Friday, March 27, 2009
Doctor visit and medical update
I saw Dr Gitt, my neurologist today. He suggested I go into the trial for alemtuzumab. It is an IV drug that has been used for a type of leukemia and is being tested for MS. The results have been promising. Mary sent me this: http://www.medicalnewstoday.
com/articles/126550.php It is administered by IV for five days (a few hours each day). Then it is administered for three days a year later. Two thirds of the trial gets alemtuzumab and one third gets Rebif, which is similar to the Betaseron I take now except it is 3x/week instead of every other day. (MS trials do not use placebo groups; they use one of the current treatments for the control group.) The side effects are ITP-idiopathich thrombocytopenic purpura, which is fatal if not treated, but easily treated, and thryroid problems, which are not desirable but also treatable. It's a big decision but the pros as I see it are: careful monitoring (more than standard care), treatment paid for, 2:1 possibility of not giving myself injections for the next two years, and improved MS. The cons are possible thyroid problems, continuing injections if I end up in the control group, and developing ITP.