Posted: 11 July, 2002
Researchers are launching a trial to test whether the early use of an experimental drug can reduce long-term disability caused by multiple sclerosis.
Scientists are recruiting 180 volunteers with "early aggressive" relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) to take part in the five-year trial of the antibody Campath-1H.
The antibody has already shown it can achieve a dramatic reduction in relapse rate for some people with an advanced form of the condition known as secondary progressive MS.
But the researchers, from the University of Cambridge and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, hope it might also stop the build-up of damage that leads from relapsing-remitting MS to this more serious form of the condition, if people are treated early enough.
One-third of the volunteers will receive the MS drug beta interferon, to compare its effectiveness with its "competitor".
Alasdair Coles, one of the researchers, said it would take about seven years before the final results were available.
He said: "What we all want to know is: can any treatment reduce disability in the long term?"
For information, contact the MS Trust, tel: 01462 476700.
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