he Multiple Sclerosis Center at Winthrop, part of the Division of Neurology of the Institute for Neurosciences, now provides Novantrone®, an FDA-approved pharmaceutical agent, to medically appropriate Multiple Sclerosis patients. Novantrone® is targeted for patients in the progressive phase of MS.
Novantrone® has been used for several years to treat certain types of malignancies. An infused therapy, Novantrone® is administered jointly by the Winthrop Multiple Sclerosis Center and the Hospital’s Division of Oncology/Hematology.
Malcolm Gottesman, MD, Chief of the Division of Neurology and Director of Winthrop’s Multiple Sclerosis Center, explained, “Novantrone® is administered as an intravenous infusion, once every three months, for up to two years. To be eligible for Novantrone®, MS patients must undergo initial cardiac screening, along with blood work, and are required to undergo periodic heart monitoring, through an echocardiogram, an ultrasound technology, or through nuclear cardiology procedures. Patients with inadequate heart function cannot receive Novantrone®,
Dr. Gottesman cautions that Novantrone® is not offered to patients in the early stages of MS. “It is reserved for secondary progressive, rapidly progressive, remitting-relapsing disease, and progressive relapsing disease. It is the first drug to be approved by the FDA to treat progressive forms of MS. Until now, people with these types of MS had few proven therapeutic options.”
Novantrone® is also used, in much stronger dosages, as a chemotherapy drug, to combat certain malignancies. Harry Staszewski, MD, Chief of the Division of Oncology/Hematology, explained, “MS patients receive a much lower dosage of Novantrone® than that given to cancer patients in chemotherapy. It can be administered quite safely.”
For further information, call Kim Galante, RN, MS, FNP, Coordinator, Multiple Sclerosis Center at Winthrop-University Hospital, at (516) 663-4525.