Author Of 2 Presentations
FC03.01 - Defining controversies of benign MS using digital technology
Multiple-Sclerosis-Partners-Advancing-Technology-Health-Solutions (MSPATHS) is an international multicentre digital database that collects clinical information provided directly by patients together with standardized MRI and biomarkers.
We identify a Benign multiple sclerosis (BMS) population using Patient-Determined-Disease-Steps (PDDS) as a proxy for EDSS. We describe its physical and non-physical characteristics, and explore the features that best discriminate BMS.
Cross-sectional study of MSPATHS patients (Feb 2019). In patients with disease duration ≥10 years, BMS was considered when PDDS score<2. We compared BMS and non-BMS in terms of (1)socio-demographic and clinical characteristics, (2)physical status (lower and upper extremity function by Neuro-QoL (LUEF-NQ) and neurological performance tests: walking speed test (WST), manual dexterity test (MDT), processing speed test (PST), contrast sensitivity test (CST)) and non-physical symptoms (anxiety, depression, fatigue, among other NQ domains), and (3)MRI (gadolinium enhancement and new T2 lesions). We built a random forest model to estimate the importance of each variable. Cohen’s d was used for descriptive statistics to categorize differences in small (d=0.2-0.5), medium (d=0.5-0.8) and large (d>0.8). A sensitivity analysis with a 1:1 matched cohort by disease duration was performed.
From 15,257 patients included, 8,349 had a disease duration ≥10 years and 3,852 (46.1%) were classified as BMS. (1)BMS and non-BMS patients were similar for gender, age at disease onset and diagnosis, ethnicity, years of education and smoking status. Compared to non-BMS, BMS had small differences in disease duration (median, 17.2 (12,9-23,4) vs. 20.9 (15,1-28,8 years); d=0.39) but medium/large differences in (2)physical status (LUEF-NQ d=2.06 and 1.53, WST d=0.81, MDT d=0.97, PST d=0.82 and CST d=0.56), as well as, in all non-physical symptoms evaluated by NQ (anxiety d=0.53, depression d=0.69, fatigue d=0.84, stigma d=1.32, cognition d=0.69, social role satisfaction (SRS) d=1.11 and participation (SRP) d=1.19). (3)No differences were found on MRI activity. With 0.88 sensitivity and 0.86 specificity, LUEF-NQ was the most contributing variable for the random forest followed by stigma, SRP, WST, and SRS. The sensitivity analysis showed similar results.
PDDS seems to be a useful disability proxy to identify BMS when using digital technology. LUEF-NQ, stigma, SRP and SRS seem to better discriminate BMS.
PS01.05 - Rituximab treatment for MS: an observational multicentric dose comparison
Rituximab (RTX) is an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, widely used as an off-label treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). Despite well-known efficacy and safety, RTX regimen has not yet been standardized.
We aimed to compare efficacy and safety data of two different rituximab doses at two large Catalan multiple sclerosis centres.
A two-centre ambispective study considering all MS patients that have received at least one RTX cycle until February 2020 was conducted. In Barcelona centre (BC), RTX regimen used was 2g intravenously (IV), at least during 3 cycles, followed by 1g every 6 months, while in Girona centre (GC), was 2g IV, at least the first cycle, followed by 500mg every 6 months. Patients were clinically followed every 6 months with lab tests, and brain MRI scans were performed at baseline and yearly thereafter. Baseline clinical, radiological and demographic characteristics were collected. Annual relapse rate (ARR), contrast-enhancing lesions (CELs) and new T2 lesions at one and third year on treatment, as well as EDSS changes at last follow-up visit, were evaluated. Also, the dynamics of CD19% lymphocytes and IG immunoglobulin (IgG) values in serum, as well as the incidence of adverse events (AE) were described.
A total of 303 patients (249 at BC and 54 at GC) were included. Main reason to start RTX was clinical progression plus inflammatory activity (clinical, radiological or both) (45.8% BC vs 79.6% GC). No differences on age at RTX onset, gender and disease duration were found between both centres. At baseline, mean ARR was 0.37±0.6 (BC) vs. 0.33±0.5 (GC); median EDSS was 5.5 (1-9.0) (BC) vs. 6.0 (1-8.0) (GC); and proportion of MRI with CELs was 32.4% (BC) vs. 42.6% (GC). ARR decrease to 0.05 (87.5%, p<0.001) for BC vs. 0.03 (90.3%, p=0.018) for GC at first year, and to 0.08 (88.3%, p=0.016) vs. 0 (100%, p=0.172) at third year. Considering only progressive MS phenotypes, 79.4% vs. 71.4% of patients remained stable or improved the EDSS. Regarding MRI findings, percentages of patients with CELs and new T2 lesions (BC vs GC) were 2.7% vs. 8% and 19% vs. 16% at one year; and 0% vs. 0% and 12% vs. 0% at third year. AE incidence was higher at BC during the first year (14.8% vs 4.1%). No difference in the dynamics of CD19% lymphocytes was found, while IgG values decreased significantly in the BC cohort throughout the first 3 years.
In the treatment of multiple sclerosis, low doses of rituximab seem to offer similar effectiveness with better safety profile than high doses.
Author Of 7 Presentations
LB1168 - COVID-19 in MS patients: susceptibility and severity risk factors (ID 1524)
In the present pandemic, gathering information regarding Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients with COVID-19 is needed.
To investigate the incidence of COVID-19 in a Barcelona cohort of MS patients, to describe the characteristics of MS patients with COVID-19, and to identify risk factors for susceptibility and severity.
Retrospective cohort study of adult MS patients included from February to May 2020. COVID-19 and non-affected cases were identified through a COVID-19 mail survey and clinical visits. Demographic, clinical, MS characteristics, and laboratory data (lymphocyte and CD19+ count, immunoglobulins, and vitamin D) were obtained. Serological SARS-CoV-2 testing was performed in all suspected cases. We examined the relationship between the previously mentioned variables with COVID-19 susceptibility and severity.
Out of the 2903 surveys sent, a total of 875 were answered. 117 (13.37%) patients were excluded for not meeting inclusion criteria. 48 out of 758 were suspected COVID-19 and the remaining were classified as non-COVID-19. The estimated incidence was 6.3%. 45 additional suspected COVID-19 cases were detected in clinical visits. In the multivariate analysis, COVID-19 susceptibility was associated with being younger (OR 0.54, IC95% 0.34-0.87,p<0.01), having had contact with a confirmed case (OR 193.20, IC95% 55.34-674.43,p<0.01), living in Barcelona (OR 2.35, IC95% 1.08-5.09, p=0.03) and a longer MS disease duration (OR 1.43, IC95% 1.10-1.85,p<0.01). In patients treated with an anti-CD20 therapy, COVID-19 susceptibility increased with treatment duration (OR 3.36, IC95% 1.42-7.96, p<0.01). 19 (20.43%) of the 93 COVID-19 cases were hospitalized, 9(9.68%) presented a severe course and 2(2.15%) of them died. In the univariate analysis, older patients with comorbidities, a progressive and longer MS duration, and without disease-modifying therapies, presented a more severe disease although these results were not observed in the multivariate analysis. Out of the 79 (84.9%) with serological test, 45.6% had generated antibodies and 17.6% in patients receiving anti-CD20. No relation of lymphopenia, vitamin D, or immunoglobulins levels with COVID-19 susceptibility or severity was found.
MS patients present similar incidence, risk factors, and outcomes for COVID-19 than the general population. Patients treated with an anti-CD20 therapy for a longer period of time might be in a higher risk of COVID-19 and of generating lower antibody response.
LB1240 - A kappa free light chain index of 6.6 represents an alternative to positive oligoclonal bands in the 2017 McDonald criteria (ID 2125)
- G. Arrambide
- C. Espejo
- R. Dieli
- C. Auger
- M. Castillo
- M. Rodriguez-Barranco
- P. Carbonell-Mirabent
- J. Río
- J. Castilló
- A. Vidal-Jordana
- Í. Galán
- C. Nos
- M. Comabella
- B. Rodríguez-Acevedo
- L. Midaglia
- A. Zabalza
- A. Cobo Calvo
- P. Tagliani
- S. Cárdenas-Robledo
- J. Sastre-Garriga
- A. Rovira
- M. Hernández-González
- X. Montalban
- M. Tintore
Oligoclonal bands (OB) are part of the 2017 McDonald criteria but their determination is rater-dependent. Kappa free light chains (KFLC) are determined quantitatively and could be an alternative to OB, but a vendor-specific index cut-off is needed.
To compare the proportion of patients with clinically isolated syndromes (CIS) and positive OB and a KFLC index equal or greater than 6.6 (KFLC-6.6, Leurs CE Mult Scler 2020) or 10.61 (KFLC-10.61, Gaetani L J Neuroimmunol 2020). To compare the diagnostic properties of OB, KFLC-6.6 and KFLC-10.61 for 2nd attack and 2017 MRI dissemination in space (DIS) and time (DIT).
MRIs were obtained 3-5 months after the CIS, at 1 year and every 5 years. OB were determined by isoelectric focusing combined with immunoblotting. We selected 228 patients with sufficient data to assess DIS and DIT, OB determination and enough remnant frozen samples to measure KFLC by turbidimetry (Optilite, The Binding Site). We compared the proportion of patients with positive OB, KFLC-6.6 and KFLC-10.61 and the 3-year diagnostic properties for the following outcomes: 2nd attack (n=179) and MRI DIS and DIT (n=192).
Of all patients, 146 (64.0%) had OB, 147 (65.5%) KFLC-6.6 and 137 (60.1%) KFLC-10.61. In total, 130 (57.0%) had OB and KFLC-6.6, 16 (7.0%) only OB, 17 (7.5%) only KFLC-6.6 and 65 (28.5%) had neither. As for OB and KFLC-10.61, 122 (53.5%) had both, 24 (10.5%) only OB, 15 (6.6%) only KFLC-10.61 and 67 (29.4%) had neither. At baseline, the criteria were fulfilled by patients with OB, KFLC-6.6 and KFLC-10.61 as follows: DIS 109/135 (80.7%), 114 (84.4%) and 106 (78.5%); DIT 70/87 (80.5%), 78 (89.7%) and 74 (85.1%); DIS plus DIT 64/78 (81.2), 71 (91.0%) and 67 (85.9); DIS plus OB 109 (100.0%), 101 (92.7%) and 94 (86.2); and McDonald 111/130 (85.4%), 113 (86.9%) and 106 (81.5%). The diagnostic properties of OB, KFLC-6.6 and KFLC-10.61 for 2nd attack were sensitivity 77.8, 85.6 and 78.0; specificity 44.9, 48.3 and 51.7; and accuracy 61.5, 67.0 and 65.4. Results for MRI DIS plus DIT were sensitivity 81.8, 87.9 and 82.6; specificity 66.7, 70.0 and 73.3; and accuracy 77.1, 82.3 and 79.7.
KFLC-10.61 had the greatest specificity and KFLC-6.6 the best overall diagnostic properties. The results were probably due to the higher proportion of positive KFLC patients with DIT compared to those with positive OB, suggesting KFLC-6.6 could be used as an alternative to OB in the McDonald criteria.
P0014 - Personalized and dynamic prognostic model from the Barcelona CIS cohot (ID 1607)
In the constantly evolving field of MS, personalized medicine is still one of the most important unmet need that requires further attention
We aimed to develop a dynamic risk calculator to predict the long-term prognosis of MS in the context of a large MS Centre in Catalonia
This is an observational study based on data prospectively acquired from a deeply phenotyped CIS cohort from Barcelona. We first built a natural history baseline risk score (BRS) for predicting moderate disability, integrating baseline prognostic factors: Sex, age at CIS, CIS topography, number of T2 lesions, contrast-enhancing lesions (CEL) and oligoclonal bands. This BRS was designed as follows: For untreated patients, we built a Weibull model to estimate the median time to confirmed EDSS 3.0 and with these estimates we identified risk groups based on the median of the cut-offs of 2000 survival trees. Then we obtained the BRS of the full cohort. In patients with more than ten years of follow-up, we performed an inverse probability weighting to balance patients during their follow up for the propensity of being treated or lost to follow-up. The weights were estimated via a proportional hazards (PH) Cox model considering both baseline information (CIS year, BRS) and time-dependent (diagnosis status, new T2 lesions, CEL and cumulative number of relapses). Finally, a weighted PH Cox model was built to estimate the time to confirmed EDSS 3.0 considering the BRS and time-dependent events (new T2 lesions, cumulative number of relapses and first or second-line treatment use). Sensitivity analyses using other disability outcomes and different follow-ups were conducted.
Of 956 patients, 577 (60.4%) were untreated before confirmed EDSS 3.0. Two BRS were obtained: low and high-BRS. Of 400 patients followed for more than ten years, 226 (56.5%) were low-BRS and 174 (43.5%) were high-BRS. High-BRS showed a HR=2.16 95%CI (1.16,4.02). Each new T2 lesion presented HR=1.04 95%CI (1.00,1.08) and each new relapse HR=1.46 95%CI (1.23,1.74). Being on second-line treatment showed a protective effect (HR=0.23 95%CI (0.06,0.94)) but no association was found for first-line treatments (HR=1.32 95%CI (0.67,2.60). Sensitivity analyses confirmed the association between BRS, new T2 lesions and the accumulation of relapses with the prognosis. However, treatment results were inconclusive.
Presenting a high-BRS doubles the risk of reaching moderate disability. Each new lesion and new relapse increses the risk by 4% and 46%, respectively; and second-line treatments seem to be protective. If validated, this risk calculator could be a crucial step to personalized medicine.
P0020 - A down-regulation of the type I interferon signaling pathway is associated with the response to teriflunomide in multiple sclerosis. (ID 1584)
Teriflunomide is an oral first-line treatment of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) that has been shown to decrease clinical relapses, reduce brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) activity, and slow progression of disability. However, the drug exhibits only limited effectiveness and does not produce clinical benefits in a proportion of MS patients.
We aimed to identify differentially expressed genes and cellular pathways associated with the responder and non-responder status in RRMS patients treated with teriflunomide by means of RNA sequencing (RNA-seq).
RRMS patients treated with teriflunomide were classified into those with No evidence of disease activity (NEDA 3) and those with EDA after 12 months of treatment. Eleven responders [8 females; mean age (standard deviation): 45.8 years (4.5)] and 10 non-responders [8 females; 41.8 years (10.3)] were included in the study. RNA-seq was performed in RNA samples isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells before and after 12 months of teriflunomide treatment. 100 bp, paired-end RNA sequencing was performed by using DNAseqTM Technology. Comparative analysis of differentially expressed genes between responders and non-responders was performed at baseline and after 12 months of treatment. Pathway analysis was based on KEGG database using statistically significant genes.
Pathway analysis revealed the type I interferon (IFN) signaling pathway as the most significantly associated with the responder phenotype after 12 months of teriflunomide treatment (p<0.0001). In this context, expression levels for genes known to be predominantly or selectively induced by type I IFNs such as SP100, ZBP1, IFI27, ISG20, IFITM1, IFITM2, MX1, STAT1, PARP9, IFI35, RGS1, RSAD2, IFI44L, IRF1, DDX58, IFI6, IFIT1 and IFIT5 were significantly reduced by the effect of teriflunomide after 12 months of treatment in responders compared to non-responders. At baseline, expression levels for type I IFN genes were similar between responders and non-responders.
Type I IFNs are known to activate dendritic cells, enhance humoral immunity, and favor Th1 immune responses. A down-regulation of type I IFN genes after 12 months of treatment may explain the beneficial effect of teriflunomide in responders. Mechanistic studies are currently underway to investigate the functional implication of the type I interferon signaling pathway in the response to teriflunomide.
P0248 - Consensus guidelines for the timely detection and diagnosis of disease progression in multiple sclerosis patients (ID 1328)
Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) is a clinical form of MS characterized by gradual accrual of disability independent of relapses over time. Limited information is available on decision-making in the management of MS. As a consequence, it is frequently diagnosed retrospectively, thus reducing treatment options.
To establish consensus on patient monitoring and definition of relevant clinical variables that can support decision making in the early identification and management of disease progression.
A two-round RAND-UCLA method was used, involving a panel of 15 MS specialists in Spain. A questionnaire consisting of 72 open-ended questions from 3 dimensions (clinical, radiological and biomarkers) was circulated to the experts in Round I. Eleven additional items were included in Round II based on panel feedback in Round I. Items were rated on a 4-point Likert scale and consensus was defined as ≥66% agreement on an item. Final data are presented.
Panellists agreed on the need of monitoring the patients remaining clinically and radiologically stable while on immunomodulators (93%) or immunosuppressors (73%) every 6 months, leaving the special situations to clinical judgement (80% and 93%, respectively). EDSS is the best variable to define progression (93%); six months is the minimum time to confirm disability progression independent of relapses (87%); a worsening of 2-points in any functional system (except the visual), even without changes in EDSS, suggests progression (80%), regardless of disease duration (> 20 years: 93%; 10-20 years: 87%) and age (87%). 20% time increase in T25-FW and 9HPT, together with an increase in EDSS score, are confirmatory of progression (87%). Panellists agreed to perform an annual cognitive exploration (80%), such as SDMT (100%), BRB-N (93%), BICAMS (93%). Experts agreed to evaluate QoL (80%), depression (73%) and fatigue (73%) once annually. A sustained change in brain atrophy suggests progression (80%) provided major physiological factors have been ruled-out (83%). Sustained medullary atrophy suggests progression (100%) but more precise techniques should be used to confirm a diagnosis (93.3%).
The overall consistency in the level of agreement in the different items is high and reinforces the results obtained. These areas of collective agreement could guide neurologists in anticipating progression and planning informed clinical and therapeutic interventions.
P1024 - Economic impact of the Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in Spain: Interim analysis of the DISCOVER study (ID 1595)
- C. Oreja-Guevara
- J. Río
- J. Ara Callizo
- M. Hernández Pérez
- J. Gracia Gil
- L. Ramió I Torrentà
- B. Pilo De La Fuente
- A. Alonso Torres
- S. Martínez-Yélamos
- F. Gascón Giménez
- S. Eichau Madueño
- B. Casanova-Estruch
- M. Martínez Ginés
- M. Aguado Valcárcel
- J. Martínez Rodríguez
- A. López Real
- C. López De Silanes
- V. González Quintanilla
- Y. El Berdei Montero
- A. Labiano
- M. Garcés Redondo
- L. Costa-Frossard
- J. García Merino
- F. Castellanos Pinedo
- C. Muñoz Fernández
- V. Meca-Lallana
- T. Castillo-Trivino
- A. Ródríguez-Antiguedad
- J. Peña Martínez
- J. Prieto González
- D. Solar Sánchez
- I. Pérez Molina
- E. Agüera Morales
- N. Herrera Varo
- J. Meca-Lallana
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune, neurodegenerative disease. Around 19% of treated patients with relapsing-remitting MS progress to Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS) 15 years after disease onset, representing the most severe stage of the disease. MS symptoms lead to a general disability, impacting the quality of life of patients and also being related with an important economic burden on the National Health System, the patients, their caregivers and the whole society.
There are limited published data on the economic impact of SPMS. The main objective of the study was to estimate the economic impact of SPMS in Spain.
DISCOVER (CBAF312AES01) is an observational, non-interventional, cross-sectional, retrospective and multicenter study, including 297 SPMS patients ≥18 years treated and monitored according to routine clinical practice in Spain in 34 public hospitals. All data was collected in one single visit. Primary endpoint: total annual cost per patient, including direct healthcare and non-healthcare costs and indirect costs. Interim results from 99 patients are presented.
62.6% females; mean (SD) age 53.1 (9.3) years; 40.4% with higher education; 86.9% living with a relative. Mean (SD) time since first MS diagnosis was 17.5 (8.9) years and since progression to SPMS 5.2 (4.3) years. At diagnosis, mean (SD) EDSS was 2.0 (1.1), being 5.0 (1.1) at the time of progression and 5.9 (0.8) at the study visit, 47.5% patients reaching EDSS>6. 12.8% of patients presented relapses between 12-24 months before the study. According to EQ-5D-5L, mean (SD) utility (<1) was 0.48 (0.27) for patients with Gd+ lesions and/or relapses 2 years before. According to EQ-5D-5L, mean (SD) utility (<1) for patients with cognitive impairment was 0.45 (0.29) vs 0.51 (0.21) for those without it. Mean (SD) utility for Spanish general population was 0.897 (0.21). EDSS score showed a significative effect (P=0.0074) on the economic burden of the disease, with total costs increasing from 14,546€ (EDSS 4-4.5) to 21,918€ (EDSS 5-5.5) and 26,832€ (EDSS=6). Costs related to patients with EDSS=6 from the societal, patient and healthcare system were 6,441€, 8,450€ and 11,941€, respectively.
Interim results of the DISCOVER study revealed a significant economic impact of MS progression, highlighting the importance of implementing therapeutic strategies specific to the SPMS patient within the early stages of progression.
P1119 - Disease activity in patients with multiple sclerosis treated with alemtuzumab due to a pregnancy desire (ID 1511)
Counselling and managing women with active Multiple Sclerosis (MS) during pregnancy and the postpartum period is a challenge. Alemtuzumab (ALZ) might be an option for patients with severe MS who desire pregnancy. However, data on relapse activity during and after pregnancy is scarce.
Our objective was to describe our experience with ALZ treatment prescribed in highly active MS women with a pregnancy desire.
From all ALZ treated women (n=62), patients starting treatment because of a pregnancy desire were selected. Demographic, clinical, and radiological data before and during ALZ treatment as well as during and after pregnancy were collected.
From 1st September 2019, thirteen patients were identified with a mean age at ALZ onset of 33.9 years (SD 5.5), median disease duration of 12.0 years (IQR 12.5). The median number of relapses 1 year prior to ALZ onset was 2.0 (IQR 2.0) and 6 out of 10 patients (60%) had Gd-enhancing lesions at baseline MRI (median of 4.5 lesions; IQR 8.3). Only one patient was treatment naïve prior to ALZ onset, 5 patients (38%) were receiving fingolimod, 3 patients (23.1%) injectable therapies, and 3 patients (23,1%) other monoclonal antibodies. As of 1st June 2020, 4 patients (30%) were still not pregnant, 8 patients (61.5%) have had a full-term pregnancy, and 1 patient (7.7%) was still pregnant. All 9 pregnant patients have received two cycles of ALZ with a median time from the last ALZ dose to pregnancy of 9 months (IQR 18). After 1-2 years ALZ treatment, and prior to the pregnancy, 4 out of 9 patients (44.4%) had at least one relapse and 3 (33.3%) patients had an active brain MRI either at 12 or 24 months after ALZ onset. During pregnancy, only 1 patient had a relapse during the first trimester. During the postpartum period, 2 out of 8 (25%) patients experienced a disease reactivation with a relapse occurring with a mean time of 42 days (SD 41) after delivery and a brain MRI showing a high number of Gd-enhancing lesions.
Alemtuzumab treatment in women with high disease activity and a pregnancy desire might be an option. However, it is warned that some patients could present a disease reactivation short after delivery. Thus, close monitoring is needed, especially in patients with a high disease activity during the preconception period.