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Study: MS Drug Does Not Cause Cancer

November 24, 2015

A piece published in Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation produces evidence that a drug used to treat MS does not cause cancer. The drug in question is Cladribine.

Cladribine is already licensed for Leukemia patients, but has called also been used to treat MS as shown by studies in the United Kingdom. In fact, the drug was known to have reduced patient’s relapse rate by over 50 %. Nearly half of the people who participated in the study, and took the drug, did not demonstrate any signs of activity for two years.

This drug has been refused market authorization because of the suspicion that it caused cancer.
In their study, the researchers compared the incidence of cancer in patients treated with Cladribine to 11 other studies in which similar drugs licensed for MS were used. In their analysis, they found no evidence for increased cancer risk in MS patients using Cladribine. They wrote that the drug appeared safer, more effective, easier to use, and potentially less expensive than current MS therapies.

“Our research shows that clinical academics and drug makers should continue to develop Cladribine for people with relapsing MS as the risk of developing cancer is no greater than for other types of current medication,” lead author Klaus Schmierer said in a press release. “As well as being easier and cheaper to administer, Cladribine benefits female patients who want to get pregnant. Other drugs used to treat relapsing MS need to be stopped during pregnancy and that can expose women to increased risk of MS disease activity. That's not the case with Cladribine, which has a long lasting effect.