Living With MS

Discussing all aspects of Multiple Sclerosis, various treatments, including accurate information regarding Tysabri.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My Tysabri Diary...

I was not going to address on my blog the negative "melanoma/Tysabri" articles that have been circulating on the Internet, but I have been receiving so many e-mails from other MS patients and also comments on the different MS forums that I visit daily about these articles.

Here is just a small snippet from the responses that I sent to many of the different reporters/articles that were written:

"Your article was very disheartening to say the least because you failed to mention the following and your article does not tell the whole story:

the drug have caused melanoma in these two MS patients? It's possible", says Timothy K. Vartanian, MD, PhD, chief of the MS division at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School. Vartanian and colleagues report the two cases in a letter to the Feb. 7 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

"The important thing to remember is that Tysabri remains by far the most effective FDA-approved drug for treating relapsing forms of MS" stated Vartanian. "There are adverse effects associated with all medications..."

According to the WebMD article below, both of the women treated by Vartanian and colleagues had existing moles. In fact, one of the women had a family history of melanoma. Her father and a brother had melanomas; both of them remain alive and well.

The report from Vartanian and colleagues does not prove Tysabri caused these patients' melanoma.

The jury is still out, considering there are over 21,000 MS patients currently on Tysabri therapy, and I am one of them, having had 17 Tysabri infusions so far, with not one single relapse nor any disease progression in over a year".

Any MS patient with a history of melanoma in their family should discuss this with their neurologist. They should regularly be evaluated by a dermatologist if they have any mole on their skin and are on Tysabri therapy. These are only my opinions of course, and I am not a doctor. Here is an article from WebMD that addresses these issues in an unbiased manner:

Did these articles scare me at all? Heck no! All MS patients have to do is have as much knowledge about Tysabri as possible (and discuss your concerns/questions with your neurologist) in order to fend off these types of "sensationalistic" headlines that precede these biased and slanted media stories.


Love, Lauren :)


  • At 9:09 PM, Blogger ms'er faith said…

    I like the "sensationalist" part. You're right, and I always seem to fall for the media slant, so thanks for calming me down a bit :)


  • At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for posting this though. I have reently had 13 mole biopsies to treat 6 dysplatic moles. I am at high risk for Melanoma, and of course, this information would be important to me. It is always important for patients to have all the information they need to make informed decisions regarding thier medical care.

    I have to see a Dermatologist every 6 months anyway, this info just makes me want to check my moles more often, which is never a bad thing right?

    I had my first Tysabri treatment yesterday, and feel fine, except for a headache. I am very hopeful, and looking forward to seeing positive changes.


    They want to implant a Port Catheter before my next treatment, because I am a very challenging stick, have you heard of a Port being used for Tysabri infusions before?

    Great blog by the way!


  • At 10:04 PM, Blogger LISA said…

    thanks, you can ignore my other part of my earlier comment about my mole. i will see a dermatologist. i sorta knew i had to have it removed but i just am a chicken.(haha) anyway as always you answered all my questions. Thanks big time :) lisa


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