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Mult Scler. 2007 Sep;13(8):975-80. Epub 2007 Apr 27.

Mitoxantrone treatment in patients with early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

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  • 1Centro Sclerosi Multipla, Dipartimento di. Scienze Cardiovascolari e Neurologiche, University of Cagliari, Italy.


We investigated the clinical and MRI effects of mitoxantrone (MITOX) administered to 45 patients during the first five years of highly active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Differences occurring between the end of treatment and follow-up (clinical mean: 3.6 years; brain MR: 1.8 years) with respect to baseline variables (EDSS, annualized relapse rate, active T2 lesions, new T1 lesions and number of Gd-enhancing lesions) were analysed using parametric and non-parametric tests. One patient developed leukemia four months after the end of the treatment; no other serious adverse events occurred during treatment and the follow-up period. A clinically relevant reduction in the annualized relapse rate ( P < 0.0001 at end of treatment and P < 0.0001 at follow-up) and improvement in the EDSS (P < 0.0001 at end of treatment and P = 0.0005 at follow-up) was found. At the end of treatment, 53% of patients experienced no increase in active T2 lesions, while 73% showed no increase in the number of new T1 lesions. At follow-up, 41 out of 45 (91%) patients showed a stable MRI pattern and were active-scan free. Despite potential serious adverse events, MITOX may be considered an option in selected patients with very active early MS.

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