MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Bladder Treatment, Anti-CD20 DMTs, Cancer and MS, Seasons and MS

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by Ed Tobias |

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Oral Fesoterodine Fumarate Can Ease Bladder Problems in MS

This is a biggie for me since bladder problems have affected my quality of life for years. I recently switched my bladder medication hoping it would be a change for the better. The jury is still out. So, I’ll have to put fesoterodine fumarate, marketed under the brand name Toviaz, in my back pocket as another possible treatment.

Treatment with fesoterodine fumarate — which comes as an extended-release tablet patients can take by mouth — can reduce bladder pressure and improve quality of life in people with bladder impairments due to multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injuries, new research shows.

“A 3month treatment with fesoterodine fumarate … seems to have a critical impact on patients’ QoL [quality of life],” the investigators wrote, noting their study “revealed a significant increase in QoL in each group” of participants given the oral medicine.

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Recommended Reading
Ponesimod, telemedicine

MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: New Baclofen Pump, Bone Marrow Transplant Study, Bladder Problems and Life Quality, Urinary Diversion Surgery


Anti-CD20 Therapies Show Similar Safety, Efficacy in RRMS

Two anti-CD20 disease-modifying therapies are approved in the U.S.: Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) and Kesimpta (ofatumumab). Rituximab, a medication used to treat some cancers, is also used as an off-label anti-CD20 therapy by some people with MS. This study of five randomized, controlled clinical trials covering nearly 4,000 relapsing-remitting MS patients, showed the yearly relapse rate was estimated to be about 44% lower with Ocrevus than with interferon beta-1a, and about 55% lower with Kesimpta than Aubagio (teriflunomide). It also reported no significant differences in efficacy or safety between Ocrevus, Kesimpta, and rituximab.

Anti-CD20 antibody therapies that target B-cells are highly effective for reducing the risk of relapses in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a new analysis confirms.

The analysis did not find any significant differences in efficacy or safety among the anti-CD20 therapies currently approved to treat RRMS, though its researchers noted a need for more long-term studies to evaluate these medicines’ safety profiles.

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MS Tied to Increased Risk After Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis

If what this research reports is correct, it still leaves several questions unanswered, including: Are people with MS less likely than others to receive cancer treatments? Does their MS make them less able to tolerate the effects of chemotherapy? How well does the cancer care system handle people with disabilities?

Interestingly, an earlier study by these same researchers indicated that MS did not increase the risk of cancer-related deaths among breast cancer patients. On the other hand, breast cancer patients with MS were at significantly higher risk of death from any cause a decade after their cancer diagnosis. Again, many questions are in need of further research here.

People who develop colon cancer are more likely to die in the first year, from that cancer or other causes, if they also have multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study indicates. MS disability seems to contribute to this association.

“These results warrant further investigation to determine what factors may lead to shorter survival times,” Ruth Ann Marrie, MD, PhD, a professor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, and co-author of the study, said in a press release.

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Light-sensing Protein Could Explain Seasonal Changes in MS Risk

A few years ago, a meta analysis reported that the month a person is born, combined with their location, is significantly associated with the likelihood they will develop MS as adults. MS is more likely to occur in people in the Northern Hemisphere who were born in the springtime, and less likely if they are born in the autumn. In the Southern Hemisphere, those born in the fall are more likely to develop MS.

This research reports that it may be due to a link between light exposure during pregnancy and the development of an unborn baby’s brain. They think this discovery may open the way to the use of some sort of light stimulation during pregnancy to reduce the risk of neurological disorders, such as MS, in adulthood.

The presence of a light-sensing protein in the brain during the early stages of fetal development may help to explain why certain neurological diseases, like multiple sclerosis (MS), are more common among people born at specific times of the year, a study found.

The researchers, who noted that people born in the springtime are more likely to develop MS in adulthood, said their findings suggest a link between light exposure during pregnancy and the development of an unborn baby’s brain.

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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


Charles Dick avatar

Charles Dick

What about an anti-p19 therapeutic vaccine? Raising endogenous antibodies to block the p19 subunit of IL23 seems like a better idea than most things. I have already designed a modified p19 protein that could be used as a hapten, and I would be happy to work with any lab with the right resources and expertise. Skyrizi already suggests that this mechanism should work, so would anyone with a lab and resources like to try it?



I get Botox injected into my bladder so that it doesn't "react" when it thinks it's full. I self-catheter about 5 times/day.

Previously, I have worn diapers, tried different anti-bladder-spasm medications, but this works far better for me.

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

I'm glad it's working for you, Karin. I'm not to that point yet...hoping my latest med will improve things for me. So far, it seems to be helping.


Penny-Marie Wright avatar

Penny-Marie Wright

Karin & everyone else;
Please don't call them diapers. We're adults, not babies. The packages call them underwear. Yes, they aren't the silky, sleek undies we used to wear but they are still underwear.


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