Comparative evaluation of different treatment strategies in multiple sclerosis

Project Details

The results of randomised clinical trials provide key evidence for regulatory approvals of disease modifying drugs in multiple sclerosis. However, evidence-based long-term clinical management of multiple sclerosis can only come from expertly conducted cohort studies. Two themes are of particular importance to neurologists and their patients: A comprehensive head-to-head evaluation of the available disease modifying therapies and the role of the available disease modifying therapies in different pathways of disease management.

This project compares effectiveness of the available disease modifyiing therapies for multiple sclerosis in the context of the whole patient population, including patients typically excluded from clinical trials. Furthermore, it investigates the interactions between disease/patient characteristics and the effectiveness of different DMTs. Finally, it examines management strategies common in real-world clinical practice but typically omitted from the design of clinical trials, such as treatment switch or discontinuation.


  • Dr Tomas Kalincik, project leader
  • Dr Bernd Merkel, postdoctoral fellow
  • Mr Nathaniel Lizak, research associate


  • MSBase collaborators (117 MS centre in 35 countries), team at Charles University in Prague


  • NHMRC project grant 108353, Treating progressive MS.
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society, UK programme grant, Does early treatment with fingolimod or natalizumab improve the prognosis for people with multiple sclerosis?
  • University of Melbourne Research Fellowship.

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Outcomes

  1. Spelman T, Kalincik T, Jokubaitis V, Zhang A, Pellegrini F, Wiendl H et al., on behalf of the MSBase Study Group and the TOP investigators (in press) Comparative  efficacy of  first-line natalizumab versus IFN beta or glatiramer acetate in relapsing-remitting MS. Neurology: Clinical Practice
  2. Kalincik T & Sormani MP (in press) Reporting treatment outcomes in observational data: a fine balance. Mult Scler
  3. Warrender-Sparkes M, Spelman T, Izquierdo G, ... Kalincik T* and Jokubaitis V*, on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (2016) The effect of oral immunomodulatory therapy on treatment uptake and persistence in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler 22(4):520-32
  4. Spelman T, Kalincik T, Zhang A, Pellegrini F, Wiendl H, Kappos L, et al., on behalf of the MSBase and TOP investigators (2015) Comparative efficacy of switching to natalizumab in active multiple sclerosis. Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2(4):373-87
  5. Kalincik T, Horakova D, Spelman T, Jokubaitis V, Trojano M, Lugaresi A, et al., on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (2015) Switch to natalizumab vs fingolimod in active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol 77(3):425-35
  6. He A, Spelman T, Jokubaitis VG, Havrdova E, Horakova D, . . . Kalincik T, on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (2015). Comparison of switch to fingolimod or interferon beta/glatiramer acetate in active multiple sclerosis. JAMA Neurology 72(4):405-413
  7. Kalincik T, Jokubaitis V, Izquierdo G, Duquette P, Girard M, Grammond P, et al., on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (2015) Comparative effectiveness of glatiramer acetate and interferon beta formulations in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler 21(9):1159-71
  8. Kalincik T, Spelman T, Trojano M, Duquette P, Izquierdo G et al., on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (2013) Persistence on therapy and propensity matched outcome comparison of two subcutaneous interferon beta 1a dosages for multiple sclerosis. PLoS One 8:e63480

Research Group

Multiple Sclerosis Outcomes and Prognostics Team

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology

Unit / Centre

Multiple Sclerosis Outcomes and Prognostics Team