Studies to Understand CCSVI
Many studies are underway to understand CCSVI and its relation to MS. These include seven studies initiated in 2010 by the National MS Society and MS Society of Canada, carrying out significant steps needed to confirm the phenomenon originally described by Dr. Paolo Zamboni and resolve questions raised by him and others as to whether CCSVI is a cause of MS or related to MS in some other manner. These studies will also provide information on how frequently CCSVI occurs in MS, how often it occurs in people who do not have MS, and the best methods to use to detect vein blockages. The findings will also speed the way to determining whether therapeutic trials to correct blockages will be helpful in improving or altering the MS disease process.
The Relationship Between CCSVI and MS
Adding clarity to the relationship between CCSVI and MS is essential in assisting people with MS secure any treatment they may consider. Medical institutions and health care providers require research data confirming the validity, necessity and safety of any procedure they provide, and in their view that data is not yet available as it relates to the relationship between CCSVI and MS.
Research Continues Worldwide
In addition to seven studies supported through a collaboration between the National MS Society and the MS Society of Canada, the MS Society of Italy announced in June 2010 its intentions of supporting a 900,000 euro epidemiology study of CCSVI involving 1500 people with MS, bringing the international commitment of the MS Societies pursuing the CCSVI lead to nearly $3.4 million.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) announced in April 2012 that after a rigorous peer review process, a research team has been chosen to conduct a phase I/II clinical trial to determine the safety of venous angioplasty and obtain evidence on patient outcomes in people with MS. This announced clinical trial is a collaborative initiative between the CIHR and the MS Society of Canada. The CIHR has indicated that the names and location of the chosen Canadian team will be announced after the researchers obtain their required ethics approval from relevant institutional research ethics board(s). Read more.
A working group which includes members of the seven teams being funded by MS Societies in the U.S. and Canada has been providing leadership and advice in the drafting of the protocol for the Phase I/II clinical trial in Canada, and will continue to monitor and analyze the data from the seven studies and other studies related to CCSVI and MS around the world.
It has also been reported that Dr. Zamboni is in the process of developing a randomized clinical trial comparing disease modifying therapy with and without balloon venoplasty.
The U.S. and Canadian MS Societies are working with the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation and other MS Societies from around the world to ensure coordination of information and to share research data from ongoing work that is underway around the world – further speeding progress.