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ECTRIMS 2023 | Rituximab may be less effective in non-Caucasian patients with NMOSD

Torge Rempe, MD, PhD, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, discusses a single-center study that aimed to explore treatment responses in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), specifically those testing positive for AQP4 antibodies. A distinction was made between Caucasian (22 patients) and non-Caucasian (26 patients, predominantly African-American) patients. Results unveiled that non-Caucasian patients exhibited a younger age of onset (median age 29 vs. 48 in Caucasians) and had a higher treatment failure rate (42.9% vs. 13% in Caucasians) on rituximab therapy. Prof. Rempe emphasizes the unrepresentative nature of current clinical trial data, which predominantly features Caucasian participants. The study highlights the necessity for broader and diverse clinical trials to better understand treatment efficacy across different populations. This interview took place at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress 2023 in Milan, Italy.

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