Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Long-term treatment with leuprorelin for spinal bulbar muscular atrophy

A gentleman living with Kennedy's Disease sent me the following email. I remember the initial trial years ago, but I wasn't aware researchers continued it. The link for the actual study is at the bottom of his message. I forwarded this to Dr. Fischbeck to see if he has any thoughts on the study.

In a conversation for Dr. Fischbeck several years ago, he mentioned the difficulty of measuring results in short term clinical studies because SBMA progresses slowly. This study is 84-months long and I assume is easier to quantify the results.

Long-term treatment with leuprorelin for spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy: natural history-controlled study
"Recently they published a new, interesting study about long term therapy of SBMA. It is an old candidate: leuprorelin. As you may know, there were two previous (phase 2 and 3) trials with leuprorelin, done in Japan, the second one is the JASMITT study. After continuing the treatment of 36 patients from the previous studies, the same researcher group have now new data with leuprorelin.
  1. They have data from 84-months follow-up, with hard endpoints. 
  2. They showed significant difference in several functional scores, compared to no-drug controll. 
  3. Maybe most importantly, there was a significant difference in the event-free survival (death or pneumonia). The similar trend was in the risk of death, however it was not significant, they suppose because of the low statistical power (i.e. number of patients) of the study, and the slow progression of the SBMA. However, pneumonia is a very important event in SBMA since aspiration is one of the biggest, deadly threat in this disease. 
  4. The final conclusion from the article: "In conclusion, this study showed that the continuous administration of leuprorelin acetate appears to slow the progression of motor deficits in subjects with SBMA. In addition, pneumonia-free survival in SBMA would be extended by long-term treatment with leuprorelin acetate, suggesting disease-modifying effects of androgen deprivation by leuprorelin acetate."

As far as I know, it is one of the longest, controlled trial in patients with SBMA. I think we may reconsider the therapeutic possibilities of antiandrogens, and I guess we will hear about in the near future. It would be nice to know Dr. Fischbeck's comments.

It is important to keep in mind that everyone have to talk his physician first.

Here is the abstract of the article: http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/early/2017/08/05/jnnp-2017-316015 , unfortunately the full-text version is not free-access."
Note:  The original post on the trial can be found here:  Leuprorelin

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