Study Finds Early Intensive Therapy Better for Long-Term MS Outcomes
In a real-world setting, long-term outcomes were more favorable following early intensive therapy when compared with first-line moderate-efficacy diseased modifying therapy.
Due to continued uncertainty around how aggressively to treat early multiple sclerosis (MS), a group of researchers recently analyzed long-term outcomes in a population-based cohort according to initial treatment strategy.
, found that in a real-world setting, long-term outcomes were more favorable following early intensive therapy when compared with first-line moderate-efficacy diseased modifying therapy (DMT).
Data were collected from January 1998 to December 2016. An analysis was performed shortly thereafter in January 2017. A total of 720 patients were prescribed a DMT, of which 592 were then included in the study. Patients were then further classified according to first-line treatment strategy: high-efficacy, early intensive treatment (EIT); or moderate efficacy DMT, escalation (ESC).
In total, 104 patients (17.6%) had been prescribed an EIT, while 488 patients (82.4%) began treatment with a DMT. Of the 488 patients originally prescribed a DMT, 58 (11.9%) subsequently escalated treatment to an EIT. This intensification of treatment was caused largely by relapses. The median time to sustained accumulation of disability (SAD) was 6.0 (95% CI, 3.17-9.16) years for those in the EIT arm, and 3.14 (95% CI, 2.77-4.00) years for patients in the ESC arm (
For the patients within the ESC group who escalated EIT as a second-line treatment, the median time to SAD was 3.3 years (95% CI, 1.8-5.6), compared with the EIT group log-rank test (
= .08). After the investigators adjusted for relevant covariates, there was no identified difference in risk of SAD between either group, though, of the patients who escalated to EIT, 60% were observed to develop SAD while still receiving initial moderate-efficacy treatment prior to escalation.
Continue reading on The American Journal of Managed Care.