The primary purpose is to determine the changes in gene expression induced by IFNb-1a
(Rebif) and atorvastatin (Lipitor) combination therapy in patients with an isolated clinical
syndrome suggestive of multiple sclerosis (MS), to identify markers of therapeutic response,
and to predict patients' clinical response based on their in vitro response to this
combination therapy measured by the gene expression levels in activated peripheral blood
mononuclear cells (PBMCs).
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurologic disease, characterized pathologically by
focal areas of inflammation, demyelination, axonal injury and degeneration in the central
nervous system. MS follows several different disease courses. Approximately, 90% of
patients have a relapsing form of the disease. We propose that atorvastatin (Lipitor) may
enhance the immunomodulatory effects of INFb-1a (Rebif) in patients with clinically isolated
neurological syndrome suggestive of MS. This combination may be more effective in
preventing development of definitive relapsing-remitting MS if administered early in the
course of the disease. The study will identify markers of disease activity that are
selectively affected by this combination therapy. Identified markers may be used in future
clinical trials to predict patient's clinical response and to monitor the response to
treatment as a secondary outcome measure.
- Patients with isolated clinical syndrome suggestive of MS
- At least three out of four magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings on the initial
- One Gd-enhancing lesion or nine T2 hyperintense lesions;
- At least one infratentorial lesion;
- At least one juxtacortical lesion; and
- At least three periventricular lesions.
- Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 0-5.5
- 18 to 60 years of age
- At least one relapse in previous 12 months
- Patients with a diagnosis of clinically definitive relapsing-remitting (RR) MS,
secondary progressive, or primary progressive MS.
- Patients who have ever been treated with mitoxantrone, cytoxan, cyclophosphamide, or
total lymphoid irradiation (TLI).
- Patients treated with IFNb-1a, IFNb-1b, glatiramer acetate, intravenous
immunoglobulins (IVIg), plasma exchange, methotrexate, or azathioprine in the
previous 3 months.
- Patients treated with intravenous or oral steroids within 30 days prior to baseline
- Patients who have been treated with statins in the previous 3 months.
- Pregnant or breast-feeding women.
- Patients with a history of severe cardiac, hepatic, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, or
- Abnormal baseline blood tests including alanine transaminase (ALT) or aspartate
transaminase (AST) greater than twice the upper limit of normal