Ocrelizumab Effective in Diverse Populations, Cladribine Safe After Switching DMTs, High Rates of Burnout for MS Physicians

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Neurology News Network for the week ending June 1, 2024. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

Welcome to this special edition of Neurology News Network. I’m Marco Meglio. This week’s episode is centered around the 2024 CMSC Annual Meeting.

New findings from the phase 4 CHIMES (NCT04377555) trial showed effective control of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity among Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino patients with relapsing MS after 1 year of ocrelizumab (Ocrevus; Genentech) treatment. The data was consistent with safety findings from prior studies and suggest that ocrelizumab is a suitable treatment for this diverse patient population. In the analysis, approximately half of Black/African American patients with RMS (46.0%) and more than half of Hispanic/Latino patients with RMS (58.0%) achieved 48-week no evidence of disease activity (NEDA) following treatment with ocrelizumab. A majority of the Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino patients with RMS reported no relapses (94.7%; 95.7%, respectively), 24-week confirmed disability progression (94.7%; 94.2%, respectively), or T1 gadolinium-enhancing lesions (94.7%; 97.1%, respectively).

Findings from a single-center, real-world cohort of older patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) showed that cladribine (Mavenclad; EMD Serono) was safe and well tolerated for a 2-year period after switching from a previous disease-modifying therapy (DMT). These data appear encouraging, as an aging population often faces increased comorbid conditions. Cladribine was well tolerated, with lymphopenia, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, fatigue, and headache occurring in less than 5% of both the full cohort (n = 75) and a subgroup of those older than 50 (n = 40).

New findings from a small sample survey presented at the 2024 CMSC Annual Meeting, held May 29 to June 2, revealed high rates of burnout and job stress among physicians treating patients with MS in the United States (US), while providing key insights into the sources of stress and burnout in the field.1 The hope is that these insights can help facilitate systemic changes to support MS physicians to offer the quality care for their patients. Among 115 (85%) of the total respondents (n = 136) who completed the survey, 50% responded that they were burned out or beginning to experience burnout, and 52% of respondents reported great job stress. According to the Mini Z scoring system, 74% of respondents cited electronic medical records (EMRs) as a source of frustration. In the survey, 61% reported a high degree of EMR-related stress, 60% responded that time for documentation was marginal or poor, and 59% noted that time spent at home on EMR was moderately high or excessive.

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