How effective is Campath?

12 November 2013

Question

Is MS definitely an autoimmune problem, and will Campath definitely work in the long term?

Answer

Alastair - He's asking a very sensible and a reasonable question which is that, it's all very well for medical scientists and doctors to promote particular treatments, but do these really work in the long term? Is the immunological hypothesis correct? I think that the problem is that it hasn't really been tested until recently. By which, I mean that patients had not been treated at the right stage with drugs that really do the job. Now in my view, but I would say this, Campath is a good way of testing the hypothesis. You've heard from Anthony Dean that 10 years on, he is normal, running marathons and so on, and that's great. That's roughly the experience that we've had with most of the patients who we've treated. We've followed them or we've looked after them now for up to 14 years and so far, we are very encouraged as are they by the lack of any progress. Indeed, many of them are now better than they were when we began. So, I think if you do the right experiment, if I can put it in those slightly hard terms, of using a drug that really works at the right stage of the illness, then you can see whether this is going to have a long term effect and so far, so good.

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