Comparative efficacy of alemtuzumab and established treatment in the management of multiple sclerosis
Alemtuzumab is the newest disease-modifying therapy approved for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis. Alemtuzumab is an anti-CD52 targeted antibody that causes lysis of T and B lymphocytes, monocytes, natural killer cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. Following its administration, a prolonged T-cell lymphopenia results with emergence of a reconstituted immune system that differs in its composition from that pretreatment. In clinical trials, alemtuzumab has shown impressive efficacy with regard to clinical and radiological outcomes in relapsing multiple sclerosis, along with sustained long-term beneficial effects, and it is attractive for its once-yearly administration. Despite this, the occurrence of serious secondary autoimmune disorders, infections, and a potential risk of malignancy necessitates a careful evaluation of risks versus benefits for an individual patient prior to its use. The requirement of patient commitment to the intense mandatory monitoring program is also a factor to be considered when incorporating alemtuzumab into the treatment regimen.