A 10-year follow-up of the European multicenter trial of interferon β-1b in secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis

J. Kuhle, M. Hardmeier, G. Disanto, K. Gugleta, M. Ecsedi, C. Lienert, M. P. Amato, K. Baum, M. Buttmann, A. Bayas, D. Brassat, B. Brochet, C. Confavreux, G. Edan, M. Färkkilä, S. Fredrikson, M. Frontoni, M. D'Hooghe, M. Hutchinson, J. De KeyserB. C. Kieseier, T. Kümpfel, J. Rio, C. Polman, E. Roullet, C. Stolz, K. Vass, K. P. Wandinger, L. Kappos

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Objectives: To explore long-term effects of treatment and prognostic relevance of variables assessed at baseline and during the European secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) trial of interferon beta 1b (IFNB-1b). Methods: We assessed 362 patients (60% female; median age 41 years; Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS): 5.5; 51% randomized to IFNB-1b) for their EDSS and treatment history after 10 years. Non-parametric analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and multivariate linear regression models were applied. Results: Median EDSS was 6.0 at the end of the randomized controlled trial (RCT), in the IFNB-1b and placebo groups, and 7.0 in long-term follow-up patients (those receiving IFNB-1b in the RCT were 6.5 and those receiving placebo in the RCT were 7.0; p = 0.086). 24 patients (6.6%) were deceased. The EDSS at baseline and the EDSS change during the RCT were the most important predictors of the EDSS 10 years later (partial R2: 0.47). The ability to predict changes in EDSS 10 years after the RCT was limited (R2: 0.12). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measures remained in the predictive models, but explained < 5% of the variability. Conclusions: The results from this analysis did not provide convincing evidence to support a favorable long-term outcome in those patients allocated IFNB-1b during the RCT, in our SPMS cohort. The progressive stage of the disease remains largely unpredictable by clinical and conventional MRI measures, so better prognostic markers are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-543
Number of pages11
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


  • Disability
  • interferon beta
  • long-term outcome
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neutralizing antibodies
  • prognosis
  • randomized controlled trial
  • secondary progressive multiple sclerosis

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