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New therapies are being evaluated by clinical trials and, if efficacious, introduced for the treatment of adult MS. The role of these new and existing agents in the management of pediatric MS has yet to be defined. Pediatric investigation plans are now required by the Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency for approval of new biological agents, providing an important opportunity to gather much-needed data for clinicians caring for children and adolescents with MS. However, challenges include the small number of patients, and the need for efficient yet comprehensive study designs incorporating factors necessary to inform the clinical care of children with MS. The elected Steering committee of the International Pediatric MS Study Group (IPMSSG) conducted a structured review of existing data on the disease-modifying therapies in pediatric MS and developed a consensus statement, which was further modified by the IPMSSG general membership, using an online survey tool. Fifty-one IPMSSG members from 21 countries responded to the survey, and 50 approved the final statement. Consensus recommendations regarding use of existing first- and second-line therapies, as well as a proposed definition for inadequate treatment response, are presented. Recommendations for the use and evaluation of emerging therapies (currently in phase III clinical trials or recently approved for adult MS) are discussed. The IPMSSG endorses the inclusion of pediatric MS patients in trials evaluating appropriate new and emerging therapies. Mechanisms for conducting high-impact, multicenter studies, including long-term follow-up in pediatric MS, are required to ensure that all MS patients, irrespective of age, benefit from advances in MS therapeutics.
Stony Brook University Hospital
101 Nicolls Road Stony Brook, NY 11794