Peter Calabresi, MD: Clinically Validating Neurofilament Light

October 16, 2018

One of the highly debated topics at ECTRIMS 2018 was the use of the investigational biomarker, neurofilament light, in the clinic.

“In MS, we know some people will end up in a wheelchair in 5 or 10 years, and other people can go 40 years and you wouldn’t know they had MS by looking at them walking across the street. When you’re dealing with a disease like that, that presents in the 20s and 30s, you would really benefit from some prognostic biomarker to say you’re having damage to your nervous system and need to go on aggressive therapy.”

At the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Berlin, Germany, one of the highly debated topics was the use of the investigational biomarker, neurofilament light, in the clinic.

While the biomarker already has an easily available and reproducible assay, its use in clinical practice has yet to be validated. Although, for Peter Calabresi, MD, the director of the Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Center, it appears that it may be on its way toward validation. He and colleagues have assessed the biomarker and its presentation during the use of disease-modifying therapies, as well as to see how it correlates with other measures of disease activity. Thus far, it has shown positive results.

Calabresi sat with NeurologyLive on-site in Berlin to speak about the ongoing discussion and current knowledge about the use of neurofilament light, as well as his thoughts on its potential in the space.

Specifically, the professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins mentioned that its potential to provide prognostic information about damage to the central nervous system could be hugely beneficial to physicians treating patients with multiple sclerosis, as the disease is heterogenous, and can vary widely from patient to patient.