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Mult Scler. 2005 Oct;11(5):573-82.

A randomized blinded trial of combination therapy with cyclophosphamide in patients-with active multiple sclerosis on interferon beta.

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Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.



To evaluate the efficacy and safety of combination therapy with pulse cyclophosphamide given with methylprednisolone (MP) and interferon beta (IFNbeta)-Ia in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with active disease during IFNbeta monotherapy.


This was a randomized, single-blind, parallel-group, multicenter trial in MS patients with a history of active disease during IFNbeta treatment. Patients were randomized to either cyclophosphamide 800 mg/m2 plus methylprednisolone 1 g IV (CY/MP) or methylprednisolone once a month for six months and then followed for an additional 18 months. All patients received three days of methylprednisolone 1 g IV at screening and 30 mcg IFNbeta-Ia IM weekly for the entire 24 months. The primary endpoint was change from baseline in the mean number of gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) lesions. Secondary clinical endpoints included time to treatment failure.


Fifty-nine patients were randomized to treatment: 30 to CY/MP and 29 to MP Change from baseline in the number of Gd+ lesions was significantly different between treatment groups at three (P =0.01), six (P =0.04) and 12 months (P =0.02), with fewer lesions in the CY/MP group. The cumulative rate of treatment failure was significantly lower in the CY/MP group compared with the MP group (rate ratio =0.30; 95% confidence interval, 0.12-0.75; P =0.011). CY/MP treatment was well tolerated.


Combination therapy with CY/MP and IFNbeta-Ia decreased the number of Gd+ lesions and slowed clinical activity in patients with previously active disease on IFNbeta alone.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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