Posted by: Thixia | May 1, 2008

Combination therapies in multiple sclerosis.

Combination therapies in multiple sclerosis.

The last years have seen enormous progress in our understanding of pathophysiology (1) of multiple sclerosis. In addition, the armamentarium (2) of available immunomodulatory or immunosuppressive therapies (3) has greatly increased, especially for the relapsing remitting form of the disease.

 

Since their therapeutic efficacy is often limited in individual patients, it is conceivable that combination therapies may bring improved clinical efficacy while managing increasing side effects and toxicity. The combination of agents with additive or synergistic modes of action is of particular interest. Combination of the two classes of recognised first-line treatment, a beta-interferon and glatiramer acetate is currently under evaluation in a large Phase III trial.

 

However, there are theoretical reasons for thinking that such a combination may not be particularly beneficial. None of the combination studies performed with beta-interferons to date have shown unequivocal evidence of benefit, including combinations with statins, natalizumab, and azathioprine.

 

On the other hand, for glatiramer acetate, the combination with mitoxantrone used as induction therapy may be of interest and preliminary data on combination with minocycline are also promising.

 

  • University of Bochum,
  • St. Josef-Hospital,
  • Dept. of Neurology,
  • Gudrunstr. 56, 44791,
  • Bochum, Germany.

 Terms:

  1. pathophysiology – The study of such changes.
  2. Armamentarium – the equipment and materials of the clinician
  3. – immunomodulatory agents that alter the immune response by suppression or enhancement

 

 The last years have seen enormous progress in our understanding of pathophysiology (1) of multiple sclerosis. In addition, the armamentarium (2) of available immunomodulatory or immunosuppressive therapies (3) has greatly increased, especially for the relapsing remitting form of the disease.

Since their therapeutic efficacy is often limited in individual patients, it is conceivable that combination therapies may bring improved clinical efficacy while managing increasing side effects and toxicity. The combination of agents with additive or synergistic modes of action is of particular interest. Combination of the two classes of recognised first-line treatment, a beta-interferon and glatiramer acetate is currently under evaluation in a large Phase III trial.

 

However, there are theoretical reasons for thinking that such a combination may not be particularly beneficial. None of the combination studies performed with beta-interferons to date have shown unequivocal evidence of benefit, including combinations with statins, natalizumab, and azathioprine.

 

On the other hand, for glatiramer acetate, the combination with mitoxantrone used as induction therapy may be of interest and preliminary data on combination with minocycline are also promising.

 

University of Bochum,

St. Josef-Hospital,

Dept. of Neurology,

Gudrunstr. 56, 44791,

Bochum, Germany.

 

 

Terms:

  1. pathophysiology – The study of such changes.
  2. Armamentarium – the equipment and materials of the clinician
  3. – immunomodulatory agents that alter the immune response by suppression or enhancement
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