Size Matters for interferon

Kvistad SS, Myhr KM, Holmøy T, Šaltytė Benth J, Wergeland S, Beiske AG, Bjerve KS, Hovdal H, Lilleås F, Midgard R, Pedersen T, Bakke SJ, Michelsen AE, Aukrust P, Ueland T, Sagen JV, Torkildsen Ø. Body mass index influence interferon-beta treatment response in multiple sclerosis. J Neuroimmunol. 2015: 288:92-7.

Obesity is a possible risk factor of multiple sclerosis (MS), but the association between obesity and MS disease activity has not been explored. In a cohort of 86 MS patients, 80% of overweight or obese patients (BMI≥25kg/m(2)) had MRI activity compared to 48% of the normal-weight patients (BMI<25kg/m(2)) (p=0.001) during interferon-beta treatment. NEDA-status (no evidence of disease activity) was defined as a composite that consisted of absence of any relapses, sustained disability-progression and MRI-activity. Among normal-weight patients 26% obtained NEDA-status compared to only 13% of patients with BMI >25 (p=0.05). This may indicate that BMI affects interferon-beta treatment response.

You can read the conclusions. The amount of drug per kilograme is effectively reduced if you are taking a standard dose and you are overweight so you may end up getting a relatively lower dose that may have reduced efficacy.

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  • I read an article recently that will test the beta interferon for Parkinson's Disease … But the delivery of interferon would have to be directly in the brain … I see that being overweight exacerbates chronic diseases …

    • Academia and the Team G'ers would require you to run a trial for each dose at each weight subpopulation. Thus they will be sure what is the impact. This type of thinking is why it takes drug development to move at a snail's pace.

  • " The amount of drug per kilograme is effectively reduced"

    And this is something I've never understood. When ist comes to drugs and MS: why isn't there an adjustment? You get adjustments for infusions, other medications and other diseases. But when it comes to MS it's 20mg of this / day if you weigh 20 kg or 120 kg….

  • Aren't we all being dosed at an amount tested for the average sized man? This disease more often than not affects women. Are the chemo therapies administered following this protocol?

  • There is an interesting sub debate that could be had here – and that is whether obesity is, in itself, a risk for relapses and disease progression. The lack of funds to do proper studies into diet based intervention in MS means that we end up with research into the impact drugs have (or don't have) on obese patients. But what if the obesity is the root cause and not the efficacy (or otherwise) of the drugs?

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