The panel provided recommendations focusing on appropriate patient selection and patient management. The recommendations, which recognize the significant efficacy of TYSABRI and the need to adequately treat patients who exhibit continued disease activity, are based on U.S. prescribing information and the panel's vast clinical experience in treating MS patients with TYSABRI. Recommendations not only take into account the need to adequately treat patients who exhibit continued disease activity, but also the need to weigh the treatment's benefit with potential risks.
"These best-practice approaches have been developed to ensure appropriate use of this highly-effective therapy, especially with MS patients who present with continued disease activity," said Patricia K. Coyle, MD, professor and acting chair, department of neurology, Stony Brook University Medical Center and, director, Stony Brook MS Comprehensive Care Center, Stony Brook, New York. "The benefits of TYSABRI are evident in that it can significantly reduce relapse rates, improve cognitive and physical disability and provide freedom from disease activity for many patients, when measured by clinical and radiological measures."
One of the expert panel's recommendations encourages earlier and more rapid transition from first-line treatment to TYSABRI. The recommendations also seek to lower the threshold with physicians for treating unacceptable disease activity seen in their patients. According to the panel, factors such as the nature and frequency of relapses, the location of new or unresolved MRI lesions, MRI activity in the spinal cord, rapid or persistent changes in physical disability and functional deficits in cognition should be evaluated and weighed when determining the appropriate patients to treat with TYSABRI.