Longer exposure to disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) may delay disability progression and the time until people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) require the aid of a wheelchair, an Italian registry-based study found.
The study also suggests that starting treatment with DMTs — medications that reduce the activity of the immune system — at a younger age, and shortly after disease onset, can improve patients’ long-term clinical outcomes.
The findings were presented at MSVirtual2020 by Mattia Fonderico, MD, from the University of Florence, in Italy, in an oral presentation titled “Disease modifying treatment may delay time to wheelchair in primary progressive multiple sclerosis: a real-life cohort” (abstract #PS05.03).
The joint meeting, held online Sept. 11-13, was the 8th for the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) and the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS).
With the exception of Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), the first therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for PPMS, there are scant options for treatments for this form of multiple sclerosis (MS).
“Treatment options in primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) are lacking, as randomized clinical trials failed to show efficacy in reducing disability progression in this patient population,” Fonderico said.
“However, some recent results highlighted that a sustained exposure to DMTs, especially when administered close to disease onset and at a younger age, may exert a protective role reducing the risk of disability,” he added.
To investigate whether DMTs could be effective at slowing disability progression in PPMS, Fonderico and his colleagues reviewed real-world clinical data from 1,214 PPMS patients whose records were part of an Italian MS registry.
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