SIR supports research new interventional treatment for MS

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The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) has announced its support for clinical research to determine the safety and effectiveness of interventional treatments for patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) through a position statement published in the September edition of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.

According to SIR, research priorities for investigators, funding agencies and the MS community advocates should include the completion of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency and interventional MS treatment studies. Currently being studied is the endovascular treatment of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, noted SIR President James F. Benenati, MD, in the statement. "The idea that there may be a venous component to the etiology of some symptoms in patients with MS is a radical departure from current medical thinking," he said.

SIR said it will move forward to develop necessary studies by bringing together expert researchers in image-guided venous interventions, neurology, central nervous system imaging, MS outcomes assessment and clinical trial methodology, the statement offered. "SIR recognizes the challenge and the potential opportunity presented by promising early studies of an interventional approach to the treatment of MS.”

The statement--which also is endorsed by the Canadian Interventional Radiology Association--posited that the use of any treatment, including anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, interventional or other methods in MS patients should be based on an individualized assessment of the patient's disease status, his or her tolerance of previous therapies, the particular treatment's scientific plausibility, as well as the strength and methodological quality of its supporting clinical evidence.

Likewise, for MS patients in whom interventional therapy is deemed effective, physicians with specialized expertise and training in delivering image-guided venous treatments should administer the treatment, according to the society. 

However, when there is inconclusive evidence regarding appropriate treatment for the patient, “SIR believes that these often difficult decisions are best made by individual patients, their families and their physicians," the paper stated.