Extracorporeal photochemotherapy: a safety and tolerability pilot study with preliminary efficacy results in refractory relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
Extracorporeal photochemotherapy (ECP) is an immunomodulating procedure consisting of autologous reinfusion of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) after direct exposure to 8-methoxy-psoralen and UV-A. It has been described as a successful treatment for different T-cell-mediated diseases and preliminary results suggest that ECP might be effective in the treatment of relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis, but does not significantly alter the course of the progressive form of MS. In this study, we report the safety data and some preliminary efficacy evidence obtained using ECP in the treatment of five patients with refractory relapsing-remitting (RR) MS: in most cases ECP induced a reduction in the relapse rate and an EDSS stabilisation, with an apparent general MRI stabilisation. In conclusion, our results confirm ECP safety and tolerability and suggest that this treatment might be useful as a therapeutic alternative in the subgroup of RRMS patients not responsive to or not eligible for traditional immunomodulating or immunosuppressive treatments.
Key wordsExtracorporeal photochemotherapy T-cell-mediated diseases Multiple sclerosis
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