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Does interferon beta therapy affect survival of multiple sclerosis patients?
Alina Kułakowsk, Wiesław Drozdowski
Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska, Volume 48, Issue 6, November–December 2014, Pages 436–441
Multiple sclerosis (SM) is a chronic inflammatory and degenerative disease of the central nervous system. Its etiology has not been fully elucidated. For approximately 20 years, drugs have been used, successfully modifying the natural course of relapsing-remitting SM. One of them is interferon beta. Research outcomes of 16- and 21-year-retrospective follow-up of patients who participated in the pivotal interferon beta-1b trial were reported in 2010 and 2012, respectively. After 21 years, mortality rate among patients treated in the first 5 years with interferon beta-1b at a dose of 250 μg was significantly lower, irrespective of the cause, as compared to the placebo-controlled group. Interferon beta-1b administered during the first 5 years of the study decreased the risk of death by 46.8% as compared to the placebo patients. Moreover, the studies also confirmed safety of long-term interferon beta-1b therapy. However, not much is known about the effect of interferon beta-1a on patients’ survival – the available data are presented in the article.