Interferon beta-1b in secondary progressive MS: A combined analysis of the two trials
ABSTRACT A European (EU) and a North American (NA) placebo-controlled study with interferon beta-1b (IFNB-1b) in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) showed divergent results with regard to their primary outcome of sustained Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) progression, while effects were similar on relapse and MRI-related endpoints. Reasons for this discrepancy were explored in the combined dataset.
Baseline characteristics and variability in EDSS assessments were compared. Retrospective combined analyses for time to confirmed progression were performed to assess treatment effects overall and in subgroups defined by pre-study disease activity criteria and other key baseline variables.
The variance of EDSS measurements was 6.5% higher in the NA-SPMS study. The EU study included patients in an earlier phase of SPMS and with more active disease both pre-study (relapses, MRI) as well as on study (EDSS, relapses, and MRI variables as assessed in the placebo groups). The pooled analysis showed an overall risk reduction by about 20% in patients treated with 8 MIU (250 mcg) IFNB-1b for EDSS progression confirmed at 6 months (p = 0.008). Risk reduction by 30% to 40% was found for patients with at least one relapse or change in EDSS by >1 in the 2 years prior to study entry. No other consistent across-studies relation of clinical and MRI variables at baseline to potential treatment response was found.
Although post hoc, this combined analysis of the two large studies with IFNB-1b in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis suggests that both pronounced disability progression and continuing relapse activity might help in identifying those patients in the secondary progressive phase of the disease who are more likely to benefit from treatment.
SourceAvailable from: Martina Novotna[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Objective: We examined the effect of relapses-before and after progression onset-on the rate of postprogression disability accrual in a progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) cohort. Methods: We studied patients with primary progressive MS (n = 322) and bout-onset progressive MS (BOPMS) including single-attack progressive MS (n = 112) and secondary progressive MS (n = 421). The effect of relapses on time to Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of 6 was studied using multivariate Cox regression analysis (sex, age at progression, and immunomodulation modeled as covariates). Kaplan-Meier analysis was performed using EDSS 6 as endpoint. Results: Preprogression relapses (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.63; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.34-1.98), postprogression relapses (HR: 1.37; 95% CI: 1.11-1.70), female sex (HR: 1.19; 95% CI: 1.00-1.43), and progression onset after age 50 years (HR: 1.47; 95% CI: 1.21-1.78) were associated with shorter time to EDSS 6. Postprogression relapses occurred in 29.5% of secondary progressive MS, 10.7% of single-attack progressive MS, and 3.1% of primary progressive MS. Most occurred within 5 years (91.6%) after progressive disease onset and/or before age 55 (95.2%). Immunomodulation after onset of progressive disease course (HR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.52-0.78) seemingly lengthened time to EDSS 6 (for BOPMS with ongoing relapses) when analyzed as a dichotomous variable, but not as a time-dependent variable. Conclusions: Pre- and postprogression relapses accelerate time to severe disability in progressive MS. Continuing immunomodulation for 5 years after the onset of progressive disease or until 55 years of age may be reasonable to consider in patients with BOPMS who have ongoing relapses.Neurology 11/2014; 84(1). DOI:10.1212/WNL.0000000000001094 · 8.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: No head-to-head trials have compared the efficacy of the oral therapies, fingolimod, dimethyl fumarate and teriflunomide, in multiple sclerosis. Statistical modeling approaches, which control for differences in patient characteristics, can improve indirect comparisons of the efficacy of these therapies. No evidence of disease activity (NEDA) was evaluated as the proportion of patients free from relapses and 3-month confirmed disability progression (clinical composite), free from gadolinium-enhancing T1 lesions and new or newly enlarged T2 lesions (magnetic resonance imaging composite), or free from all disease measures (overall composite). For each measure, the efficacy of fingolimod was estimated by analyzing individual patient data from fingolimod phase 3 trials using methodologies from studies of other oral therapies. These data were then used to build binomial regression models, which adjusted for differences in baseline characteristics between the studies. Models predicted the indirect relative risk of achieving NEDA status for fingolimod versus dimethyl fumarate or teriflunomide in an average patient from their respective phase 3 trials. The estimated relative risks of achieving NEDA status for fingolimod versus placebo in a pooled fingolimod trial population were numerically greater (i.e., fingolimod more efficacious) than the estimated relative risks for dimethyl fumarate or teriflunomide versus placebo in each respective trial population. In indirect comparisons, the predicted relative risks for all composite measures were better for fingolimod than comparator when tested against the trial populations of those treated with dimethyl fumarate (relative risk, clinical: 1.21 [95% confidence interval 1.06-1.39]; overall: 1.67 [1.08-2.57]), teriflunomide 7 mg (clinical: 1.22 [1.02-1.46]; overall: 2.01 [1.38-2.93]) and teriflunomide 14 mg (clinical: 1.14 [0.96-1.36]; overall: 1.61 [1.12-2.31]). Our modeling approach suggests that fingolimod therapy results in a higher probability of NEDA than dimethyl fumarate and teriflunomide therapy when phase 3 trial data are indirectly compared and differences between trials are adjusted for.Advances in Therapy 11/2014; DOI:10.1007/s12325-014-0167-z · 2.44 Impact Factor
Article: Human freedom and the brain.[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Freedom of will does exist, it is self-leadership of man based on reason and ethos. Evidence comes from truth. Determinism cannot be proved since if you try, you mean to prove a truth; but there is no truth without freedom. By contrast for freedom there are many pieces of evidence e.g. science, arts, technology. Freedom utilizes creative abstract thinking with phantasy. Freedom is graded, limited, based on nature, but not developed without good will. We perceive reliably freedom by self-consciousness and in other persons as long as we are sober. Freedom needs intelligence, but is more, it is a creative and moral virtue. The basis for freedom is phylogenesis and culture, in the individual learning and experimenting. Factors in the becoming of freedom are not only genes and environment but also self-discipline. But the creativity of free will is dangerous. Man therefore needs morale. Drives and feelings become humanized, cultural interests are developed. There is a humane nobility from long good will.Acta Neuropsychiatrica 06/2009; 21 Suppl 2:1-6. DOI:10.1111/j.1601-5215.2009.00386.x · 0.64 Impact Factor