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Monoclonal Antibodies for MS

Monoclonal antibodies have played a significant role in the treatment of many autoimmune diseases-MS included.  Monoclonal antibodies act by blocking lymphocytes (T and B cells) that are targeting normal tissues.   In MS, the normal tissues attacked by lymphocytes are myelin and nerve axons in the brain and spinal cord.  In most cases, MS can be controlled by disease modifying therapies such as interferons and Copaxone.  Monoclonal antibodies should be used as a second choice if MS is still not under controlled by these therapies.

Monoclonal antibodies available at this time are Natalizumab (Tysabri) and Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada.)  The FDA is currently in the process of looking at Ocrelizumab for Primary Progressive and Relapsing-Remitting MS.  Under study currently for MS are Rituximab (Rituxin), Daclizumab (Zenapex), and Ofatumumab.   Each of these Monoclonal antibodies are unique in their dosing, side effects, and treatment protocols.  For example, Lemtrada is dosed intravenously yearly for 2 years and Ofatumumab is given subcutaneously every 4 weeks.  Considering if you are a candidate for a Monoclonal antibody, as well as which one is best in your situation, is an individual decision between you and your physician.

Oak Clinic will be participating in the Relapsing-Remitting trial for Ofatumumab.  There are very detailed criteria for qualifying for this study such as treatment history, MRI results, and age. Please discuss questions regarding Monoclonal antibodies with your doctor during your visits, or call and ask for Research.



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