Purpose of review: The aims of this article are to review emerging therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) and to consider new approaches to assessment and achievement of treatment success in patients with this disease.
Recent findings: A number of disease-modifying therapies for MS, including oral agents, are in advanced development and likely to be available soon. Fingolimod has been approved recently by the US Food and Drug Administration. Agents in development include alemtuzumab, BG-12, daclizumab, teriflunomide, laquinimod, and B-cell-targeted monoclonal antibodies ocrelizumab and ofatumumab. The advent of emerging efficacious therapies has set the stage for re-evaluation of treatment goals for patients with MS. Freedom from disease, defined by the absence of relapses, disability progression, and radiologic evidence of disease activity, is increasingly seen as the measure of treatment success.
Summary: New MS treatments may provide the basis for aggressive early intervention in patients with MS and intensification of treatment when disease is not controlled. The availability of therapies that can achieve higher treatment goals may significantly improve long-term outcomes for MS patients.