Therapy-induced antibodies against interferon-β-1a and interferon-β-1b in patients with multiple sclerosis
Interferon-β (IFN-β) reduces the frequency and severity of clinical relapses, slows the progression of disability and suppresses the disease activity as seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A significant problem in relation to IFN therapy is the induction of anti-IFN antibodies, which in high concentrations have been correlated with a reduction in treatment response. However, there are still considerable controversies regarding the clinical importance of these antibodies. In controlled trials of IFN-β in multiple sclerosis (MS), frequencies of neutralizing antibodies in the range 6.9-42% have been reported in treated individuals, while binding antibodies have been reported more frequently.1-5 The immunogenicity of the various IFN-β preparations has been difficult to compare from the results of clinical trials, due to variations in study design and methodological differences in antibody analyses. The study reported here is the first randomized, controlled study of anti-IFN-β antibodies induced in MS patients treated with IFN-β-1a or IFN-β-1b.