Saturday, 25 June 2011

MS Frontier's Meeting

In response to the comment "Did you attend MS Frontiers? Any positive news?": 


"Yes, I attended and enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately, because of parallel sessions I could not attend all the talks I wanted to.  The following are my highlights:


1. Dr Jeremy Chataway; good news the MS Society's clinical trial network is well advanced in their plans to start a neuroprotection trial in progressive MS. The trial will be called the MS-STOP trial and will hopefully start late 2012 or early 2013, 
2. Professor Siddharthan Chandran; University of Edinburgh, presented the phase 1 results of the MRC-funded mesenchymal stem cell trial. It is safe and feasible to do a trial of this nature. 
3. Dr Stephen Sawcer, Professor George Ebers and Prof. Gavin Giovannoni; all spoke on gene-environment interactions. We all agreed that MS is complex disease and we are getting  closer to defining the causal pathway. This is important to target therapies and more importantly to prevent MS. 
4. Katie Lidster presented a new animal model of optic neuritis. This will be very important in testing strategies to target focal inflammation and its consequences. 
5. Inocencio Maramba presented an update on the MS Register; there are close to 5,000 subjects registered. This is excellent news. 
6. Giulio Disanto presented a paper on infectious mononucleosis (IM), sex ratios and MS in the UK. Interestingly, there was significant correlation between MS and IM sex ratios and latitude and MS Sex ratio. More data to support the link between MS and EBV, which causes IM."

7 comments:

  1. Prog G,

    Thanks for your quick response. We (you and your colleagues) appear to be moving foward on a number of fronts. Good news about the neuro-protective trial - hopefully will be more succesful than the Lamotrigine trial. Pity that they can't get it started a bit quicker.

    Parallel event was FOCIS - quite a bit on B cells and MS (an area of research you have highlighted before).

    Have a good weekend.

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  2. How did the debate on the cause of MS go at MS Frontiers?

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  3. Blimey, this research stuff is slow going. A 2012, more likely 2013 start date? That means if the trials prove successful then treatments won’t filter through till sometime in the 2020s.

    This is why MS’ers are doing irrational things like undergoing CCSVI and jumping on planes to Costa Rica for unproven stem cell therapy at great personal cost to them. The scientists are too slow in their progress.

    It doesn’t surprise me that more people have voted for Britain legalising assisted dying in your survey. The lack of speed and optimism in MS research makes me think that it’s better to end life early than to idly watch my physicality just rot away. The science community seems to be more concerned with helping the future generations who develop MS than what they are about those of us degenerating from the disease right now.

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  4. There is nothing 'irrational' or ‘desperate’ about undergoing for venoplasty for impaired venous drainage. I have seen my venogram images and I did have the venous problems Zamboni has described in both my jugular veins and also my azygos vein. When contrast medium was added, the blockage of downward flow in my jugular vein was obvious, as was the reflux of blood back up the vein.

    Also I’ve had no medical complications, just a vastly improved quality of life.

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  5. Prof G,

    Are other countries doing similar research?
    It always seems that most of the research is being done in the US or UK (and Australia). It's a shame that other MS Societies aren't funding their own progressive MS trials like the UK (e.g. Germany, France, Italy, Scandinavian countries). In an ideal world we'd have 6-8 different progressive MS trials being run across the world (looking at different agents). This would increase the chances of a successful trial.

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  6. Re "Are other countries ...": This is a very good idea. We could establish an international steering group to coordinate the program. Anybody up for lobbying the MS Societies across the world? If you are keen to help please drop me an email.

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  7. Prof G,

    I thought that ACTRIMS, ECTRIMS, LACTRIMS, PACTRIMS would eb ebst palce to co-ordinate such programmes.

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