(HealthDay News) – Serum levels of interleukin 17F (IL-17F) during early treatment of multiple sclerosis with interferon beta are not associated with responsiveness to treatment, although levels >200pg/mL may predict lack of response, according to a study published online June 3 in JAMA Neurology.

Noting that high serum levels of IL-17F at baseline have been associated with a poor response to interferon beta in patients with multiple sclerosis, Hans-Peter Hartung, MD, from Heinrich-Heine-Universität in Düsseldorf, Germany, and colleagues measured serum levels of IL-17F in 239 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis who had been treated with interferon beta-1b for ≥2 years.

The researchers found no correlation between IL-17F levels at baseline and at six months and lack of response to treatment after two years. Baseline IL-17F levels were also not associated with relapses and new lesions on magnetic resonance imaging. The presence of neutralizing antibodies had no effect. However, levels of IL-17F >200pg/mL were associated with poor response.

“These data do not support the value of IL-17F as a treatment response indicator for therapy of patients with multiple sclerosis with interferon beta, although high levels of IL-17F >200pg/mL may predict non-responsiveness,” Hartung and colleagues conclude.

The study was funded by Bayer; several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Bayer.

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