Disease activity return during natalizumab treatment interruption in patients with multiple sclerosis

O'Connor PW, et al Neurology. 2011 May 4.

Due to a heightened risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) with increased natalizumab exposure, some neurologists interrupt treatment of patients with MS despite a lack of data regarding the safety of treatment interruption. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of natalizumab treatment interruption on clinical and MRI measures of disease activity in RRMS. Findings: a consistent return of disease activity was observed regardless of overall natalizumab exposure, whether or not patients received alternative MS therapies, and in patients with highly active MS disease.

"Hopefully, risk stratification as proposed in a previous post will help neurologists make informed decisions and prevent abrupt withdrawal."
COI: I was the Chief Investigator in the UK on the AFFIRM study and have received consulting fees from Biogen-Idec in relation to Natalizumab.