Hi all. I was wondering if anyone could give me some info on using chemotherapy as a treatment for MS. My uncle is 42 and his MS is getting worse all the time - he gets a relapse every few weeks now. His neuro has recommended that he gets chemo once a month for 6 months and we were wondering what the benefit of this is.
My uncle is a little nervous as chemo is hard at the best of times and he is wondering what he should expect and what the treatment will do for him.
I really dont know. Neither does he - he tends to let his wife get all the info and do the talking.
I think it might be the same type of chemo as they said he will have virtually no immune system - not great for someone with MS.
They did tell him that it is supposed to work quite well in progressive cases. They told him about a woman in a wheelchair for sometime who was walking after the chemo treatment and you can only get one course of treatments (1 a month for 6 months).
He's very confused and nervous. The last few years have just been getting worse and he'll do anything to get back to his old self. He's lived with it for almost 20yrs but now its getting bad - a worry for the rest of us in the family with it!! Will we be the same?
I've heard of using chemo before so I did a Yahoo search "chemotherapy MS treatment" this is a snipet of what was on the first site...
"The rationale for the use of chemotherapy to treat MS stems from the fact that MS is considered to be an autoimmune disease. An abnormal, heightened immune action of certain white blood cells mounts an attack on the myelin of the central nervous system. Destruction of myelin—the fatty sheath that surrounds and insulates nerves—causes nerve impulses to be slowed or halted and produces the symptoms of MS. Since administering chemotherapeutic agents diminishes the numbers of white blood cells, it should theoretically slow down or halt this autoimmune destruction."
The site goes on to tell of the reactions/precautions and such. Interesting.
Hi! So sorry that your uncle is having such a hard time. I did the chemotherapy drug Novantrone for a year and a half due to repeated relapses. It is an IV chemo drug that they also use for some types of breast cancer. I was given the IV once every 3 months for 5 doses. It drops your white blood cells and seemed to definitely stop my MS train. I was taken off of it because my white count wasn't recovering between the 5th and 6th doses. This may not be the same drug that they want to give your uncle, but I wanted to give you the name of it so you can do your own search on it. Novantrone has a lifetime dose restriction due to the fact that it can be hard on your heart. They would do a muga scan before the first dose and periodically throughout the treatment.