A three-year programme of research studies sponsored by Medical Research Council is underway at the National Centre for Human Retrovirology, St. Mary's Hospital.
It is a multi-stage programme of investigation of new treatments for HAM/TSP.
The first drug, under investigation, Ciclosporin, is already widely used for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and the prevention of organ transplant rejection. It works by suppressing a type of immune cells that are responsible for inflammation in the spinal cord. The study has recruited patients with short duration of illness due to HAM/TSP or patients where the condition has recently progressed. This study is now closed to recruitment.
Further details are available at The ClinicalTrials.gov website under study number: NCT00773292.
Patients are now enrolling in a study of Infliximab. This treatment blocks a protein, TNF, which causes inflammation and is damaging to nerves. As with the Ciclosporin study, patients with recent progression or less than 2 years of symptoms are eligible.
Further details are available at The ClinicalTrials.gov website under study number: NCT00823641.