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Interferon beta in multiple sclerosis: experience in a British specialist multiple sclerosis centre

Dubois, B.D.; Keenan, E.; Porter, B.E,; Kapoor, R.; Rudge, P.; Thompson, A.J.; Miller, D.H.; (2003) Interferon beta in multiple sclerosis: experience in a British specialist multiple sclerosis centre. Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry , 74 (7) pp. 946-949. 10.1136/jnnp.74.7.946. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The efficacy of interferon beta (IFN beta) is well established in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the use of this drug in clinical practice is complex, especially because it is only partially effective, its long term efficacy and side effects are unknown, its efficacy may be abrogated by the development of neutralising antibodies, compliance is variable, and its cost effectiveness is controversial. Objectives and Methods: Analysis of a prospectively followed up series of 101 MS patients treated with IFN beta was undertaken to: (1) monitor the outcome of IFN beta treatment in clinical practice; (2) compare the immunogenicity of the three commercial IFN beta preparations available; (3) assess the proportion of patients fulfilling the current guidelines of the Association of British Neurologists for stopping IFN beta therapy. Results: During a median treatment period of 26 months (range 2–85), the relapse rate decreased by 41%. Although the reduction in the relapse rate was similar for all three commercial products, none of the Avonex treated patients were relapse free, compared with 19% of the Betaferon treated and 27% of the Rebif treated patients (p=0.02). Neutralising antibodies were not detected in Avonex treated patients (0 of 18), compared with 12 of 32 (38%) Betaferon treated and 10 of 23 (44%) Rebif treated patients (p=0.02). Forty of 101 (40%) patients satisfied the current (2001) Association of British Neurologists criteria for stopping IFN beta treatment at some stage during their treatment. Conclusion: IFN beta is effective in reducing the relapse rate in patients with relapsing-remitting MS in routine clinical practice. However, after a median treatment duration of 26 months, 40% of initially relapsing-remitting MS patients seem to have ongoing disease activity, presenting as disabling relapses or insidious progression.

Type: Article
Title: Interferon beta in multiple sclerosis: experience in a British specialist multiple sclerosis centre
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.74.7.946
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp.74.7.946
Language: English
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, interferon beta, neutralising antibodies
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neuroinflammation
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Brain Repair and Rehabilitation
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/7553
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