Today: The Burning Debate

Join us today for the Burning Debate at ECTRIMS

The aim of the Burning Debate is to get two top researchers to discuss a burning topic from the field of MS Research. This year the topic is: Rumble in the Jungle: B cells vs. T cells. Our two speakers will argue over whether MS is a T-cell mediated disease and if B-cells are therefore less important. 

The debate will take place on Thursday 26th October from 3.45-4.45pm in Hall D. For folks in the UK, we will be tweeting from the debate athe 2:45pm 

We have Dr David Hafler arguing FOR the motion and Dr 
Stephen Hauser arguing AGAINST. The debate will be chaired by Dr David Wraith. Unfortunately the debate will not be live streamed, but we will be covering it on Twitter where you can follow the discussion by searching for the hashtag #burningdebate. A twitter feed will be projected in the debate room, so any comments or questions will be voiced. 

At the end of the debate, the BartsMSblog twitter account will post two tweets, one FOR the motion, one AGAINST. The tweet that is re-tweeted the most will win the debate. A secondary aim of the debate is to encourage clinicians to use Twitter in their professional capacity. 

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  • The house is full says Monica its really exciting to see so manny people there
    Wonder of manny of them have MS

    Manny dont i suppose, meanwhille we the m´ers wait and see…..

    • A love-in I'm afraid, Prof Hauser started to debate and then threw in the towel because he came to the opinion that T cells were important in the process and prof Haflter was perhaps "too scared to even debate" or "could not be bothered to debate" and threw in the towel that T and B are the answer.

      They may be but the point of a debate is to take an extreme view.
      I have to revisit this in a few weeks time, how should I approach this? Extreme view or belly up?

  • "The revolution will not be televised'
    Maybe "Burning Debate" is a bit much. The current pathophysiology would indicate that both lymphocytes are important in CNS inflammation and act in concert. The question is: Are B-cells driving the disease? If we target B-cells exclusively then T-cells would not become activate and cross the BBB.

    • Re 'the revolution' haha Steve S, the best we had was MM's phone 😉
      re B cells driving disease, it's like every parent/teacher has heard many times 'but they did it first' or as Dr K tweeted today 'B cells are the ringleaders'

  • Get Dr. Hauser's presentation from the Taubman Award. I watched it live and it was wonderful. So incredible that he has persisted with what he believed and continues to work to show why B-cells are the driving force in MS.

    • You should thank Taubman institute

      I ask them and they were very kind to upload the video the

      next day


    • Wow! Awesome speech! I feel that there's hope 😀

      Thanks Debbie, Luis and most of all Taubman Institute. Luis, I searched this morning and couldn't find it so thanks ever so much for asking.

      If you're watching, stay tuned for questions at the end.

    • Watching this video I kind of see why he didn't push things at the conference debate… The knowledge he offered on B cells was nothing new comparing to what we know from here, and he had no possible answers to why Lemtrada but not Ocrevus cause secondary autoimmunity and nothing really insightful on neurodegeneration.
      It only reminded what a let down O. is, to wait 17 years for a drug that does not penetrate the BBB, that is just 10% better than RTX…

    • Anon 12.50 I thought SH came across as a lovely, humble man, absolutely dedicated to MS research. Too nice to debate aggressively and, after all, T cells do follow on behind. SH lead the way with B cells when the rest of the world thought he was wrong (reminded me of the story about reviewer who insisted on T cell mention in the Barts paper). I guess SH will have read the Barts papers (mem B cell and alemtuzumab secondary ai) by now 😉 Yep, agreed we need to get beyond the BBB. Ocrevus v Mavenclad? Off-label cladribine inj for everyone else 😀

      Ps. why would ocrelizumab cause secondary autoimmunity if it doesn't deplete T regs?
      Pps. amazing to think RTX was the first mAb way back in 1986…

    • The disappointment was not on him personally -he has offered more than enough at the MS research- but more of him as a representative of our knowledge on the cause of MS, from the Bcell percpective at least. He must be a fighter too, apart from a "nice man' to have manage to turn the research wheel of MS towards his ideas 🙂

      The Lemtrada issue is a hot question that scientists have to include to their research if they want to be relevant. Barts team's paper proves how on top of things they are.

      Like Adam, I too believe that Ocrevus is a scandal and not a revolution. The revolution happened with RTX and it was kept away from those who needed it in a vicious way. It would ease this scandal if at least O. could cross the BBB and make a real difference at the field of anti-cd20s. But no, O. is too little, too late (and too much…money).
      And researchers who take this scandal for granted, and do not address it enough, are falling from my respect. These researchers make it easier the same thing to happen in the future, to keep a drug away from those who need it because…this is how the game works. This job saves lives but also costs lives.

      Anyway there is a disappontment that the debate was not a burning one :/ And I don't thing this happened because they were two nice men, but rather because the answers are still inadequate…

  • "Pps. amazing to think RTX was the first mAb way back in 1986…"

    Yes in the talk SH said rituximab had 30 year history but…confused ?
    "Rituximab was approved for medical use in 1997.[4]"

    It's a shame SH and other nueros didn't apply any pressure or shame
    on genentech/Roche to license this drug 10 years earlier.
    How many went to wheelchairs or bedbound or worse in those 10 years.

    “It is a fake breakthrough…it’s shameless.”

    Langer-Gould speaks from an insider’s perspective: She used to work for Genentech (now owned by Roche) and helped conduct research on these drugs before going back into patient care. She said there is plenty of deliberate manipulation on the part of pharma marketing departments to curry positive media coverage (by crafting fake “breakthroughs,” etc

    But those compliments also could be applied to Rituxan, said Langer-Gould, who added that these “major therapeutic advances” actually happened more than a decade ago. But few benefited because Roche delayed Rituxan’s development and then eventually stopped it altogether. It’s misleading to paint Roche and its scientists as heroic now, she said.

    “When they stopped Rituxan’s development, it was the main reason I left Genentech,” she said. “I told them ‘you’re just withholding a highly effective treatment for MS patients for another decade’–and that is exactly what happened.”

    • Hi Adam 4.35 and Anon 4.21, yeah agreed re shelving of RTX for MS. Robbed us of an effective treatment for 10+ years 🙁

      Dates figure for rituximab from 1986 in mouse to 1997 FDA approval. I remember first learning about mAbs at uni in 1988 as 'drug targeting of the future'. Had no idea first was rituximab and even less of the future relevance to myself.



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