Modified total lymphoid irradiation and low dose corticosteroids in progressive multiple sclerosis
Miller Fisher Syndrome
In a double-blind prospective randomized trial, we assessed the efficacy and safety of modified total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) plus low dose prednisone (TLI-LDP) as compared to sham TLI plus identical prednisone therapy (sham TLI-LDP) in 46 patients with progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). No significant difference existed between groups at study entry in patient age, sex, duration of MS, or disability status. However, following treatment, significantly fewer TLI patients showed a sustained one point decline in the Expanded Disability Status Scale, the primary study endpoint, as compared to the sham TLI group using the Kaplan-Meier Product-limit survival analysis, (P<0.005). Risk for relapse requiring treatment with intravenous methylprednisolone was reduced by 54% in the TLI-treated group (P<0.05). Significantly fewer TLI-LDP patients had gadolinium enhancing plus new T2-weighted lesions (P=0.018) when compared to the sham group post-treatment. There was also a substantial and significant decrease in blood lymphocytes in the TLI-LDP group when compared to either pretreatment values or to sham TLI-LDP through at least 12 months post-therapy. Side effects secondary to TLI were generally mild and well-tolerated. These results further support the hypothesis that TLI and systemic immunosuppression have a beneficial effect in progressive forms of MS.