Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
Abstract (Abstract): shot summary in a article that contain essentials elements presented during a scientific conference, lecture or from a poster.
Rituximab treatment in non-malignant inflammatory sensory polyganglionopathy
Title of the conference
21st Meeting of the European Neurological Society
Lisbon, Portugal, May 28-31, 2011
Journal of Neurology
Publication type : Meeting Abstract
Non-malignant inflammatory sensory polyganglionopathy (NISP) is the most common form of acquired ganglionopathies, a rare and distinct subgroup of peripheral nerve diseases characterized by a primary degeneration of sensory neurons in dorsal root ganglia. There is a rational for the use of immune modifying agents (IMA) in NISP since an underlying auto-immune process is demonstrated or suspected. However, commonly used IMA such as corticosteroids, azathioprine, methotrexate or IVIG do not prevent disease's progression in the majority of patients. The use of newer IMA, especially those directed against B-cells, may be a therapeutic alternative. An interesting candidate is rituximab, a mouse-human chimeric anti CD20 antibody that specifically eliminates B-cells and B-cells precursors.Objectives: This is a prospective open label pilot study to determine the efficacy of rituximab treatment in NISP patients, who did not respond to commonly used IMA.Methods: Five patients (40% male) with a mean age of 55 years (range 49-67), diagnosed with NISP after extensive work-up, were treated (schema used for one cure: 2 9 1gr within 15 days interval). Neurological scores (NIS, ISSS, ODSS) and B cell counts were assessed at baseline and during clinical follow-up at 2 and 6 monthsto assess treatment efficacy.Results: The treatment was generally well tolerated. Minor adverse events reported were transient arterial hypotension during the infusions in two patients and intermittent mild leucopenia in one patient. Clinical evolution during the follow-up period was characterized by a stability of the functional scores in four patients (80%) and the continuation of disability progression of one patient (20%). CD4 cells disappeared in all patients after the second infusion, an effect that lasted until the follow up at 6 months.Conclusion: The preliminary results of this pilot study indicate that rituximab is generally well tolerated and prevents progression of disability during the 6-month observation period in NISP patients. Inclusion of additional patients and extending of the follow-up period are intended to further investigate the efficacy of rituximab in NISP.
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