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, 15 (1), 20-26

Real-World Effectiveness of Disease-Modifying Therapies in Korean Patients With Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis


Real-World Effectiveness of Disease-Modifying Therapies in Korean Patients With Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

Su Hyun Kim et al. J Clin Neurol.


Background and purpose: This study assessed the long-term outcomes of disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) in Korean multiple sclerosis (MS) patients treated in real-world clinical settings in Korea.

Methods: We retrospectively evaluated the medical records of 160 patients with an initial diagnosis of clinically isolated syndrome or relapsing-remitting MS who were treated for at least 2 years. A status of 3 for no evidence of disease activity (NEDA3) was defined as no relapse, disability progression, or active lesions in annual magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluations.

Results: Patients who were initially treated with interferon β (n=152), glatiramer acetate (n=6), or teriflunomide (n=2) were included. The mean disease duration was 8.2 years. Compared to pretreatment, annualized relapse rates were significantly reduced after treatment [from 1.0±0.8 to 0.2±0.4 (mean±standard deviation), p<0.001]. At the follow-up, 79 patients (49%) had changed their treatment regimen due to lack of efficacy (33%), side effects (14%), or other reasons (2%). Disability progression was observed in 18% of the patients over a mean treatment duration of 5.7 years. After 2 years, NEDA3 was observed in 38% of the patients. Loss of NEDA3 at 2 years was associated with long-term disability progression [odds ratio (OR)=17.975, p=0.003]. Poor response to first-line treatment was independently associated with a delay in treatment from disease onset (OR=1.238, p=0.049) and 10 or more brain lesions in the initial MRI (OR=3.648, p=0.047).

Conclusions: This study has provided real-world evidence that DMTs are effective in reducing disease activity and disability progression in Korean MS patients.

Keywords: Korea; disease-modifying therapy; multiple sclerosis; treatment outcomes.

Conflict of interest statement

Park MS, Kim W, Huh SY, Shin HJ, and Hyun JW report no conflicts of interest. Kim SH has received a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea. Kim HJ has given lectures at, provided consultation to, and received honoraria from Bayer Schering Pharma, Biogen, Celltrion, Eisai, Genzyme, HanAll BioPharma, MedImmune, Merck Serono, Novartis, Teva-Handok, and UCB; received a grant from the Ministry of Science & ICT; accepted research funding from Genzyme, Kael-GemVax, Merck Serono, Teva-Handok and UCB; serves on a steering committee for Med-Immune; is a coeditor for the Multiple Sclerosis Journal-Experimental, Translational and Clinical; and is an associated editor for the Journal of Clinical Neurology.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1. of treatment at the initiation of treatment (A) and at last the follow-up (B). IFNβ: interferon β, i.m.: intramuscular, s.c.: subcutaneous.

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