Thomas Leist, MD: Resetting the Immune System With Cladribine

October 19, 2018

The director of the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at Thomas Jefferson University discussed the concept of lymphocyte depletion to reset the immune system.

“Even after replenishing lymphocytes, the biologic effect of cladribine resides in the patient even though the lymphocyte counts have normalized.”

Cladribine, an agent for multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment that acts specifically on lymphocytes, has shown success in trials as a short-term therapy that results in long-term disease remission. It reduces B and T cells in order to, in a way, reset the immune system.

Although, due to the treatment course, the question of whether or not there is a potential utility for this treatment to grant protection against MS arises. For Thomas Leist, MD, this is an interesting point of contention.

At the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Berlin, Germany, Leist spoke with NeurologyLive about cladribine and its mechanism of action, as well as its possible use if approved. The professor of neurology and director of the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at Thomas Jefferson University discussed cladribine in totality, as well as how its effects have been demonstrated in clinical trials.