Multiple sclerosis: Evaluation of treatment strategies


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 program compares effectiveness of the available disease-modifying 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.


  • A/Prof Tomas Kalincik, Project leader
  • Dr William Brown, Research fellow
  • Dr Johannes Lorscheider, Research associate
  • Dr Anna He, Research associate
  • Mr Nathaniel Lizak, research associate
  • Mr Jiah Wallace, Research associate


  • The MSBase collaboration
  • Teams at Charles University in Prague
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Bristol
  • University College Dublin
  • Dresden University of Technology
  • University of Copenhagen


  • NHMRC project grant 1083539, Treating progressive MS
  • NHMRC project grant 1129189, Precision treatment for multiple sclerosis
  • University of Melbourne
  • MSBase Fellowship
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society, UK programme grant

Research Outcomes

  1. Kalincik T, Jokubaitis V, Spelman T, Horakova D, Havrdova E, Trojano M, et al. on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (in press) Cladribine versus fingolimod, natalizumab and interferon β for multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler, accepted 19/07/2017
  2. Lorscheider J, Jokubaitis V, Spelman T, …Kalincik T, on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (in press) Anti-inflammatory disease modifying treatment and short-term disability progression in SPMS. Neurology, accepted 15/06/2017
  3. Kalincik T, Brown JWL, Robertson N, Willis M, Scolding N, Rice CM, et al. on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (2017) Comparison of alemtuzumab with natalizumab, fingolimod, and interferon beta for multiple sclerosis: a longitudinal study. Lancet Neurol 16(4):271-81
  4. Merkel B, Butzkueven H, Traboulsee AL, Havrdova E, Kalincik T. (2017) Timing of high-efficacy therapy in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: A systematic review. Autoimmun Rev 16(6):658-65
  5. Trojano M, Tintore M, Montalban X, Hillert J, Kalincik T, Iaffaldano P, et al. (2017) Treatment decisions in multiple sclerosis - insights from real-world observational studies. Nat Rev Neurol 13(2):115-118
  6. Lizak N, Lugaresi A, Alroughani R, …Kalincik T, on behalf of the MSBase Study Group (2017) Highly active immunomodulatory therapy ameliorates accumulation of disability in moderately advanced and advanced multiple sclerosis. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 88:196-203
  7. Kalincik T & Butzkueven H. (2016) Observational data: understanding the real MS world. Mult Scler 22(13):1642-8
  8. 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 (2016) Comparative  efficacy of  first-line natalizumab versus IFNβ or glatiramer acetate in relapsing-remitting MS. Neurology: Clinical Practice 6(2):102-115
  9. Kalincik T & Sormani MP (2017) Reporting treatment outcomes in observational data: a fine balance. Mult Scler 23(1):21-22
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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

CORe Unit (Clinical Outcomes Research Unit)

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

CORe Unit (Clinical Outcomes Research Unit)

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