“Despite an increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia and colorectal cancer, the overall rate of cancer was low enough to justify still using this drug for people severely affected by MS if no better treatment is available,” said study author Mathias Buttmann, MD, of the University of Würzburg in Würzburg, Germany. “Mitoxantrone is the only approved treatment for people with secondary progressive MS without relapses and should be considered in people where the disease is evolving quickly. Also, many of the new and highly effective Multiple sclerosis drugs are not available to people in a number of countries for economic reasons, so mitoxantrone is being used for people with very active relapsing forms of the disease.”
Buttmann noted that the study was relatively small and needs to be confirmed. If the results are confirmed, he said that colonoscopies should be given after treatment with the Multiple sclerosis drug to screen for colorectal cancer, which can be treated more effectively when diagnosed earlier.