Prognostic factors versus markers of response to treatment versus surrogate endpoints: Three different concepts

Mult Scler. 2017 Mar;23(3):378-381. doi: 10.1177/1352458516676899.


Multiple sclerosis is a highly heterogeneous disease; the quantitative assessment of disease progression is problematic for many reasons, including the lack of objective methods to measure disability and the long follow-up times needed to detect relevant and stable changes. For these reasons, the importance of prognostic markers, markers of response to treatments and of surrogate endpoints, is crucial in multiple sclerosis research. Aim of this report is to clarify some basic definitions and methodological issues about baseline factors to be considered prognostic markers or markers of response to treatment; to define the dynamic role that variables must have to be considered surrogate markers in relation to specific treatments.

Keywords: Factors; surrogate outcomes; treatment response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prognosis
  • Therapeutics


  • Biomarkers