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Update: Canadian Government Chooses Research Team to Conduct Clinical Trial to Treat CCSVI

April 18, 2012

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) announced 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. 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).

The selection of the clinical trial research team follows the CIHR’s release of a Request for Proposals that sought grant applications from researchers to conduct an early-phase clinical trial in Canada to test the ability of a surgical procedure called balloon venoplasty to improve blood drainage in individuals with MS who have been identified as having CCSVI (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency). This announced clinical trial is a collaborative initiative between the CIHR and the MS Society of Canada.

Currently, there have been conflicting reports about whether and to what extent CCSVI impacts MS disease activity. Although some individuals who have MS have undergone this surgical procedure, there has not yet been a controlled trial to determine its effectiveness or safety.

The National MS Society shares in the public urgency to advance the understanding of CCSVI as quickly as possible. To build understanding of CCSVI, seven studies (link to Jun 11, 2010 news article) were launched on July 1, 2010 with a more than $ 2.4 million commitment from the MS Society of Canada and the U.S. National MS Society.

“Our funded CCSVI researchers have been serving on the scientific working group that is advising the CIHR on CCSVI and on aspects of the design of the clinical trial,” noted Dr. Timothy Coetzee, Chief Research Officer of the U.S. National MS Society. “The findings from the seven projects, and what we expect to be a well-designed clinical trial, will help determine next steps.”

Read the 18-month progress reports from the seven multi-disciplinary teams investigating CCSVI in MS.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.


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