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NASHVILLE -- Among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients experiencing breakthrough disease on standard-dose once-a-week interferon beta 1-a (IFN-1α), switching to twice-weekly dosing may offer advantages, a researcher reported here.

More than half of patients with breakthrough disease and adequate follow-up (26/52 patients) who were switched to twice-weekly treatment had no further clinical relapses, new T2 lesions, or enhanced lesions on MRI, or worsening of Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) during at least 14 months (range 14 to 192 months) of follow-up, according to Robert Baumhefner, MD, of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System.

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“I have known one family so far where the husband died of appendiceal cancer at age 27 — a cancer so rare there are only six known cases of appendiceal cancer in the world right now,” she said. “Another family, he died at the age of 35. These cancers are taking them at 20, 30, 40 years old. We should be giving them the specialized care they need beforehand, not paying their widows after they’re dead.”

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