Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis, Cleveland Clinic

Author Of 6 Presentations

Biomarkers and Bioinformatics Poster Presentation

P0037 - Change in serum neurofilament light chain levels: ENSEMBLE 1-year interim results (ID 945)

Speakers
Presentation Number
P0037
Presentation Topic
Biomarkers and Bioinformatics

Abstract

Background

Early treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) provides significant long-term benefits. The aim of the Phase IIIb ENSEMBLE study (NCT03085810) is to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of ocrelizumab (OCR) in patients with early-stage relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is a marker of neuroaxonal injury. OCR reduced elevated NfL levels in patients with relapsing MS and primary progressive MS to those of healthy donors in the OPERA and ORATORIO studies over 96 weeks. NfL levels are assessed yearly in ENSEMBLE.

Objectives

To report 1-year NfL analyses from ENSEMBLE.

Methods

Treatment-naive patients with a diagnosis of early-stage RRMS (age, 18–55 years inclusive; Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS] score ≤3.5) per 2010 revised McDonald criteria and a disease duration from the first documented clinical attack consistent with MS disease of ≤3 years and ≥1 clinically reported relapse or ≥1 sign of MRI activity within 12 months of enrollment were included. Patients will receive OCR 600 mg every 24 weeks (first dose, 2×300 mg separated by 14 days) for the 192-week treatment period (maximum 8 doses). Serum NfL levels are measured via the Simoa Quanterix Advantage kit.

Results

A total of 582 patients were included in the NfL evaluation (female, 64.3%; mean [SD]: age, 32.4 [9.2] years; baseline EDSS, 1.70 [0.96]; time since MS symptom onset, 1.08 [0.84] years) with characteristics comparable with the overall population (N=678). The median serum NfL level at baseline was 13.20 pg/mL; 81.8% of patients had levels greater than healthy donors (HDs; 7.1 pg/mL). Median NfL levels at baseline in patients stratified by age, gender and EDSS score were consistent with those of the overall population. The highest median NfL levels at baseline were observed in patients with T1-weighted contrast-enhancing lesions (CELs) at screening (18.71 pg/mL; n=260) and relapses within 3 months of enrollment (14.91 pg/mL; n=217). At Week 48 the median serum NfL level was reduced to 6.35 pg/mL; 60.8% of patients had levels comparable to or lower than the HD level. Decreases in median serum NfL levels were observed, independent of the baseline demographics and disease characteristics of age, gender, EDSS score, CELs, relapses and reason for enrollment.

Conclusions

NfL levels at baseline and patterns of change over 48 weeks were in line with previous evaluations and decreased considerably after 1 year of treatment with ocrelizumab.

Collapse
Clinical Trials Poster Presentation

P0220 - Ocrelizumab Phase IIIb efficacy: 1-year NEDA rates (with MRI re-baselining) from the ENSEMBLE study in early-stage relapsing-remitting MS patients (ID 849)

Abstract

Background

Early treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) has been shown to provide significant long-term benefits in terms of Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score versus delayed treatment (patients switching from placebo to active treatment). ENSEMBLE (NCT03085810) is a Phase IIIb study evaluating the effectiveness and safety of ocrelizumab (OCR) in patients with early-stage relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Assessments of effectiveness in ENSEMBLE include composite endpoint measures, e.g. the proportion of patients with no evidence of disease activity (NEDA).

Objectives

To report ENSEMBLE 1-year interim NEDA rates.

Methods

Treatment-naive patients with a diagnosis of early-stage RRMS (age, 18–55 years inclusive; EDSS score ≤3.5) per 2010 revised McDonald criteria and a disease duration from the first documented clinical attack consistent with MS disease of ≤3 years and ≥1 clinically reported relapse or ≥1 sign of MRI activity within 12 months of enrollment were included. Patients received OCR 600 mg every 24 weeks (first dose 2×300 mg separated by 14 days) throughout the 192-week (4-year) treatment period (max 8 doses). Clinical assessments will be conducted every 24 weeks. NEDA is defined as absence of: protocol-defined relapses (PDRs), 24-week confirmed disability progression (24W-CDP), T1-weighted contrast-enhancing (CEL) and new/enlarging T2-weighted (T2w) lesions. The effects of OCR are not immediate. MRI measures were re-baselined at Week 8 (prespecified) so that the calculation of NEDA would reflect a more accurate treatment effect.

Results

A total of 678 patients (female, 64.6%) were enrolled (74.6% of patients based on the presence of reasons of both MS relapse and MRI activity) and analyzed. Baseline demographics and disease characteristics reflected a population with early-stage disease (mean [SD]: age, 32.4 [9.1] years; baseline EDSS, 1.71 [0.95]; time since RRMS diagnosis, 0.36 [0.40] years; time since MS symptom onset, 1.10 [0.84] years). At Week 48 most patients (84.8% [n/N=545/643]) reached NEDA. Most patients were free of PDR (98.1%), 24W-CDP (94.1%), CEL (94.2%; re-baselined) and new/enlarging T2w (95.2%; re-baselined) lesions. NEDA calculated without MRI re-baselining was achieved by 62.1% of patients (n/N=404/651). Safety results were consistent with prior studies.

Conclusions

In ENSEMBLE, the Year 1 NEDA rate with MRI re-baselining was high (84.8%) in patients with early-stage disease. No new safety signals were observed.

Collapse
Clinical Trials Poster Presentation

P0240 - Therapeutic Decisions in MS Care: An International Study comparing Clinical Judgement vs. Information from Artificial Intelligence-Based Models (ID 752)

Abstract

Background

The rapidly evolving therapeutic landscape of multiple sclerosis (MS) can make treatment decisions challenging. Novel tools using artificial intelligence (AI) can provide estimations of MS disease progression, which may aid MS therapeutic decisions. However, whether neurologists are willing to utilize information provided by AI-based models when making therapeutic decisions is unknown.

Objectives

To assess whether neurologists rely on clinical judgment (CJ) or quantitative/ qualitative estimations of disease progression provided by hypothetical AI-based models (assuming these models can reliably identify patients at high vs. low risk of disease progression) in simulated MS case scenarios.

Methods

Overall, 231 neurologists with expertise in MS from 20 countries were randomized to receive qualitative (high/low) or quantitative (85-90% vs. 15-20%) information regarding the likelihood of disease progression. Participants were presented with simulated MS case scenarios, and initially made 7 treatment decisions based on the clinical information using CJ. After randomization, participants made 10 treatment decisions using CJ and estimations of disease progression provided by AI models. We evaluated concordance and discordance of therapeutic decisions based on CJ and AI. The primary outcome was the proportion of “optimal” treatment decisions defined as treatment escalation when there was evidence of disease progression or continuing the same treatment when clinically stable. Mixed models were used to determine the effect of randomization group, case risk level, and CJ/AI. Clinicaltrials.gov #NCT04035720

Results

Of 300 neurologists invited to participate, 231 (77.0%) completed the study. Study participants had a mean age (SD) of 44 (±10) years. Of 2310 responses, 1702 (73.7%) were classified as optimal. Optimal decisions were more common for the high-risk vs. low-risk CJ group (84.5% vs 57.6%; p<0.001). There were no differences in the estimated odds of optimal responses between the quantitative vs. qualitative groups (OR 1.09; 95%CI 0.86, 1.39) after adjustment for pre-intervention responses. The estimated odds of optimal decisions for the high-risk vs low-risk CJ group was 2.96 (95%CI: 2.47, 3.56 ) after adjusting for group, pre-intervention responses, and AI-based estimations. For low-risk CJ cases, additional input by AI-based estimations was associated with a lower likelihood of optimal responses; being worse for high-risk vs. low-risk AI estimations (OR 0.235; 95%CI: 0.16, 0.340) adjusting for covariables.

Conclusions

Neurologists were more likely to make optimal treatment choices for high-risk simulated scenarios. The addition of hypothetical information provided by AI-based models- did not improve treatment decisions for low-risk cases. These results provide a framework for understanding therapeutic decision-making in MS neurologists, who are more reliant on their own CJ over AI-based tools.

Collapse
Prognostic Factors Poster Presentation

P0460 - Factors Associated with Treatment Escalation in MS care: Results from an International Conjoint Study (ID 753)

Abstract

Background

Therapeutic inertia (TI) is a worldwide phenomenon affecting physicians who manage patients with chronic conditions. Previous studies in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) showed TI affects 60 to 90% of neurologists and up to 25% of daily treatment decisions.

Objectives

To determine the most important factors and levels of attributes associated with treatment escalation in an international sample of neurologists with expertise in the management of patients with MS.

Methods

We conducted an international study comprised of 300 neurologists with expertise in MS from 20 countries (Europe: 59.4%, Asia/Australia: 18.3%, America: 22.3%). Participants were presented with 12 pairs of simulated MS patient profiles reflective of case scenarios encountered in clinical practice. Patient profiles included information on age, sex, previous MS history of relapses, MRI findings, desire for pregnancy, and other relevant details. We used disaggregated discrete choice experiments (a conjoint analysis), which is a standard technique used in economic research to estimate the weight of factors and attributes (e.g. categories) affecting physicians’ decisions when considering treatment selection by asking respondents to choose between pairs of options. In our study, participants were asked to select the ideal candidate (Patient A, B or neither) for treatment escalation (from first-line to second-line therapies- eg. Fingolimod, Cladribine, Monoclonal antibodies).

Results

Of 300 neurologists invited to participate, 229 (76.3%) completed the study. The mean age (SD) of study participants was 44 (±10) years. The mean (SD) number of MS patients seen per week by each neurologist was 18 (±16).

The top 3 factors (relative importance) associated with treatment escalation were: previous relapses (20%), EDSS (18%), and MRI activity (13%). Patient demographics and desire for pregnancy had a modest influence (<3%) in treatment escalation.

Participants were 13% less likely to escalate treatment for patients with EDSS >7.0 (compared to EDSS <6.0), whereas symptom severity during most recent relapse and higher number of MRI lesions at 1 year were each associated with 6% higher likelihood of treatment escalation.

We observed differences in the weight of factors associated with treatment escalation between MS specialists and non-specialists and participants practicing in European vs. non-European countries.

Conclusions

This is the first study applying a conjoint design to assess factors associated with treatment escalation and therapeutic inertia in neurologists caring for people living with MS. Our results provide critical information on factors influencing neurologists’ treatment decisions and should be applied to continuing medical education strategies.

Collapse
Imaging Poster Presentation

P0606 - MRI changes over the disease course in a large multiple sclerosis clinical cohort (ID 1318)

Speakers
Presentation Number
P0606
Presentation Topic
Imaging

Abstract

Background

Quantitative MRI measures are proposed as biomarkers of disease course and therapeutic response. Understanding the evolution of these metrics is key for interpretation of change in clinical practice.

Objectives

To describe longitudinal changes in T2 lesion volume (T2LV), whole brain (WBF) and gray matter (GMF) fraction, and thalamic volume (TV) over the disease course in a large multiple sclerosis (MS) cohort.

Methods

Demographics, disease history, and MRI were collected from MS patients at a single site. Patients with ≥2 MRI assessments were included. T2LV, WBF, GMF, and TV annualized rate of change and raw values compared to the first available scan were analyzed. Multivariate mixed-effects models were used to evaluate longitudinal MRI changes, adjusting for age at disease onset, sex, and patient-determined disease steps category (PDDS) with a random intercept for patient and an autoregressive covariance structure. For each outcome, three models were generated: a linear model, a second-order B-spline model, and a third-order B-spline model were tested for nonlinearity in the relationship between MRI outcome and disease duration and were compared based on Akaike Information Criterion.

Results

1012 patients were included (69.2% female, 72.9% relapsing-remitting MS, mean ± SD age at disease onset 34.4±10.3, age at baseline MRI 43.8±11.1, disease duration 9.4±5.8 years, mean number of MRIs 3.1±1.2, median [IQR] PDDS 1.0 [0.0-3.0]). Male sex (B=4.9) and PDDS>3 (B=7.0) were associated with greater T2LV accumulation over the disease course (best fit: linear model). T2LV annualized rate of change peaked at 5-6 years of disease duration (rate 9%/year) (best fit: third-order B spline). Male sex, older age, and PDDS>3 were associated with lower WBF, TV (best fit: linear model), and GMF (best fit: second-order B spline), all p<0.05. No non-linear effect of disease duration on WBF, TV, and GMF were observed. There was no statistically significant change in the annualized rate of change of WBF, TV, and GMF over the disease course.

Conclusions

The dynamics of T2LV accumulation are variable throughout the disease course, whereas the rate of change of WBF, TV, and GMF were more stable. These results suggest T2LV accumulation reflecting focal lesion activity predominates early in the disease while WBF, TV, and GMF loss reflecting underlying neurodegeneration is present at disease onset and continues throughout the course.

Collapse
Observational Studies Poster Presentation

P0926 - Therapeutic Practices in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Amongst General Neurologists and MS Specialists (ID 1365)

Speakers
Presentation Number
P0926
Presentation Topic
Observational Studies

Abstract

Background

The rapid development of MS disease modifying therapies (DMTs) has substantially complicated decision-making for clinicians. Despite the availability of 18 DMTs spanning nine therapeutic classes, few of these agents have been compared head-to-head and only recently were consensus-based guidelines published on their use. Almost no publicly available information exists about how practicing neurologists are approaching the contemporary management of this population.

Objectives

To assess potential discrepancies in clinical decisions between neurologists who specialize in MS and those who treat MS but do not subspecialize.

Methods

An online survey was conducted in May 2020. US and Canadian neurologists practicing in academic or specialized MS centers were invited to participate. A random sample of US generalists who practice in community-based, non-specialized settings but see 5-20 MS patients each week were also recruited. Questions were formulated to assess differences regarding strategic approaches to case-based scenarios.

Results

A total of 25 experts and 100 general neurologists completed the assessment. Experts were more likely to offer high efficacy DMTs across a variety of clinical presentations (e.g. CIS by age, RRMS, pregnancy, PPMS). For a 25-year-old female patient with CIS, the largest cohort of experts prioritized ocrelizumab (30%) vs. 2% of generalists (p<0.001). Generalists preferred glatiramer acetate (GA) (34%) vs. 0% of experts (p<0.001). For a 29-year-old female (JCV negative) with moderate risk disease, 84% of experts selected either natalizumab or ocrelizumab, compared to 43% of generalists (p<0.001). For a 29-year-old with higher risk MS and plans to become pregnant, 76% of experts chose ocrelizumab (8% of generalists, p<0.001) while 44% of generalists recommended GA (0% of experts, p<0.001). Both groups trended more towards high efficacy therapies in response to radiologic disease activity vs. clinical relapses with stable imaging.

Conclusions

There were several group commonalities including DMT initiation, the impact of race, and therapeutic response to breakthrough disease. However, substantial differences were seen in DMT choice, switching behavior, use in patients contemplating pregnancy, and age variation. Experts typically prioritized higher efficacy agents while generalists typically prioritized safety profile. This suggests that approaches are heterogenous and greater education among generalists may be warranted.

Collapse

Presenter Of 1 Presentation

Biomarkers and Bioinformatics Poster Presentation

P0037 - Change in serum neurofilament light chain levels: ENSEMBLE 1-year interim results (ID 945)

Speakers
Presentation Number
P0037
Presentation Topic
Biomarkers and Bioinformatics

Abstract

Background

Early treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) provides significant long-term benefits. The aim of the Phase IIIb ENSEMBLE study (NCT03085810) is to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of ocrelizumab (OCR) in patients with early-stage relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). Neurofilament light chain (NfL) is a marker of neuroaxonal injury. OCR reduced elevated NfL levels in patients with relapsing MS and primary progressive MS to those of healthy donors in the OPERA and ORATORIO studies over 96 weeks. NfL levels are assessed yearly in ENSEMBLE.

Objectives

To report 1-year NfL analyses from ENSEMBLE.

Methods

Treatment-naive patients with a diagnosis of early-stage RRMS (age, 18–55 years inclusive; Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS] score ≤3.5) per 2010 revised McDonald criteria and a disease duration from the first documented clinical attack consistent with MS disease of ≤3 years and ≥1 clinically reported relapse or ≥1 sign of MRI activity within 12 months of enrollment were included. Patients will receive OCR 600 mg every 24 weeks (first dose, 2×300 mg separated by 14 days) for the 192-week treatment period (maximum 8 doses). Serum NfL levels are measured via the Simoa Quanterix Advantage kit.

Results

A total of 582 patients were included in the NfL evaluation (female, 64.3%; mean [SD]: age, 32.4 [9.2] years; baseline EDSS, 1.70 [0.96]; time since MS symptom onset, 1.08 [0.84] years) with characteristics comparable with the overall population (N=678). The median serum NfL level at baseline was 13.20 pg/mL; 81.8% of patients had levels greater than healthy donors (HDs; 7.1 pg/mL). Median NfL levels at baseline in patients stratified by age, gender and EDSS score were consistent with those of the overall population. The highest median NfL levels at baseline were observed in patients with T1-weighted contrast-enhancing lesions (CELs) at screening (18.71 pg/mL; n=260) and relapses within 3 months of enrollment (14.91 pg/mL; n=217). At Week 48 the median serum NfL level was reduced to 6.35 pg/mL; 60.8% of patients had levels comparable to or lower than the HD level. Decreases in median serum NfL levels were observed, independent of the baseline demographics and disease characteristics of age, gender, EDSS score, CELs, relapses and reason for enrollment.

Conclusions

NfL levels at baseline and patterns of change over 48 weeks were in line with previous evaluations and decreased considerably after 1 year of treatment with ocrelizumab.

Collapse