Benefit of interferon beta-1a on MSFC progression in secondary progressive MS.

TitleBenefit of interferon beta-1a on MSFC progression in secondary progressive MS.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsCohen JA, Cutter GR, Fischer JS, Goodman AD, Heidenreich FR, Kooijmans MF, Sandrock AW, Rudick RA, Simon JH, Simonian NA, Tsao EC, Whitaker JN
Corporate AuthorsIMPACT Investigators
Date Published2002 Sep 10
Adjuvants, Immunologic, Adult, Disability Evaluation, Double-Blind Method, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Interferon-beta, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive, Quality of Life, Recurrence, Treatment Outcome

BACKGROUND: Interferon beta-1a (IFNbeta-1a, Avonex) is efficacious in relapsing forms of MS. Studies of other IFNbeta preparations in secondary progressive MS (SPMS) yielded conflicting results. This study was undertaken to determine whether IFNbeta-1a slowed disease progression in SP-MS. METHODS: A total of 436 subjects with SPMS and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score 3.5 to 6.5 were randomized to receive IFNbeta-1a (60 micro g) or placebo by weekly intramuscular injection for 2 years. The primary outcome measure, used for the first time in a large-scale MS trial, was baseline to month 24 change in the MS Functional Composite (MSFC), comprising quantitative tests of ambulation (Timed 25-Foot Walk), arm function (Nine-Hole Peg Test [9HPT]), and cognition (Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test [PASAT]). RESULTS: Median MSFC Z-score change was reduced 40.4% in IFNbeta-1a subjects (-0.096 vs -0.161 in placebo subjects, p = 0.033), an effect driven mainly by the 9HPT and PASAT. There was no discernible benefit on the EDSS, which in this range principally reflects walking ability. IFNbeta-1a subjects had 33% fewer relapses (p = 0.008). There was significant benefit on eight of 11 MS Quality of Life Inventory subscales. New or enlarging T2-hyperintense brain MRI lesions and gadolinium-enhancing lesions were reduced at months 12 and 24 (both p < 0.001). IFNbeta-1a was well tolerated by the majority of subjects. Neutralizing antibodies developed in 3.3% of IFNbeta-1a-treated subjects. CONCLUSIONS: IFNbeta-1a demonstrated benefit on MSFC progression, relapses, quality of life, and MRI activity in SPMS.
PubMed ID12221157

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