Background and Aims: Interferon beta (IFNb) is a safe first-line drug commonly used for relapsing-remitting (RR)-MS. Nevertheless, a considerable proportion of patients do not respond to IFNb treatment. Therefore, until now, a number of studies have investigated various markers that could predict the patients who would respond to IFNb therapy. The objective of this study was to identify reliable biomarkers to predict the efficacy of IFNb treatment in MS.
Methods: In a group of 116 patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and RR-MS, we explored the association between CSF detectability of a large set of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory molecules at the time of diagnosis and response to IFNb after the first year of treatment. The absence of clinical relapses, radiological activity and disability progression (NEDA-3) was assessed at the end of 1-year follow up. The results were compared with those obtained in additional groups of CIS and RR-MS patients treated with other first-line drugs (dimethyl fumarate and glatiramer acetate).
Results: CSF undetectability of macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α was the main predictor of reaching NEDA-3 status after 1 year of IFNb treatment. Moreover, detectable platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) was associated with higher probability of reaching NEDA-3. Conversely, no associations with the CSF molecules were found in the two other groups of patients treated either with dimethyl fumarate or with glatiramer acetate.
Conclusion: MIP-1α and PDGF could potentially represent suitable CSF biomarkers able to predict response to IFNb in MS.