by Prof. Massimo Filippi
The annual congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) offers a great opportunity for all researchers, clinicians and people with multiple sclerosis (MS) to meet each other and get up to date with the most recent and relevant advances in knowledge in different fields of MS.
This year, at the upcoming 37th ECTRIMS congress, the ECTRIMS-EAN Session, chaired by Profs. Massimo Filippi, Mar Tintoré, Maria Pia Amato and Celia Oreja-Guevara, will discuss two key aspects of MS management: the consensus regarding vaccinations in people with MS and the updated guidelines for MS treatment.
People with MS are often at increased risk of infections compared to the general population due to their clinical disability, the presence of comorbidities and the use of therapies that suppress or modulate their immune systems. Accordingly, to prevent some severe infections and their complications, people with MS should be vaccinated. However, several concerns, increased following the recent COVID-19 pandemic, have been raised regarding the efficacy and the safety of vaccinations in these patients.
In the first section of the ECTRIMS-EAN Session, Prof. Sandra Vukusic will discuss current evidence of safety and immunogenicity of vaccinations in people with MS. Then, Dr. Susana Otero-Romero will describe the recommended standards and protocols for vaccinations in these patients. Finally, Dr. Mauricio Farez will summarise the current position regarding COVID-19 vaccinations.
During the last few years, the therapeutic scenario for MS has undergone a dramatic evolution. This has been made possible thanks to the introduction of more and more effective treatments and the demonstration that these drugs, especially if started early, can substantially impact the prognosis of people with MS. Beside this, an accurate definition of treatment responders and a careful monitoring of treatment-related adverse effects are very much necessary.
These aspects will be the topic of the second section of the ECTRIMS-EAN Session. First, Dr. Simón Cárdenas-Robledo will provide a methodological overview regarding how guidelines can be developed and finalised. Then, Prof. Xavier Montalban will wisely summarise the 2021 update of the ECTRIMS/EAN Clinical Guidelines on the treatment of people with MS. These will represent a milestone for management of MS in the upcoming years.
We will be happy to see you there and I hope a great number of participants will attend this very important session on Friday, October 15, 2021, at 15:00-16:30h CEST.