More MS news articles for April 2002

Fine-Tuning Interferon Treatment in Multiple Sclerosis

Laurie Barclay, MD

NEW YORK (MedscapeWire) Apr 29 Different interferon regimens vary in their ability to prevent relapses and disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS), according to the results of a prospective, randomized trial published in the April 27 issue of The Lancet.

"The 3 interferon beta preparations approved for treatment of relapsing-remitting MS differ in dose and frequency of administration," write Luca Durelli and colleagues from Turin University Medical School in Italy. "High-dose interferon beta-1b given every other day is more effective in treating multiple sclerosis (MS) than interferon beta-1a given once a week."

In the INCOMIN study involving 15 Italian MS centers, 188 patients with relapsing-remitting MS received either 250 mcg interferon beta-1b given on alternate days or 30 mcg interferon beta-1a given once weekly.

Over the 2-year study period, 51% of those given interferon beta-1b remained relapse-free, as did 36% of those given interferon beta-1a (P=.03). Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed no new proton density/T2 lesions in 55% of those given interferon beta-1b and in 26% of those on interferon beta-1a (P<.0003).

"There were also significant differences in favor of interferon beta-1b in most of the secondary outcome measures, including delay of confirmed disease progression," the authors write. "The greater efficacy observed in the interferon beta-1b group was not achieved at the cost of reduced compliance."


Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

Laurie Barclay, MD, is a staff writer with WebMD.

© 2002 Medscape Portals, Inc