Robert J. Fox, MD: Neurofilament Light as a Biomarker of Treatment Response


The staff neurologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis spoke about the current understanding of the biomarker.

“What we’ve found is that therapies that decrease active inflammation in multiple sclerosis also decrease neurofilament.”

One of the biggest unmet needs in multiple sclerosis care are biomarkers to evaluate the medicines used to treat the condition. With more than a dozen available therapies, choosing between them has become difficult, and determining the success of any given therapy is increasingly important.

At the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Berlin, Germany, Robert J. Fox, MD, a staff neurologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis, spoke with NeurologyLive about the potential of one biomarker, neurofilament light, to do just that.

When neurons are damaged, neurofilament is released into the spinal fluid, as well as, eventually, the blood—making it an easy to assess marker. Fox provided insight on the current knowledge of the biomarker’s ability to inform clinicians of the success of disease-modifying therapies, as well as how these therapies interact with neurofilament.

Fox added that thus far, findings with anti-inflammatory therapies have suggested that there may be a use for this biomarker to follow current patients’ response to available therapies.

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