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Significance of neutralizing antibodies to interferon beta during treatment of multiple sclerosis: expert opinions based on the Proceedings of an International Consensus Conference


Prof. Hans-Peter Hartung, Department of Neurology, Heinrich-Heine University, Moorenstrasse 5, d-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany (tel.: +49 211 81 17880; fax: +49 211 81 1869; e-mail:


On August 30, 2002, an international panel of neurologists who specialize in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) was convened in Paris (France) to discuss the issue of neutralizing antibodies (NAb) to interferon beta (IFN-β) therapy in patients with MS. The goals of this meeting were to: (i) review the most recent clinical information on NAb, (ii) come to a consensus on the clinical relevance of NAb in the management of patients with MS receiving IFN-β therapy, and (iii) establish a framework for the development of patient management guidelines based on scientific consensus. The meeting was chaired by Hans-Peter Hartung (Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany) and Huub Schellekens (Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands). This article summarizes the opinions of the expert panel on a number of key issues raised at the meeting.

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