Alemtuzumab treatment of multiple sclerosis in real-world clinical practice: A report from a single Italian center.
Background: Alemtuzumab, is a compound approved for highly active MS, and, in Europe, employed after the use of other disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) with an escalation approach or used as a first therapeutic option. The occurrence of secondary autoimmune adverse events and or infections can differ depending on the employed approach.
Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of alemtuzumab in real-world MS population that encompassed patients previously treated with other DMTs.
Methods: 35 patients, treated with alemtuzumab in a single MS Center, were followed for at least 36 months. The study investigated the prevalence of patients reaching the phase of the non-active disease (NEDA-3). All the adverse events were also reported, and correlations assessed.
Results: At the 36-month follow-up, 66,7% of patients achieved the NEDA-3 status, 90,5% of the patients were relapse-free, 85,7% showed no signs of disability progression, nor signs of MRI activity. Adverse events were observed in 45,7% of the patients and ranked as severe in 23% of them. Cases of autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), pancytopenia, viral hepatitis E, and noninfectious meningo-encephalomyelitis were found and reported. For these complications, the post hoc analysis showed possible interactive factors and causality related to previous DMT treatments.
Conclusions: In a real-world MS population like the one investigated in our study, alemtuzumab was found to be an effective treatment when employed as an escalation or rescue therapy. The compound exhibits a variable safety profile and frequent adverse events that are likely depending on previous treatments and their impact on the immune system.