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Promising therapy for relapsing multibple sclerosis
Date:2/16/2010

MS, that are characterized by abnormal T-cell responses.

Rose and his colleagues performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study at 51 centers in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Italy, and Spain. They recruited 230 patients with relapsing MS who were taking interferon beta and randomly assigned them to receive add-on treatment with high-dose daclizumab, low-dose daclizumab, or placebo. The primary objective of the study was to assess whether daclizumab affected MS disease activity by measuring the total number of new or enlarged lesions in the brain during 24 weeks of treatment.

In addition to finding that add-on treatment with high-dose daclizumab resulted in a significantly lower number of new or enlarged MS lesions, the researchers found that patients treated with either high- or low-dose daclizumab had a seven to eight times higher number of immune cells called CD56bright natural killer cells (NK Cells). Previous research has shown that untreated MS patients have lower numbers of these NK cells than healthy individuals.

"Several lines of evidence point to a potential function for CD56bright natural killer cells in regulating the immune system," explains Rose. "This study provides confirmatory data that daclizumab treatment causes an expansion of CD56bright natural killer cells and adds support to the theory that this expansion might mediate some of the effects of daclizumab on reducing multiple sclerosis lesion activity." Further research is needed to clarify whether the risk-benefit of daclizumab is better when the drug is used alone or in combination with interferon beta, as well as to determine the optimum dose and length of treatment needed to see the full therapeutic effects of the drug.

"The CHOICE trial showed that treatment with daclizumab was associated with both a significant reduction in MS lesion formation and a robust increase in important cells that help to regulate the immune system," concludes Ro
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Contact: Dennis Jolley
dennis.jolley@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-5777
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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