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ECTRIMS 2023 | A PML risk genetic test to identify at-risk patients on natalizumab

Eli Hatchwell, MA MB BChir (Cantab) DPhil (Oxon) BA (OU), Population Bio, Oxfordshire, UK, highlights the introduction of a diagnostic panel for assessing the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in patients. Consisting of four genetic variants across different genes, the test helps categorize patients into risk categories, with those testing positive having ten times the risk of developing PML. This complex disorder, associated with JC virus replication, poses a significant risk to certain MS drug users, most notably with natalizumab. However, Dr Hatchwell underscores the challenge as only a fraction of JC virus-positive patients develop PML. The newly developed test, available for free via PMLrisktest.org, aspires to offer a precision-based approach, aiding patients and clinicians in drug selection. 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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