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Interferon Effective In Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

LONDON, ENGLAND -- Novembre 6, 1998 -- In this week’s Lancet, two studies of a drug called interferon ß show that the drug is effective in the treatment of two different stages (relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive) of multiple sclerosis (MS).

In the PRISMS study, led by Dr George Ebers, 560 patients with relapsing-remitting MS were randomly assigned interferon ß-1a in two different doses, or placebo. Neurological examinations were done every three months.

The investigators found that, "relapse rate was significantly lower" with both doses of interferon ß-1a than with placebo.

In the second study, from the European Study Group, led by Professor Ludwig Kappos, 718 patients with secondary-progressive MS were randomly allocated interferon ß-1b or placebo for up to three years.

The investigators found that, "there was a highly significant difference in time to confirmed progression of disability in favour of interferon ß-1b."

In a commentary in this week’s Lancet, Dr. Donald Goodkin says, "the PRISMS trial confirms earlier reports that interferon ß-1a reduces clinical relapses, delays time to onset of sustained progression of disability, and reduces the number of new MRI."

Commenting on the study by Kappos and colleagues, Goodkin says, "interferon ß-1b should immediately be made available for patients with secondary progressive disease."

Thanks to The Doctor's Guide to the Internet™ for the article


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