A systematic review of clinical effectiveness and safety for historical and current treatment options for metachromatic leukodystrophy in children, including atidarsagene autotemcel

Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases volume 18, Article number: 248 (2023)

Nigel Armstrong, Andrew Olaye, Caro Noake & Francis Pang

To understand the benefit-risk profile for historical and current treatments for MLD. A systematic review was conducted on the effectiveness, safety, and costs of MLD treatments: allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and atidarsagene autotemcel (arsa-cel) according to best practice.

A total of 6940 titles and abstracts were retrieved from the literature searches and 26 from other sources. From these, 35 manuscripts reporting on a total of 12 studies were selected for inclusion in the review. There were no controlled multi-armed trials. However, we provide observations comparing two interventional therapies (alloHSCT and arsa-cel) and each of these to standard/supportive care (natural history). There were no benefits for survival, gross motor function and cognitive function for LI patients receiving alloHSCT, as patients experienced disease progression similar to LI natural history. For juvenile patients receiving alloHSCT, no differences in survival were observed versus natural history, however stabilisation of cognitive and motor function were reported for some patients (particularly for pre- or minimally-symptomatic LJ patients), while others experienced disease progression. Furthermore, alloHSCT was associated with severe complications such as treatment-related mortality, graft versus host disease, and re-transplantation in both LI and EJ treated patients. Most LI and EJ patients treated with arsa-cel appeared to have normal development, preservation, or slower progression of gross motor function and cognitive function, in contrast to the rapid decline observed in natural history patients. A survival benefit for arsa-cel versus natural history and versus alloHSCT was observed in LI patients.LI and EJ patients treated with arsa-cel had better gross motor function and cognitive function compared to alloHSCT, which had limited effect on motor and cognitive decline. No data has been reported for arsa-cel treatment of LJ patients.

Overall, this systematic review indicates that compared to NHx and HSCT, treatment with arsa-cel results in clinically relevant benefits in LI and EJ MLD patients by preserving cognitive function and motor development in most patients, and increased survival for LI patients. Nevertheless, further research is required to confirm these findings, given they are based on results from non-RCT studies.