A proof-of-concept application of a novel scoring approach for personalized medicine in multiple sclerosis

Fabio Pellegrini, Massimiliano Copetti, Francesca Bovis, David Cheng, Robert Hyde, Carl de Moor, Bernd C. Kieseier, Maria Pia Sormani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Stratified medicine methodologies based on subgroup analyses are often insufficiently powered. More powerful personalized medicine approaches are based on continuous scores. Objective: We deployed a patient-specific continuous score predicting treatment response in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Methods: Data from two independent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were used to build and validate an individual treatment response (ITR) score, regressing annualized relapse rates (ARRs) on a set of baseline predictors. Results: The ITR score for the combined treatment groups versus placebo detected differential clinical response in both RCTs. High responders in one RCT had a cross-validated ARR ratio of 0.29 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.13–0.55) versus 0.62 (95% CI = 0.47–0.83) for all other responders (heterogeneity p = 0.038) and were validated in the other RCT, with the corresponding ARR ratios of 0.31 (95% CI = 0.18–0.56) and 0.61 (95% CI = 0.47–0.79; heterogeneity p = 0.036). The strongest treatment effect modifiers were the Short Form-36 Physical Component Summary, age, Visual Function Test 2.5%, prior MS treatment and Expanded Disability Status Scale. Conclusion: Our modelling strategy detects and validates an ITR score and opens up avenues for building treatment response calculators that are also applicable in routine clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


  • dimethyl fumarate
  • individual treatment response
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • personalized medicine
  • proof-of-concept
  • treatment algorithms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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