Conference Coverage

Biomarkers for Disease Activity in RRMS Reported at ACTRIMS/ECTRIMS 2020


In relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), MRI has provided a key indication of disease presence and activity. With the availability of serum neurofilament (sNfL) assays, disease activity can be correlated with sNfL levels.

Dr Tobias Derfuss, from University Hospital Basel in Basel, Switzerland, discusses emerging research reported at the ACTRIMS/ECTRIMS 2020 Virtual Meeting, focusing on the use of sNfL as a biomarker for monitoring treatment response and disease activity in RRMS.

Dr Derfuss highlights one study in which longitudinal observations showed that high levels of sNfL at baseline are associated with a high risk for gadolinium-enhancing lesions; the study authors suggest that quarterly monitoring may be adequate for surveillance of subclinical disease.

In another study, higher sNfL levels at baseline were linked to a higher risk for T2 lesions and a more pronounced brain atrophy rate, but disability progression was not correlated to baseline sNfL levels.

Finally, Dr Derfuss reports on a real-world, large cohort study supporting the value of sNfL to capture and predict disability progression independent of relapses.

Tobias J. Derfuss, MD, Professor, Head of Outpatient Clinic, Department of Neurology, University Hospital Board, Basel, Switzerland

Tobias J. Derfuss, MD, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:­ Received financial compensation for his activities in advisory boards, steering committees, data safety monitoring boards, and consultation for: Novartis; Merck; Biogen; Celgene; Actelion; Mitsubishi Pharma; MedDay; Roche; Sanofi Genzyme. Received research grant from: Novartis; Biogen; Roche; Swiss National Science Foundation; European Union; Swiss MS Society. Spouse is an employee of and holds stock options in: Novartis

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