Shifting Toward Precision Care in Multiple Sclerosis Using Disease Activity Tests and Serum Biomarkers: Michael Y. Sy, MD, PhD


The associate professor of clinical neurology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, discussed the use of a multiple sclerosis disease activity test and serum biomarkers in improving the landscape of care for patients. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"The shift towards precision personalized care in multiple sclerosis is an exciting development, thanks to fluid biomarkers like the MSDA test, enabling proactive treatment strategies. While MSDA testing offers a panel of 18 different biomarkers, challenges remain in terms of data predictability, patient outliers, and the impact of other variables on the test outcomes."

In the clinical management of multiple sclerosis (MS), patients try to achieve no evidence of disease activity, meaning that the patients experience no clinical relapses, no MRI disease activity, and no disability worsening. Although MRI is an essential tool that is widely accessible for clinicians to monitor clinically silent MS, the standard radiology reports are qualitative and may be insensitive to new or enlarging lesions.1 Therefore, there is the need for expanding the number of tools for diagnosis MS such as with serum biomarkers and other tests like Octave’s MS Disease Activity (MSDA) assessment.

At MSMilan 2023, the 9th Joint ECTRIMS-ACTRIMS meeting, held October 11–13, in Milan, Italy, Michael Y. Sy, MD, PhD, associate professor of clinical neurology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, spoke in a session focused on precision medicine. In the talk session, Sy and colleagues discussed the lessons that they learned in their clinical practice with delivering precision medicine to patients with MS. The session was sponsored by Octave and featured other speakers including Barry Singer, MD, and Mitzi Joi Williams, MD, among others.

Recently, Sy sat down with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to discuss the function of the MSDA and why serum biomarkers have the potential to revolutionize the care of patients with MS. Additionally, Sy spoke on how their early impact may affect clinical decision-making. He talked about the shift from population-based healthcare to personalized, precision care facilitated by fluid biomarkers like the MSDA test. Sy also spoke about the challenges and uncertainties associated with MSDA testing, such as predictability, patient outliers, and external variables affecting test outcomes.

Click here for more coverage of MSMilan 2023.

1. Barnett M, Wang D, Beadnall H, et al. A real-world clinical validation for AI-based MRI monitoring in multiple sclerosis. NPJ Digit Med. 2023;6(1):196. Published 2023 Oct 19. doi:10.1038/s41746-023-00940-6

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