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Observational clinical study in juvenile-adult glycogenosis type 2 patients undergoing enzyme replacement therapy for up to 4 years

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The objective of this study was to describe a large Italian cohort of patients with late-onset glycogen storage disease type 2 (GSDII) at various stages of disease progression and to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of alglucosidase alpha enzyme replacement therapy (ERT). Previous studies showed in late-onset patients ERT efficacy against placebo and variable response in uncontrolled studies. Seventy-four juvenile or adult GSDII patients were treated with ERT in a multicenter open label, non-randomized study, from 12 months up to 54 months. Recombinant human alpha glucosidase (rh-GAA) was injected by intravenous route at 20 mg/kg every second week. Patients were divided into three groups according to ERT duration: Group A received treatment for 12–23 months (n = 16), Group B for 24–35 months (n = 14), and Group C for more than 36 months (n = 44). Clinical assessment included a 6-min walk test (6MWT), forced vital capacity (FVC), the Walton and Gardner-Medwin score, the number of hours of ventilation, body mass index, echocardiography and blood creatine kinase (CK). Included in our cohort were 33 males and 41 females (M:F = 0.8:1), with a mean age at first symptoms of 28.3 years (range 2–55 years) and a mean age of 43 years at study entry (range 7–72 years). Seven wheelchair bound patients, as well as 27 patients requiring ventilation support, were included. After treatment we could observe an increase in distance walked on the 6MWT in the large majority of patients (48/58; 83%), with an overall mean increase of 63 m (from 320 ± 161 to 383 ± 178 m). After treatment in the majority of patients FVC was improved or unchanged (45/69; 65%). In ventilated patients we observed an improvement in average number of hours off the ventilator (from 15.6 to 12.1 h). Six patients stopped mechanical ventilation and two others started it. The effect of therapy was not related to ERT duration. Nine of 64 patients (13%) that underwent to echocardiography showed a variable degree of cardiac hypertrophy (left ventriculum or septum), and a positive effect was observed after 36 months of ERT in one adult case. Discontinuation of treatment occurred in four patients: one drop-off case, one patient died for a sepsis after 34 months of treatment and two patients stopped ERT for worsening of general clinical condition. Mild adverse effects were observed in four cases (5%). This study represents the largest cohort of late-onset GSDII patients treated with ERT, and confirm a positive effect of treatment. These results, obtained in a large case series on therapy, indicate a favourable effect of ERT therapy, even in more advanced stage of the disease.

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Conflict of interest

Drs Toscano and Angelini are members of the Pompe Global Advisory Board, sustained by Genzyme, and received reimbursement for the participation to the board meetings. Drs Angelini, Toscano, Bembi, Servidei, Filosto and Semplicini received support from Genzyme for organizing or participating to scientific meetings.

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Correspondence to C. Angelini.

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C. Angelini, T. Mongini, A. Toscano: Coordinators of the Italian Group on GSDII.

The members of the Italian GSDII Group are listed in the Appendix.

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Appendix: The Italian GSDII Group

Appendix: The Italian GSDII Group

L. Vercelli, Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases “P. Peirolo”, Department of Neurosciences, University of Torino, Torino, Italy; R. di Giacopo, Department of Neurology, Università Cattolica, Rome, Italy; V. Lucchini and G. P. Comi, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Osp. Policlinico, Dept. of Neurology, Centro Dino Ferrari, University of Milan, Italy; V. Tugnoli, Neurology Unit, S. Anna Hospital, Ferrara, Italy; M. Rigoldi, Rare Metabolic Diseases Unit, Department of Pediatrics, San Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Italy; M. B. Pasanisi, Immunology and Muscular Pathology Unit, National Neurological Institute Carlo Besta, Milan, Italy; R. Piras, Neuromuscular Unit, Department of Cardiovascular Science and Neurology, University of Cagliari, Italy; F. Giannini, Departments of Neurosciences, University of Siena, Italy; E. Barca, Department of Neurosciences, Psychiatry and Anaesthesiology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy; S. Gasperini, Clinic of Pediatric Neurology, Meyer Hospital, Firenze, Italy; G. Ricci, Neurological Institute, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy; D. Diodato, Department of Neurological Sciences, Second University of Naples, Italy; A. Ariatti, Department of Medicine, Endocrinology, Metabolism and Geriatrics, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

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Angelini, C., Semplicini, C., Ravaglia, S. et al. Observational clinical study in juvenile-adult glycogenosis type 2 patients undergoing enzyme replacement therapy for up to 4 years. J Neurol 259, 952–958 (2012).

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