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CentraState Joins National Trial of Breakthrough Multiple Sclerosis Medication

By |2020-03-27T11:50:31-04:00April 28th, 2017|

As part of its commitment to providing the most advanced care for multiple sclerosis (MS), the Linda E. Cardinale MS Center at CentraState regularly participates in nationwide clinical studies of new treatments. The center is currently among the sites across the country enrolling patents in clinical trials of ocrelizumab, a new medication researchers are hopeful will prove to be a leap forward in the treatment of MS.

In earlier nationwide trials, the medication nearly cut in half the relapse rate in patients with relapsing-remitting MS — the most common form of the disease — compared with existing medications. It also significantly slowed the progression of disability among patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

“This medication has the potential to be a breakthrough in the treatment of primary progressive MS, as there are currently no other treatments available,” says Amos Katz, MD, medical director of the MS Center. “While there are more than a dozen medications available for relapsing-remitting MS, this new drug appears to be more effective and convenient, requiring only two intravenous injections per year.”

A Multifaceted Disease

MS is a chronic, debilitating disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range in severity and include weakness, numbness, tingling in the limbs, problems with balance and vision, and mental and emotional difficulties.

Ocrelizumab is designed to stop the immune system from attacking myelin, a fatty substance that protects nerve fibers, in patients with MS.

“We opened a trial at CentraState last March that focuses on patients with relapsing-remitting MS who have not responded well to prior treatments,” says Shari Adams, CCRP, research clinician at CentraState. “We continue recruiting interested patients who meet the trial’s enrollment criteria.”

A Regional MS Center

As one of only a handful of centers in New Jersey dedicated solely to MS, the MS Center at CentraState strives to offer patients access to as wide a range of clinical trials as possible.

“We probably have about 12 to 15 clinical trials going on at any given time,“ says Jayne Craig, PhD, RN, manager of clinical and nursing research at CentraState. “Our MS Center has a large patient population, so medical and pharmaceutical companies often seek us out when they are opening new studies and looking for sites to enroll patients.”

In addition to medical therapy, under the supervision of board-certified neurologists who specialize in MS, the MS Center offers comprehensive care, including diagnostic testing, physical therapy, nutrition counseling, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

Receive more information about CentraState’s MS services by calling 866-CENTRA7 (866-236-8727). To learn more about the trial, contact CentraState’s clinical research office at 732-294-2558.

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