Prevalence of disability improvement as a potential outcome for multiple sclerosis trials

A. Signori, G. Boffa, F. Bovis, A. Mariottini, A. Repice, M. Inglese, M.P. Amato, G. Mancardi, L. Massacesi, R. Saccardi, M.P. Sormani

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Background: The concept of improvement of disability recently emerged as a new target in multiple sclerosis (MS) studies since the approval of new potent drugs and for testing drugs for neuroprotection and repair. Objective: To propose a simple estimator for assessing and comparing the prevalence of improvement over time between groups. Methods: The prevalence of a transient condition takes into account the incidence and the duration of such condition. We propose here the application of a modified Kaplan–Meier estimator to evaluate and compare between groups the prevalence of improvement over time in a cohort of 121 patients treated with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Results: The prevalence of improvement after 5 years from transplant was 50.3% (95%CI: [38.0–63.0]) in relapsing–remitting patients and 6.5% (95%CI: [0–17.8]) in secondary-progressive patients (p <0.001). Such a difference wouldn’t be evident considering the traditional cumulative probability of improvement at 5 years (55.5% in relapsing–remitting vs 33.4% in secondary-progressive patients, p = 0.10). Conclusion: This study shows the relevance of a new estimator of prevalence of improvement in MS. This estimator gives simple information on whether a drug can induce a durable improvement in disability and can be considered a potential outcome for trials assessing drugs for neuroprotection or repair. © The Author(s), 2020.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMult. Scler. J.
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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