MS AND B CELLS
ANCHOR LEAD: REDUCING A TYPE OF WHITE BLOOD CELL HELPS MS PATIENTS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
B cells are a type of white blood cell that make antibodies, proteins that help fight off infections but are also important in diseases like multiple sclerosis. Now a new study has shown that depleting these cells using an antibody against them slows MS down. Peter Calabresi, an MS expert at Johns Hopkins, explains.
CALABRESI: For the past two or three years MS researchers have been looking at whether depleting B cells with this antibody might be an effective strategy for treating MS patients. The answer from this trial and a sister trial is an unequivocal yes. That all the early outcome measures that we look at such as relapses, and active lesions on the MRI showed that retuximab reduced the activity compared to a placebo and that the antibody appeared to be well tolerated and safe for the short term. :30
Calabresi says long term safety and efficacy must still be studied. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.