Years ago, most people with MG died from the disease. Since our inception in 1952 the Foundation has led the charge to ensure investments in the world’s most promising scientific endeavors—funding research and bringing together the brightest minds in the field from around the world at scientific seminars.
Research has led to better diagnostic techniques, treatments and therapies, and improved disease management, such that death from MG has become rare. But today’s treatments come with significant side effects, and are only partially effective in managing the life-altering symptoms of MG. More research is needed to find better therapies, and ultimately, a cure and a world without myasthenia gravis.
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is funding a phase 3 trial of a surgical procedure known as a thymectomy — removal of the thymus— in an estimated 150 adults with myasthenia gravis (MG) at 50 sites throughout the United States and other countries. Currently, almost 120 patients have been enrolled worldwide, but more patients are needed to complete the study. Recruitment will continue through November 2012.
Removal of the thymus, an organ located in the chest that plays a role in the immune system, has been used for many years as a treatment for MG, an autoimmune disease. However, conclusive data on its effectiveness are lacking.
This study seeks to gather data on whether thymectomy plus the steroid drug prednisone is more effective than prednisone alone, and whether the amount of prednisone required to control symptoms differs when a thymectomy has been performed.
Prospective participants must be 18 to 65 years old, meet diagnostic criteria for MG, have experienced onset of generalized MG within the last five years, not have a tumor in the thymus (thymoma) and meet other study criteria.
Study participants will be randomly assigned to receive treatment with prednisone alone or to receive prednisone plus a thymectomy; they'll be followed for at least three years.
To view a video of Jenny's thymectomy story click here.
To participate in the thymectomy study click here.
For details and contact information, see Thymectomy Trial in Non-Thymomatous Myasthenia Gravis Patients Receiving Prednisone Therapy; or enter NCT00294658 into the search box at ClinicalTrials.gov. You may also contact Greg Minisman at the study's coordinating center (UAB) at (205) 934-4905.
The mission of ITMIG is to promote the advancement of clinical and basic science pertaining to thymic and other mediastinal malignancies and related conditions. ITMIG is an academic organization that provides structure, organization and scientific rigor to research in these diseases.
ITMIG has been embraced by other professional organizations in related fields, including the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America. For more information click here.