The current role of mitoxantrone in the treatment of multiple sclerosis

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Abstract

Mitoxantrone is an immunosuppressive drug approved for aggressive relapsing and progressive multiple sclerosis. In recent years, its use has decreased due to the risk of severe adverse events and the introduction of novel therapies, such as natalizumab or fingolimod. Mitoxantrone is effective in reducing inflammatory activity by decreasing the number of relapses and MRI lesions and simultaneously decreasing the worsening of disability. Apart from its role as a second/third-line therapy, some studies suggest its use as an induction therapy. However, mitoxantrone use is limited because of its potential risk of severe adverse events, such as cardiotoxicity and the induction of therapy-related acute leukemia. Genetic markers are on evaluation to predict side effects and therapeutic efficacy, which is consistent with the direction of personalized treatment. Considering its efficacy and the potential risks, mitoxantrone use is limited to active patients after a careful, individualized evaluation of the risk/benefit balance.

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