Shared Solution Program – Campath

Yesterday I went to another Shared Solutions program where Dr. Bailey spoke about the different Multiple Sclerosis therapies, a few other quick topics, and answered various questions from the audience. I met a woman who was diagnosed with MS about a year ago and her father who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at about the same time. Overall it was a pretty good event and I really enjoyed it.

One thing I should share is that Dr. Bailey is not too big a fan of the oral therapies basically for the same reasons that I am not a fan of them for; they have not been out long enough to see the long term effects of the drugs. He spent a while talking about Tecfidera (BG-12) and how they basically rushed it to the market to promote it as the “cure for MS” (hence the hype over the drug) when in fact they are overlooking the fact that it has been linked to PML (Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy) which I recently wrote about. Sure it may help some patients but if no one is really looking at the potential dangers then will this drug ultimately help or hurt patients in the long run?

Dr. Bailey went over all the main therapies and asked who was on which ones by show of hands. Of course most the people there were on Copaxone (since this was a Shared Solutions event) and I was the only one in the room on Tysabri (haha). He went over other medications from Solu-Medrol to Baclofen for relapse treatment and symptom control.

After the program I asked Dr. Bailey about that medication he mentioned to me before my last infusion, the one I could not remember the name of. The medication he told me about (that would probably be a good candidate to switch to from Tysabri if I understood correctly) was Campath. Campath (alemtuzumab) was originally used to treat forms of leukemia but is being tested for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. It is given intravenously (through and IV) for 3-5 days once a year. It acts by killing T-cells and has been shown to halt disability progression and sometimes even reverse it (immediately) over the first 3 years. Although the medication is really focused on relapsing remitting MS it was tested on patients with progressive forms of MS and it did in fact prevent the formation of new lesions over seven years but did not prevent the long term disability effects of the disease. I will have to do more research and keep an eye on this because it does sound pretty interesting…

12 thoughts on “Shared Solution Program – Campath

  • May 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm
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    Hi Matt – great article! I am on the Copaxone now, but again, still getting over a BAD relapse. Went to the doc a couple of days ago and now I am on Copaxone, Baclofen, and now Klonopin for my stress/anxiety. Wish there could be just ONE drug I could take that would cover everything. Gets fustration, ya know? Anyways, Kim

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  • May 17, 2013 at 4:50 pm
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    Did I add Hydrocodone?

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  • May 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm
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    Hi! Thanks, and yeah, if only there was one pill for everything haha… I have been on all those meds, so I understand, it reall does suck!

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  • May 18, 2013 at 7:17 pm
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    I'm not surprised that this doctor would be talking about tecfidera dangers at a copaxone meeting. I'm one that will be trying this med. . The link to PML in very low . There is a higher possibility to getting PMl with Tysabri that I've heard.I'm not saying that what I've been told is 100% true over not . Its just drug companies will say what they need to to get you on their meds. . All med come with side effects or potential health problems down the road. It really sucks for us who need relief from MS to know which drug is right for us. I truly hate playing this Russian roulette game with our health. It always a gamble trying these meds.

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  • May 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm
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    Well he is not promoting Copaxone, he mostlt promotes Tysabri and Acthar. He was just saying that it's kind of irresponsible that Biogen did not do any testing on this… They just ignored it when they should have done longer studies. And I agree, Biogen makes Tysabri by the way haha…

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  • May 18, 2013 at 7:43 pm
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    It does suck that we have to experiment to find out with all the meds…

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  • May 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm
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    Yep seems like we are nothing but Guinea pigs. I'll be taking to my neuro june 24th about the pills . I hope he's ok with the new meds. You just never know what they'll ok or not. Also concerned about the long term effects of these drugs . No one has a test case of people that have go 15 -20 years on them . Praying that these drugs don't shorten my life any.

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    • September 10, 2013 at 10:48 pm
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      The cases of PML with Tecfidera were from much earlier usage in psoriasis. The dosage was much higher and the patients were on other very strong drugs. The FDA was very aware of these PML cases when they allowed BG12 to be studied in MS.

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  • September 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm
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    Actually, the older medication had 50% of the active ingredient that caused PML, now, in Tecfidera, the active ingredient is at 100%….

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  • September 18, 2013 at 11:32 am
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    Hi, Matt I stumbled across your site and I currently on Baclofen and lorazapam for spacity for my legs from the ms. I am 54 years old and have had wierd symptoms for years. Now I know they were flares and relapses. I probably had it thirty one year s. the last relapse took me two years to get over.Just dianosed last year. I am not taking the ms meds unless I have another bad flare. Has any one talked of diet change. No wheat sugar. Eating raw foods greens like kale, spinach,collard greens,vegetables of color. Liver once a week. MS can also be a vitamin defincy. I currently take 10,000 vitamin D. I give my self a B12 shot once a week for nerve function and energy. Most important thing I did for the spacity in legs was go to the Y pool and bought a jogging belt off internet and jog walked in pool everyday in deep end. It has helped get my gait almost normal.

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  • September 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm
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    I think diet can help, more for some than others. When I played with it I saw no change after a few months +. Most people who actually care about the patient and not their wallet would agree it takes a combination of DMD's, diet, and exercise but there is no money in alternative treatments so you won't hear a typical doctor talk about it haha…

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