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Natalizumab News

MS Drug Tied to Higher Risk for Potentially Deadly Brain Virus

Posted 28 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 27, 2016 – People with multiple sclerosis who are treated with the drug Tysabri (natalizumab) may have up to a 10 times greater risk for a rare and potentially deadly viral infection, a new study finds. The germ in question is the John Cunningham virus (JCV), a pathogen thought to cause a deadly brain condition known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). The link between Tysabri and PML isn't new: Numerous studies published over the past few years have shown an increase in risk for the disease in patients taking the drug. However, even though the new study showed a link between Tysabri and JCV infection, experts stressed that the drug can be of great help to patients, who should weigh its benefits against its risks. The new research was led by Dr. Heinz Wiendl of the University of Muenster in Germany. The findings are published in the Jan. 27 online ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Tysabri, Chronic Spasticity, Viral Infection, Natalizumab, Upper Limb Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity

Kidney Woes Tied to Raised Cancer Risk, Study Finds

Posted 12 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 12, 2015 – Kidney failure and having a kidney transplant may increase the risk for certain types of cancer, a new study suggests. Poor kidney function and immune system-suppressing drugs may be behind this increased risk, according to Elizabeth Yanik, of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and colleagues. For the study, published in the Nov. 12 online edition of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, the researchers looked at data from more than 200,000 U.S. kidney transplant candidates and recipients. Along with finding that these patients are at increased risk for certain types of cancer, the investigators also identified clear patterns of risk associated with different types of treatment. However, the associations seen in the study do not prove cause-and-effect. The risk of kidney and thyroid cancers was especially high when kidney failure patients were on ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Renal Failure, CellCept, Gilenya, Tysabri, Xolair, Chronic Kidney Disease, Imuran, Orencia, Revlimid, Arava, Leflunomide, Azathioprine, Afinitor, Tecfidera, Mycophenolate Mofetil, Peritoneal dialysis, Benlysta, Aubagio

New Clues to Link Between MS Drug Tysabri and Rare Brain Disease

Posted 25 Mar 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 – Researchers report that they think they have figured out why patients who take the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri face a high risk of developing a rare, and sometimes fatal, brain infection. A common virus that can cause the brain disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) likes to infect and hide in certain blood cells that are triggered to mobilize by Tysabri, the study authors explained. Even more troubling, the researchers discovered that current tests may be missing some who harbor the virus. "Right now, the risk of PML in patients treated with [Tysabri] for more than two years is about one in 75 patients. That's a very high risk," said study author Eugene Major, a senior investigator at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in Bethesda, Md. "We need to be able to understand why this therapy puts patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Tysabri, Natalizumab

Study Shows MS Patients at Most Risk for Drug-Linked Brain Illness

Posted 16 May 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 16 – Drug company researchers say they've determined which multiple sclerosis patients are most vulnerable to developing a rare brain infection while taking a powerful drug called Tysabri (natalizumab). Even the multiple sclerosis patients at highest risk of developing the brain infection face low odds of getting it while on Tysabri, but the infection can be deadly. "Now we can identify which risk group each patient is in. This will help doctors and patients make better decisions," said Dr. Gary Bloomgren, lead author of a study released Wednesday and vice president of drug safety at Biogen Idec, which makes the drug. About 100,000 patients have taken Tysabri at least once. The drug, which is used mainly to delay the progression of multiple sclerosis, has been on the market since 2006. It originally went on the market in 2005 but was removed due to medical problems that ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Tysabri, Natalizumab

FDA Medwatch Alert: Tysabri (natalizumab): Drug Safety Communication - New Risk Factor for Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML)

Posted 23 Jan 2012 by Drugs.com

ISSUE: FDA notified healthcare profesisonals that testing positive for anti-JC virus (JCV) antibodies has been identified as a risk factor for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML is a rare but serious brain infection associated with use of Tysabri (natalizumab) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) or Crohn's disease. A patient's anti-JCV antibody status may be determined using an anti-JCV antibody detection test that has been analytically and clinically validated, and has been ordered by a healthcare professional. The Stratify JCV Antibody ELISA test2 was cleared by FDA on January 20, 2012. Testing positive for anti-JCV antibodies means that a person has been exposed to JCV in the past. BACKGROUND: Tysabri (natalizumab) is in a class of medications called immunomodulators. It works by stopping certain cells of the immune system from causing damage to the body. ... Read more

Related support groups: Tysabri, Natalizumab

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