Answering TTP Foundation is excited to learn that Health Canada has approved the use of caplacizumab in combination with plasma exchange and immunosuppression for the treatment of aTTP in adults.
Canadian patients with aTTP can now have access to this targeted drug and the hope it brings for a safer and faster recovery from a TTP crisis. Answering TTP Foundation is looking forward to working with provincial and territorial partners to ensure that this targeted therapy is quickly made available at TTP treatment centers across the country and timely reimbursed by public and private plans.
Results of the HERCULES (multi centre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 clinical study) trial indicate that "treatment with caplacizumab was associated with faster normalization of the platelet count; a lower incidence of a composite of TTP-related death, recurrence of TTP, or a thromboembolic event during the treatment period; and a lower rate of recurrence of TTP during the trial than placebo"---source: New England Journal of Medicine.
We asked patients what this new treatment means to them.
- It would make me extremely happy. There are many dangers associated with plasma exchange. Also, terrible side effects.
- A normal lifestyle. Not running to the hospital so often.
- It's so traumatic on the body to have high dose exchange treatments, alongside side effects. The treatment takes everything out of you (literally), making recovery a long, long process and treatment pretty much taking up your days. This is mentally and physically very difficult to recover from.
- Hopefully less of a stay in the hospital! Almost a month was a long time, especially when you have a line sutured into your jugular!
- Needing less plasma exchange treatments would mean faster and safer recovery with less side effects from the treatment. As a frequent relapser my life during remission is also ruled in part by planning for the next TTP crisis. If the every day anxiety isn't enough, the disruption to work and kids is tremendous. My husband and I always need to consider planning for the next relapse because weeks in hospital followed by months of recovery takes emotional energy, money and time.
- For me, plasma exchange is one of the scariest parts of TTP. While donated blood is tested and the odds of catching something are very low, the amount of plasma donations I have consumed over the years increases those odds significantly. I have always had mild allergic reaction.