More MS news articles for Mar 2002

Cost-effectiveness analysis of interferon beta in multiple sclerosis

Neurol Neurochir Pol 2001 Sep-Oct;35(5):855-65
Cendrowski W.
Wojewodzkiej Przychodni Specjalistycznej dla Nauczycieli w Warszawie.

The decline of millennium brings forward new challenges in therapeutic immunomodulation of relapsing-remittent multiple sclerosis (RR MS).

Interferon beta-1b (Betaferon) belongs to expanding family of soluble cytokines which are capable to modify beneficially cellular immunity in RR MS.

IFN beta-1b is indicated for young or middle-aged, ambulant patients with RR MS who have frequent relapses, "aggressive" brain lesions in magnetic resonance imaging and higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Betaferon reduced in people with RR MS mean annual rate and severity of relapses (34% and 49%) and lengthened median time to second relapse (to 295 days).

IFN beta-1b also increased the number of relapse-free patients (31%).

Although the drug diminishes weakly progression and activity (disability) it might improve slightly participation (handicap) and quality of life.

The course of treatment, withdrawals from the trials, side-effects and the occurrence of neutralizing antibodies to IFN beta-1b are concisely described.

Combination of IFN beta-1b with other immunotherapeutic drugs needs further clinical trials.