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More MS news articles for February 2004

Binding antibodies and interferon beta 1a treatment of multiple sclerosis

Neurol Neurochir Pol. 2003;37(4):799-809
Bartosik-Psujek H, Belniak E, Mitosek-Szewczyk K, Rejdak K, Dobosz B, Stelmasiak Z.
Katedry i Kliniki Neurologii A.M. w Lublinie

The importance of binding antibodies (BAb) that develop during the treatment of multiple sclerosis with interferon beta has not been fully explained yet.

However, they are generally regarded as one of factors that may diminish treatment efficacy.

The aim of the study was to evaluate firstly, BAb occurrence in interferon beta 1-a (IFN beta 1-a)-treated MS patients and secondly, BAb impact on clinical efficacy of this medication.

In the 36-month study participants were 21 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, RR-MS, (14 women, 7 men, aged 29.6 +/- 8.5).

All the patients were receiving intramuscular IFN beta-1a (Avonex) for 24 months, in the dose of 30 micrograms per week.

Clinical parameters and serum BAb levels (the EIA method) were estimated every 3 months.

Two control groups, examined only once, included 20 RR-MS patients without IFN-beta therapy and 20 healthy volunteers.

While before treatment a high BAb level was found in 2 patients (9.5%), at 6 months of treatment it was found in 8 patients (38.1%).

A similar number of patients with high BAb levels was seen throughout the study during the IFN-beta treatment.

On therapy completion serum BAb levels decreased very rapidly.

After 2 years of treatment, disability as measured by the EDSS scale was more pronounced in patients with serum BAb, but the differences were statistically not significant.

No statistically significant relationship was found either between elevated BAb levels and the number of relapses during the IFN-beta treatment (including relapses that required steroid therapy).