Effect of fingolimod on health-related quality of life in paediatric patients with multiple sclerosis: results from the phase 3 PARADIG MS Study

BMJ Neurol Open. 2022 Feb 24;4(1):e000215. doi: 10.1136/bmjno-2021-000215. eCollection 2022.


Background: In the PARADIGMS Study, fingolimod demonstrated superior efficacy versus interferon (IFN) β-1a and comparable overall incidence of adverse events but slightly higher rate of serious adverse events in patients with paediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (PoMS). Here, we report the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes from PARADIGMS.

Methods: Patients with PoMS (N=215; aged 10-<18 years) were randomised to once-daily oral fingolimod (N=107) or once-weekly intramuscular IFN β-1a (N=108). HRQoL outcomes were assessed using the 23-item Pediatric Quality of Life (PedsQL) scale that comprises Physical and Psychosocial Health Summary Scores (including Emotional, Social and School Functioning). A post hoc inferential analysis evaluated changes in self-reported or parent-reported PedsQL scores from baseline up to 2 years between treatment groups using an analysis of covariance model.

Results: Treatment with fingolimod showed improvements versus IFN β-1a on the PedsQL scale in both the self-reported and parent-reported Total Scale Scores (4.66 vs -1.16, p≤0.001 and 2.71 vs -1.02, p≤0.05, respectively). The proportion of patients achieving a clinically meaningful improvement in the PedsQL Total Scale Score was two times higher with fingolimod versus IFN β-1a per the self-reported scores (47.5% vs 24.2%, p=0.001), and fingolimod was favoured versus IFN β-1a per the parent-reported scores (37.8% vs 24.7%, p=non-significant). Group differences in self-reported Total Scale Scores in favour of fingolimod were most pronounced among patients who had ≥2 relapses in the year prior to study entry or who showed improving or stable Expanded Disability Status Scale scores during the study.

Conclusion: Fingolimod improved HRQoL compared with IFN β-1a in patients with PoMS as evidenced by the self-reported and parent-reported PedsQL scores.

Keywords: multiple sclerosis; paediatric neurology; quality of life.