The study “Duration of natalizumab therapy and reasons for discontinuation in a multiple sclerosis population” was published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal – Experimental, Translational and Clinical.
Tysabri, marketed by Biogen, is one of several disease-modifying MS therapies (DMTs), medications that work by modulating and toning down the immune system to keep inflammation in check. Tysabri is an antibody-based treatment designed to reduce inflammation in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) by preventing immune cells from entering the brain.
Despite their reported benefits, responses to DMTs vary significantly among patients. This has fueled interest in “predicting an individual’s response to particular DMTs before they are started, often referred to as personalized treatment,” the study noted.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic aimed to identify characteristics of MS patients that might predict a shorter treatment with Tysabri. They reviewed data from The Tysabri Outreach: Unified Commitment to Health (TOUCH) database.
Specifically, the team searched the TOUCH database to identify all patients followed at the Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center and Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health between December 2005 and January 2018, who began and eventually stopped using Tysabri.
This search identified 554 MS patients (mean age, 41.1) at the two centers meeting the study’s criteria. Most (75.6%) had RRMS, and had been given an average of 30 Tysabri infusions (range from one to 140).
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