March 4, 2004
All About Multiple Sclerosis
A four year trial of a potential multiple sclerosis treatment at the University of Southern California has been terminated.
The treatment involved vaccinating the body against the immune system cells, called T Cells. These T Cells were believed to be causing the damage to the brain and spinal cord that gives rise to the symptoms of MS.
The study compared the results of the vaccine against those of a placebo injection. It was headed up by Dr. Leslie Weiner and Dr. Norman Kachuck
The study's sponsors, the National Institute of Health and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society of America, decided to stop the clinical trial because it failed to show statistically significant results.
"Their conclusion was based on a failure to show any benefit to the patients who received the vaccine.", said Dr. Weiner. "The data showed that there was no difference between the group of patients treated with the T-cell vaccine and those on the placebo."
"The committee recommended that no more injections be administered to patients. As the principle investigator, I agree with this decision.", continued Dr. Weiner.
Dr. Weiner recommended that study volunteers switch either to Betaseron
or to Novantrone.
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