Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation compared with alemtuzumab for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: an observational study.

To compare outcomes after treatment with autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) and alemtuzumab (ALZ) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.Patients treated with AHSCT (n=69) received a conditioning regimen of cyclophosphamide (200 mg/kg) and rabbit anti-thymocyte globulinerG (6.0 mg/kg). Patients treated with ALZ (n=75) received a dose of 60 mg over 5 days, a repeated dose of 36 mg over 3 days after 1 year and then as needed. Follow-up visits with assessment of the expanded disability status scale score, adverse events and MR investigations were made at least yearly.The Kaplan-Meier estimates of the primary outcome measure 'no evidence of disease activity' was 88% for AHSCT and 37% for ALZ at 3 years, p<0.0001. The secondary endpoint of annualised relapse rate was 0.04 for AHSCT and 0.1 for ALZ, p=0.03. At last follow-up, the proportions of patients who improved, were stable or worsened were 57%/41%/1% (AHSCT) and 45%/43%/12% (ALZ), p=0.06 Adverse events grade three or higher were present in 48/69 patients treated with AHSCT and 0/75 treated with ALZ in the first 100 days after treatment initiation. The most common long-term adverse event was thyroid disease with Kaplan-Meier estimates at 3 years of 21% for AHSCT and 46% for ALZ, p=0.005.In this observational cohort study, treatment with AHSCT was associated with a higher likelihood of maintaining 'no evidence of disease activity'. Adverse events were more frequent with AHSCT in the first 100 days, but thereafter more common in patients treated with ALZ.

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