Neutralizing Antibodies in Korean Multiple Sclerosis Patients Treated with Interferon-Beta: Preliminary Study
Jae-Won Hyun, MD, Byungsoo Kong, PhD, AeRan Joung, RN, In Hye Jeong, MD, Su-Hyun Kim, MD,
Department of Neurology, Research Institute and Hospital of National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
Background: Patients treated with interferon-beta (IFN-β) can develop neutralizing antibodies (NAB)
against IFN-β, which negatively affect its therapeutic responses. We aimed to investigate prevalence
of NAB and to evaluate the impact of NAB on the treatment response of IFN-β in Korean patients
with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Methods: This was a single center, retrospective study of MS patients treated with subcutaneous
IFN-β-1a and IFN-β-1b in Korea. Patients with MS who were treated with IFN-β at least for 6 months
were enrolled. Sera, which were not influenced by acute treatment for MS, were tested for NAB using
the luciferase reporter gene assay.
Results: A total of 96 MS patients were enrolled. NAB were found in 28 (29%) patients at the single
test; 23 of 66 (35%) patients treated with subcutaneous IFN-β-1b and 5 of 30 (17%) patients treated
with subcutaneous IFN-β-1a. The frequency of NAB positivity was highest (n＝18, 39%) in patients
treated with IFN-β for 12 to 24 months. Until now, 20 of 28 patients with NAB were tested at two different
time points to confirm the persistent positivity of NAB. Of 20 patients with NAB at the single
test, 11 patients showed persistent positivity of NAB and 8 of them (73%) revealed disease activity
before and after 6 months of NAB positivity. In contrast, 3 of 9 patients (33%) who showed transient
positivity of NAB showed disease activity.
Conclusions: The current study is ongoing to confirm the clinical implication of persistent positivity
and titers of NAB in the multi-center cohort.
Journal of Multiple Sclerosis 7(1):9-13, 2016