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Rituximab reduces disability progression in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients study finds

Researchers who set out to analyse disability progression in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) patients treated with rituximab have found it can reduce disability and delay progression.

The study, published in JAMA Neurology, included 113 SPMS patients; 54 who had been treated and 59 who hadn’t previously been treated with rituximab. The patients were followed up over a period of 10 years.

When researchers compared Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score progression in patients treated with rituximab versus not treated with rituximab, they found that those treated with the drug had a significantly lowed EDSS score for up to 10 years of follow up. These patients also had significantly delayed confirmed progression compared with matched controls.

The researchers concluded that B-cell depletion by rituximab may be therapeutically beneficial in SPMS patients. A prospective randomised clinical trial with a better level of evidence is needed to confirm the efficacy of rituximab in such patients.

Source: MS-UK, 09/01/19

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