Background: Fingolimod is a first in class oral compound approved for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS). The aim of this study was to evaluate clinical and neuroradiological responses to fingolimod as well as the safety and tolerability in RR-MS patients in clinical practice. In addition, a panel of pro-inflammatory serum cytokines was explored as potential biomarker for treatment response.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective, non-randomized, open-label, observational study in 105 patients with RR-MS and measured cytokines in longitudinal serum samples.
Results: Compared to the year before fingolimod start the annualized relapse rate was reduced by 44%. Also, the percentage of patients with a worsening of the EDSS decreased. Accordingly, the fraction of patients with no evidence of disease activity (no relapse, stable EDSS, no new active lesions in MRI) increased from 11% to 38%. The efficacy and safety were comparable between highly active patients or patients with relevant comorbidities and our general patient population.
Conclusions: The efficacy in reducing relapses was comparable to that observed in the phase III trials. In our cohort fingolimod was safe and efficacious irrespective of comorbidities and previous treatment.