Spotlight on alemtuzumab

Int MS J. 2009 Sep;16(3):77-81.


Alemtuzumab, formally known as Campath-1H, is a humanized monoclonal antibody directed against CD52, a protein on the surface of lymphocytes and monocytes with unknown function. A single dose of alemtuzumab leads to a rapid, profound and prolonged lymphopenia. A Phase II trial has shown that alemtuzumab reduces the risk of relapse and accumulation of disability by over 70% compared with interferon beta in patients with early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Alemtuzumab has been used in Cambridge as an experimental treatment for MS since 1991. In this review we summarize our experience; describing how this prototypical, "bench-to-bedside" therapy continues to inform basic science, revealing aspects of the pathogenesis of MS and lymphopeniaassociated autoimmunity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alemtuzumab
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm / therapeutic use*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Interferon beta-1a
  • Interferon-beta / adverse effects
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use
  • Lymphopenia / chemically induced
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antibodies, Neoplasm
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Alemtuzumab
  • Interferon-beta
  • Interferon beta-1a