Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a viral disease of the brain associated with immunodeficiency, immune suppressing medications, and malignancy. In the absence of effective anti-viral therapy for the causative JC virus, immune restoration has emerged as the critical therapeutic alternative. The evolving treatment of PML (and other rare JC virus–associated neurologic syndromes) requires consideration of baseline immune functioning and comorbid diseases while selecting from a number of therapeutic options to restore an effective immune response. This review focuses on the current options for management of PML in typical situations where this disease presents, including several where immune restoration is a standard therapeutic approach such as in PML associated with HIV/AIDS and in multiple sclerosis associated with natalizumab. Other circumstances in which PML occurs including associated with primary immunodeficiencies, malignancies, and transplants present greater challenges to immune reconstitution, but emerging concepts may enhance therapeutic options for these situations. Particular attention is focused on recent experience with checkpoint inhibitors, guidance for MS drug discontinuation, and strategies to monitor and facilitate immune restoration.
- Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy