Publications by authors named "Gianfranco Costantino"

7 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Nabiximols discontinuation rate in a large population of patients with multiple sclerosis: a 18-month multicentre study.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2020 09 13;91(9):914-920. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Department of Medical Sciences, Università degli Studi di Cagliari, Cagliari, Sardegna, Italy.

Introduction: Delta-δ-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (THC:CBD) oromucosal spray is used as an add-on therapy option for moderate to severe multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity resistant to other medications. Aims of this study were to provide real-life data on long-term clinical outcomes in a large population of Italian patients treated with THC:CBD and to evaluate predictors of THC:CBD therapy continuation.

Materials And Methods: This prospective observational multicentre Italian study screened all patients with MS consecutively included in the Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco e-registry at the start of THC:CBD treatment (baseline), after 4 weeks (T1), 12±3 weeks (T2), 24±3 weeks (T3), 48±3 weeks (T4) and 72±3 weeks (T5) from baseline.

Results: A total of 1845 patients were recruited from 32 MS Italian centres. At T1, 1502 (81.4%) of patients reached a Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) improvement of ≥20%, with an NRS reduction of 26.9% at T1 and of 34.4% at T5. At T5, 725 patients (48.3% of 1502) discontinued treatment with highest discontinuation rate at T2 and T3. Daily number of puffs was generally stable through the observation period. The multivariate analysis showed that higher NRS scores at baseline (OR 2.28, 95% CI 1.15 to 6.36, p<0.01) and higher differences of NRS between T0 and T1 (OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.08 to 8.26, p<0.05) were associated with an increased probability to continue therapy after 18 months.

Discussion: THC:CBD effects were sustained for 18 months with a relatively stable number of puffs per day. About 50% of patients abandoned THC:CBD therapy for loss of efficacy or adverse events.
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September 2020

Effects of THC/CBD oromucosal spray on spasticity-related symptoms in people with multiple sclerosis: results from a retrospective multicenter study.

Neurol Sci 2020 Oct 25;41(10):2905-2913. Epub 2020 Apr 25.

Institute of Neurology, University "Magna Graecia", Germaneto, Catanzaro, Italy.

Introduction: The approval of 9-δ-tetrahydocannabinol (THC)+cannabidiol (CBD) oromucosal spray (Sativex®) in Italy as an add-on medication for the management of moderate to severe spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS) has provided a new opportunity for MS patients with drug-resistant spasticity. We aimed to investigate the improvement of MS spasticity-related symptoms in a large cohort of patients with moderate to severe spasticity in daily clinical practice.

Materials And Methods: MS patients with drug-resistant spasticity were recruited from 30 Italian MS centers. All patients were eligible for THC:CBD treatment according to the approved label: ≥ 18 years of age, at least moderate spasticity (MS spasticity numerical rating scale [NRS] score ≥ 4) and not responding to the common antispastic drugs. Patients were evaluated at baseline (T0) and after 4 weeks of treatment (T1) with the spasticity NRS scale and were also asked about meaningful improvements in 6 key spasticity-related symptoms.

Results: Out of 1615 enrolled patients, 1432 reached the end of the first month trial period (T1). Of these, 1010 patients (70.5%) reached a ≥ 20% NRS score reduction compared with baseline (initial responders; IR). We found that 627 (43.8% of 1432) patients showed an improvement in at least one spasticity-related symptom (SRSr group), 543 (86.6%) of them belonging to the IR group and 84 (13.4%) to the spasticity NRS non-responders group.

Conclusion: Our study confirmed that the therapeutic benefit of cannabinoids may extend beyond spasticity, improving spasticity-related symptoms even in non-NRS responder patients.
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October 2020

Long-term follow-up of pediatric MS patients starting treatment with injectable first-line agents: A multicentre, Italian, retrospective, observational study.

Mult Scler 2019 03 24;25(3):399-407. Epub 2018 Jan 24.

Multiple Sclerosis Study Center, Gallarate Hospital, ASST Valle Olona, Via Eusebio Pastori 4, 21013 Gallarate, Italy.

Background: Few data are available on very long-term follow-up of pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) patients treated with disease modifying treatments (DMTs).

Objectives: To present a long-term follow-up of a cohort of Pediatric-MS patients starting injectable first-line agents.

Methods: Data regarding treatments, annualized relapse rate (ARR), Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, and serious adverse event were collected. Baseline characteristics were tested in multivariate analysis to identify predictors of disease evolution.

Results: In total, 97 patients were followed for 12.5 ± 3.3 years. They started therapy at 13.9 ± 2.1 years, 88 with interferons and 9 with copaxone. During the whole follow-up, 82 patients changed therapy, switching to immunosuppressors/second-line treatment in 58% of cases. Compared to pre-treatment phase, the ARR was significantly reduced during the first treatment (from 3.2 ± 2.6 to 0.7 ± 1.5, p < 0.001), and it remained low during the whole follow-up (0.3 ± 0.2, p < 0.001). At last observation, 40% had disability worsening, but EDSS score remained <4 in 89%. One patient died at age of 23 years due to MS. One case of natalizumab-related progressive multifocal encephalopathy (PML) was recorded. Starting therapy before 12 years of age resulted in a better course of disease in multivariate analysis.

Conclusion: Pediatric-MS patients benefited from interferons/copaxone, but the majority had to switch to more powerful drugs. Starting therapy before 12 years of age could lead to a more favorable outcome.
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March 2019

Sativex in resistant multiple sclerosis spasticity: Discontinuation study in a large population of Italian patients (SA.FE. study).

PLoS One 2017 1;12(8):e0180651. Epub 2017 Aug 1.

Department of Medical Sciences, Institute of Neurology-University "Magna Graecia", Catanzaro, Italy.

Background: The approval of Sativex for the management of multiple sclerosis (MS) spasticity opened a new opportunity to many patients. In Italy, the healthcare payer can be fully reimbursed by the involved pharma company with the cost of treatment for patients not responding after a 4 week (28 days) trial period (Payment by Results, PbR), and 50% reimbursed with the cost of 6 weeks (42 days) treatment for other patients discontinuing (Cost Sharing, CS). The aim of our study was to describe the Sativex discontinuation profile from a large population of spasticity treated Italian MS patients.

Methods: We collected data of patients from 30 MS centres across the country starting Sativex between January 2014 and February 2015. Data were collected from the mandatory Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) web-registry. Predictors of treatment discontinuation were assessed using a multivariate Cox proportional regression analysis.

Results: During the observation period 631 out of 1597 (39.5%) patients discontinued Sativex. The Kaplan-Meier estimates curve showed that 333 patients (20.8%) discontinued treatment at 4 weeks while 422 patients (26.4%) discontinued at 6 weeks. We found after adjusted modeling that a higher NRS score at T1 (adjHR 2.23, 95% 2.07-2.41, p<0.001) and a lower baseline NRS score (adjHR 0.51 95% CI 0.46-0.56, p<0.001) were predictive of treatment discontinuation.

Conclusion: These data show that the first 6 weeks are useful in identifying those patients in which Sativex could be effective, thus avoiding the cost of longer term evaluation.
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October 2017

Prognostic indicators in pediatric clinically isolated syndrome.

Ann Neurol 2017 May;81(5):729-739

Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Neurosciences, and Sense Organs, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy.

Objective: To assess prognostic factors for a second clinical attack and a first disability-worsening event in pediatric clinically isolated syndrome (pCIS) suggestive of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

Methods: A cohort of 770 pCIS patients was followed up for at least 10 years. Cox proportional hazard models and Recursive Partitioning and Amalgamation (RECPAM) tree-regression were used to analyze data.

Results: In pCIS, female sex and a multifocal onset were risk factors for a second clinical attack (hazard ratio [HR], 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.28, 1.06-1.55; 1.42, 1.10-1.84, respectively), whereas disease-modifying drug (DMD) exposure reduced this risk (HR, 95% CI = 0.75, 0.60-0.95). After pediatric onset MS (POMS) diagnosis, age at onset younger than 15 years and DMD exposure decreased the risk of a first Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)-worsening event (HR, 95% CI = 0.59, 0.42-0.83; 0.75, 0.71-0.80, respectively), whereas the occurrence of relapse increased this risk (HR, 95% CI = 5.08, 3.46-7.46). An exploratory RECPAM analysis highlighted a significantly higher incidence of a first EDSS-worsening event in patients with multifocal or isolated spinal cord or optic neuritis involvement at onset in comparison to those with an isolated supratentorial or brainstem syndrome. A Cox regression model including RECPAM classes confirmed DMD exposure as the most protective factor against EDSS-worsening events and relapses as the most important risk factor for attaining EDSS worsening.

Interpretation: This work represents a step forward in identifying predictors of unfavorable course in pCIS and POMS and supports a protective effect of early DMD treatment in preventing MS development and disability accumulation in this population. Ann Neurol 2017;81:729-739.
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May 2017

Fingolimod Treatment in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Prospective Observational Multicenter Postmarketing Study.

Mult Scler Int 2015 22;2015:763418. Epub 2015 Jul 22.

Department of Neurology, University of L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy.

Objective. The aim of this prospective observational multicenter postmarketing study was to evaluate fingolimod efficacy in a real world clinical setting. Methods. One hundred forty-two subjects with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) were enrolled in three multiple sclerosis centers throughout Central and Southern Italy between January 2011 and September 2013. After enrollment, regular visits and EDSS assessment were scheduled every 3 months, and MRI scan was obtained every 12 months. Patients were followed up from 1 to 33 months (mean 14.95 ± 9.15 months). The main efficacy endpoints included the proportion of patients free from clinical relapses, from disability progression, from magnetic resonance imaging activity, and from any disease activity. Results. Out of 142 patients enrolled in the study, 88.1% were free from clinical relapse and 69.0% were free from disability progression; 68.5% of patients remained free from new or newly enlarging T2 lesions and 81.7% of patients were free from gadolinium enhancing lesions. Overall the proportion of patients free from any disease activity was 41.9%. Conclusions. Our data in a real world cohort are consistent with previous findings that yield convincing evidence for the efficacy of fingolimod in patients with RRMS.
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August 2015

Cost-analysis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in Italy after the introduction of new disease-modifying agents.

Clin Drug Investig 2004 ;24(7):409-20

Department of Human Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Rome "La Sapienza", Rome, Italy.

Background And Objective: During the last decade, several agents have proven to be effective in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), for example interferon-beta (IFNβ) and glatiramer acetate. This study aimed to perform a cost-analysis of the treatment of patients with RRMS in Italy after the introduction of these new agents.

Study Design: This was a retrospective observational study with systematic patient inclusion.

Methods And Results: Data gathered from 630 patients with confirmed RRMS over a 2-year period were evaluated. Overall, the direct cost over 2 years reached €11 073 100 thousand, corresponding to a per-patient cost of €17 576 (year of costing, 2001). The cost of disease-modifying agents represented approximately 77% of the total expenditure. IFNβ accounted for 94% of the expense of disease-modifying agents, corresponding to a 2-year cost per patient of €20 223. Although glatiramer acetate and immunoglobulins were also associated with a high level of expense, these were prescribed in only 3.8% and 1.1% of patients, respectively. Using regression analyses, IFNβ therapy, disability, number of days spent in hospital per year and the frequency of magnetic resonance imaging procedures were the main predictors of total costs.

Conclusion: Based on the results of this study, IFNβ treatment considerably modified the management of RRMS and was associated with a rise in cost of treatment per patient.
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April 2012