Mark Freedman, MD: Precision Medicine in Multiple Sclerosis

March 24, 2019

The director of the multiple sclerosis research unit at Ottawa Hospital spoke about the need for clinicians to select the right patient for the right treatment in the MS clinic.

"We really are trying to focus on trying to be better for our patients and rather than roll the dice and pick a drug and see how it does, we are thinking we can do that in a more precise way."

At the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) 2019 Forum held in Dallas, Texas, Mark Freedman, MD, discussed precision medicine in the MS clinic and the importance of using the benefit:risk profile of a disease-modifying therapy and matching it to the benefit:risk tolerance of a patient.

The professor of neurology at the University of Ottawa, a senior scientist at the University of Ottawa, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, and director of the multiple sclerosis research unit at the Ottawa Hospital general campus, explained that the community has learned to prognosticate and identify those who may have a poorer outcome based on how they present with their disease, the first 1—2 years, and the evolution of their disease, and that those patients will probably warrant a more aggressive approach with drugs that have a higher risk but carry a higher efficacy. However, for those patients have a less worrisome disease, Freedman suggests using one of the safer drugs like teriflunomide as an oral or one of the injectables which can control low-level disease, but over time are a much safer option.

To dive deeper into this presentation and learn more about how the clinician community is using precision medicine, Freedman sat down with NeurologyLive for an exclusive interview.