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Relapse rates and enhancing lesions in a phase II trial of natalizumab in multiple sclerosis.

Author(s): O'Connor P, Miller D, Riester K, Yang M, Panzara M, Dalton C, Miszkiel K, Khan O, Rice G, Sheremata W, International Natalizumab Trial Group

Affiliation(s): Division of Neurology, St. Michael's Hospital, 30 Bond Street, Suite 3007S Shuter Wing, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. oconnorp@smh.toronto.on.ca

Publication date & source: 2005-10, Mult Scler., 11(5):568-72.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Clinical Trial, Phase II; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: Natalizumab, a humanized monoclonal IgG4 antibody, is an alpha4-integrin antagonist, which inhibits the migration of inflammatory cells into the central nervous system, a key pathogenic mechanism in multiple sclerosis (MS). In a six month, phase II clinical trial of patients with relapsing MS, natalizumab significantly reduced the formation of new gadolinium-enhanced (Gd+) lesions and the number of clinical relapses. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship of historical relapse rate and new Gd + lesion number with subsequent MS disease activity and natalizumab treatment in the phase II study. METHODS: Patients who participated in the phase II study were stratified into subgroups according to: (i) the number of relapses in the two years prior to entry into the study: 2 relapses (n = 108), 3 relapses (n =57), and >3 relapses (n =48); (ii) the number of new Gd + lesions at baseline (Month 0): 0 (n = 129), 1-2 (n =50), and >2 (n =33). Relapses and new Gd + lesions during the treatment phase of the trial were determined and compared for each subgroup. RESULTS: Both the prestudy relapse rate and number of new Gd + lesions at baseline were related to the subsequent risk of a relapse; baseline number of Gd + lesions was related to the likelihood of subsequent new Gd + lesion formation. There was a lower proportion of subjects with an on-study relapse and fewer new Gd + lesions in all natalizumab-treated subgroups when compared with their placebo counterpart; the difference was most apparent in the subgroups of patients with >3 relapses in the two years prior to study entry and >2 new Gd -- lesions at Month 0. CONCLUSIONS: There was a lower proportion of subjects with an on-study relapse in natalizumab-treated patients, particularly in those with a more active disease at study entry. Larger ongoing phase III studies will allow more definitive investigation of these preliminary subgroup findings.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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