Using genetics to predict who will respond to beta-interferon

Image shows a DNA strand

Professor Alastair Compston

University of Cambridge


About the project

Beta-interferon is a disease modifying drug (DMD) used to reduce the number of relapses that people with relapsing remitting MS experience. Some people respond well to beta-interferon, some people do not respond well, and others experience bad reactions to the drug.

This three year project will identify genes that help determine whether someone responds well to beta-interferon treatment. Professor Compston’s team will analyse blood samples from:

  • 100 people who respond well
  • 100 people who don’t respond well
  • 50 people who have experienced a bad reaction to beta-interferon

They will analyse participants’ genes to see if there is any way to predict who is likely to respond well to treatment.

How will it help people with MS?

We currently have no way of knowing whether somebody is likely to respond well to beta-interferon. We hope this research will eventually help people with MS and their doctors make more informed decisions about their treatment options.

The difference you can make

By supporting MS research you could help save people from months or even years of ineffective treatment and side effects.

Make a donation to help stop MS

The next research breakthrough is in reach. Your donation will help stop MS.

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£10could buy vital lab supplies for MS researchers, helping them find ways to stop MS faster

£20could pay for lab equipment like petri dishes to grow bacteria important for studying the genetics of MS

£30could process one blood sample, giving us crucial information about genes that could lead to treatment breakthroughs

Every penny you give really does take us a step closer to stopping MS. Your donation will make a difference.

  • Please enter an amount

£10a month could pay for lab equipment like microscope slides to study the building blocks of MS

£20a month could pay for lab equipment like petri dishes to grow bacteria important for studying genetics

£30a month could process a blood sample to help us understand what causes MS, so we can stop it in its tracks

Your regular donation means we can keep funding world class MS research with confidence. Together we will stop MS.

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