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Active Clinical Trials

Traditional Versus Early Aggressive Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis Trial (TREAT-MS)

Active NCT:
Allegheny General Hospital
Allegheny General Hospital

Brain and Nerve
Johns Hopkins University

For more information, please contact Mary Fetter at 412-359-4856 or

Traditional Versus Early Aggressive Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis (Treat-Ms) Trial


FDA-approved multiple sclerosis (MS) disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) target the relapsing phase of MS but have minimal impact once the progressive phase has begun. It is unclear if, in the relapsing phase, there is an advantage of early aggressive therapy with respect to preventing long-term disability. The infectious risks and other complications associated with higher-efficacy treatments highlight the need to quantify their effectiveness in preventing disability.

The TRaditional versus Early Aggressive Therapy for MS (TREAT-MS) trial is a pragmatic, randomized controlled trial that has two primary aims: 1) to evaluate, jointly and independently among patients deemed at higher risk vs. lower risk for disability accumulation, whether an "early aggressive" therapy approach, versus starting with a traditional, first-line therapy, influences the intermediate-term risk of disability, and 2) to evaluate if, among patients deemed at lower risk for disability who start on first-line MS therapies but experience breakthrough disease, those who switch to a higher-efficacy versus a new first-line therapy have different intermediate-term risk of disability.

Ages Eligible for Study:  18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)

Sexes Eligible for Study:  All

Accepts Healthy Volunteers:  No

Inclusion Criteria:

Aged 18-60 years

Meets 2017 McDonald criteria for relapsing-remitting MS [patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) are not eligible]

Must be EITHER John Cunningham (JC) virus antibody negative or low positive (index antibody titer <0.9), OR negative for: Hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis

HIV negative

No chemotherapy in past year; if patient has prior history of chemotherapy or malignancy, documentation in chart explaining why potential risks of higher-efficacy therapy are justified

Exclusion Criteria:

Prior treatment with rituximab, ocrelizumab, alemtuzumab, mitoxantrone or cladribine

Prior treatment with any other MS DMT for more than 6 months

Prior treatment with experimental aggressive therapies (e.g., T-cell vaccine, total lymphoid radiation, stem cells)

Treatment with teriflunomide within past 2 years (even for ≤ 6 months), unless rapid wash out done (i.e., with cholestyramine or activated charcoal)

Treatment in the past 6 months with any MS DMT

Prior treatment with any other investigational immune-modulating /suppressing drug for MS not listed above

Pregnant or breast-feeding

Women of child-bearing age who are planning or strongly considering conception during the study time frame