Gianmarco Abbadessa, MD, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy, explores the complexities of utilizing anti-CD20 therapy in the management of multiple sclerosis (MS). While ocrelizumab is recognized for its efficacy in reducing disease activity and impacting disease progression, its administration currently follows a fixed schedule and dosage. Dr Abbadessa underscores the lack of understanding about the potential immune reconstitution effects of the therapy and whether or when it might be appropriate to halt its administration. B-cell kinetics is highlighted as a crucial biomarker for monitoring patients and guiding treatment decisions. The recent COVID-19 pandemic inadvertently offered insights as patients experienced delayed treatments. Notably, extended dosing intervals appeared not to compromise treatment efficacy, although some MRI activity disparities were observed. Dr Abbadessa emphasizes the pressing need for research to address when and how to potentially modify, extend, or halt anti-CD20 treatment regimens. 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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Personal compensation from Janssen and Merck for traveling and advisory boards.