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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb 04

Brain Sci



Safety of Fingolimod in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis Switched from Natalizumab: Results from TRANSITION-A 2-Year, Multicenter, Observational, Cohort Study.


Butzkueven H, Giacomini PS, Cohan S, Ziemssen T, Sienkiewicz D, Zhang Y, Geissbühler Y, Silva D, Tomic D, Kropshofer H, Trojano M
Brain Sci. 2022 Feb 04; 12(2).
PMID: 35203978.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients receiving natalizumab and who are at risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) often switch to other high-efficacy disease-modifying therapies including fingolimod as a risk mitigation strategy, which could impact treatment safety and effectiveness. The TRANSITION study aimed to evaluate the safety of fingolimod over two years in patients with MS after switching from natalizumab in a real-world setting. The safety and effectiveness were assessed by monitoring serious and other adverse events (SAEs, AEs). We assessed effectiveness by recording relapses, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores, and MRI activity. Of 637 patients enrolled, 505 completed the study (mean age, 42 years). Overall, 72.8% and 12.7% experienced AEs and SAEs respectively. The most common AEs were fatigue, headache, and urinary tract infection; no cases of PML were observed. Fingolimod treatment resulted in low disease activity. Patients with ≤8 weeks washout period had a markedly lower risk of relapses (4.5%) than those with >8 weeks (51.4%). In patients switching from natalizumab to fingolimod, no new safety signals with overall low relapse activity were observed in patients with washout latencies of ≤8 weeks before fingolimod initiation. Fingolimod was found to be safe and effective in patients transitioning from natalizumab.