Journal Article

Current therapeutic possibilities in primary and secondary amyloidosis and our experience with 31 patients

R. Ryšavá, M. Merta, I. Špička and V. Tesař

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 18, issue suppl_5, pages v38-v40
Published in print July 2003 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online July 2003 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Current therapeutic possibilities in primary and secondary amyloidosis and our experience with 31 patients

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Primary (AL) and secondary (AA) amyloidosis are systemic diseases characterized by a process of amyloid deposition in many organs with unsatisfactory survival of patients. Apart from surgical intervention in those patients with bronchiectasias or osteomyelitis, the possibilities of influencing the development of AA amyloidosis are limited. The milestone therapy in patients with rheumatic diseases includes early treatment with DMARDs (disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs). A new promising therapeutic alternative is represented by anti-tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) drugs such as infliximab and etanercept. The last class of agents used in the treatment of AA interferes with fibril formation: iododoxorubicin and low molecular weight sulfates (fibrilex). In the group of patients with AL, in addition to the standard combination of melphalan and prednisone, other therapeutic approaches such as ASCT (autologous stem cell transplantation) and new drugs with different mechanisms of action have been added recently. For the future, we can expect the development of immunotherapy (both active vaccination and passive immunization). In our department, we have treated 17 patients with AL and 14 patients with AA amyloidosis since 1995. We used various treatment regimens in both groups of patients. The treatment stabilized the disease or achieved partial remission in only 36% of patients with AA amyloidosis despite the use of intensive therapeutic modalities, while in the AL group a response was achieved in 82% of patients. ASCT improves patients survival in AL amyloidosis, but strict selection criteria are necessary (less than two affected organs and no signs of myocardial dysfunction).

Keywords: AA amyloidosis; AL amyloidosis; amyloid; ASCT; DMARDs; immunotherapy

Journal Article.  1591 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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