 2009, in Seattle. Visit www.aan.com/am for more information.
Jenine Anderson | EurekAlert!
How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine
Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
23.01.2018 | Life Sciences
23.01.2018 | Materials Sciences