More MS news articles for Nov 2001

Prognostic Value of Soluble Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptors 1 and 2 in Multiple Sclerosis Patients Treated with Interferon Beta-1b

European Neurology 46:4:2001, 210-214.
C. Laskea, P. Oschmanna, J. Tofighia, B.S. Kühnea, H. Diehlb, T. Bregenzerc, J. Krausa, N. Chatzimanolisa, R. Bauera, H. Traupeb, M. Kapsa
Departments of Neurology and Neuroradiology, Justus Liebig University, Giessen; Department of Medical Statistics, biodat-PAREXEL, Berlin, Germany


The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of interferon (IFN) beta-1b on the serum levels of soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (sTNF-R1) and sTNF-R2 in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) in correlation with clinical and magnetic resonance image (MRI) activity.

Serum samples were obtained every 3 months from 24 patients treated with 8 × 106 U of IFN beta-1b every other day (treatment group) and from 21 patients without any immunomodulatory therapy (control group) over a 15-month observation period.

The cytokine receptor levels were assessed by ELISA.

Cranial MRI was performed every 6 months to determine the burden of disease.

In the treatment group, the MRI responders had significantly larger mean values for the area under the concentration-time curve of sTNF-R1 (p = 0.04) and sTNF-R2 (p = 0.01) when compared to the MRI nonresponders during the 15-month observation period.

With regard to an increase in sTNF-R1 and -2 of more than 20% during the first 3 months of treatment, we observed a sensitivity of 33 and 58%, respectively, a specificity of 90 and 60%, respectively, and a positive predictive value of 80 and 64%, respectively, for MRI response during the 15-month observation period.

A decrease in sTNF-R1 and -2 of more than 20% during the first 3 months of treatment had a sensitivity of 40 and 20%, respectively, a specificity of 100 and 100%, respectively, and a positive predictive value of 100 and 100%, respectively, for further MRI nonresponse (during the 15-month observation period).

The present data suggest that assessment of sTNF-Rs may contribute to the identification of subgroups of patients who are likely to respond better than others to treatment with IFN beta-1b.

This could help to establish a cost-effective prescription pattern for this expensive treatment, which is of importance for the future management of patients with MS.

Copyright © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel