Achieving New Treatment Goals in Multiple Sclerosis: Strategies for Initial Treatment Selection and Patient Engagement

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Release Date: July 12, 2018
Expiration Date: July 12, 2019

Click here to download the program slides from the live meeting held May 31, 2018 at the Nashville Music City Center in Nashville, TN, during the 2018 Annual Meeting of the CMSC.


The clinical benefits of early, aggressive treatment in MS have been demonstrated via slower progression of disease and improved patient quality of life. Disease-free status, or “no evidence of disease activity” (NEDA), is now a realistic treatment goal. However, with 15 current FDA-approved disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) available, it is challenging to personalize selection of the optimal agent for each patient.

Achieving New Treatment Goals in Multiple Sclerosis: Strategies for Initial Treatment Selection and Patient Engagement will provide clinicians with current evidence on biomarker development, comparative treatment effectiveness, monitoring, and maintenance regimens. Participants will explore safety and efficacy data for current and emerging DMTs and NEDA treatment goals. Because of the long-term nature of MS management, effective patient engagement is crucial to achieve the best possible outcomes. The activity will also provide physicians with strategies to foster patient engagement within the time constraints of the typical patient visit.

Welcome and Introductions
Applying Current Evidence to Achieve New Treatment Goals
Personalizing Treatment Selection Based on Disease Activity
Optimizing Patient Engagement and Shared Decision-Adherence


 Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, MD
 Professor and Chairman
 Department of Neurology
 Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
 New Brunswick, NJ



Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, MD is Professor and System Chairman of the Departments of Neurology at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and New Jersey Medical School. He also directs the RWJ Center for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He is currently the immediate Past President of the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS).

Dr. Dhib-Jalbut graduated Alpha-Omega-Alpha from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and completed his neurology training at the University of Cincinnati. He then joined the Neuroimmunology Branch at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, where he trained as a physician-scientist in MS and neuroimmunology. Dr. Dhib-Jalbut was a faculty member at the University of Maryland Department of Neurology between 1991 and 2003 and worked closely with Kenneth Johnson, Chair of the Department of Neurology at that time.

Dr. Dhib-Jalbut’s extramurally funded research includes how MS therapies work, biomarkers of treatment response in MS, and more recently how the gut microbiome contributes to the risk of MS. To date, he has contributed more than 130 manuscripts to the scientific literature. He has served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Neuroimmunology, Associate Editor of the MS Journal, and is currently a member of the Editorial Boards of JICR, Cytokine, Multiple Sclerosis and Demyelinating Diseases, and the MS Journal. He has served on several national and international scientific committees, including Chairmanship of the Scientific Committee for the World Congress on MS in Montreal in 2008. Dr. Dhib-Jalbut served as President of ACTRIMS and presided over the joint ACTRIMS/ECTRIMS Congress held in Boston in 2014.

Dr. Dhib-Jalbut has been on the Best Doctors in America list since 2009 and has received several awards and recognitions including an NIH-NINDS Mentoring Award, the Norman H. Edelman Clinical Science Mentoring Award at Rutgers, the Medical Excellence Award from the National MS Society, the Outstanding Medical Scientist Award from the Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Foundation, and the Excellence in Research Award from the New Jersey Health Foundation.

 Machteld E. Hillen, MD
 Associate Professor
 Director, Adult Neurology Clinic and Neurology
 Residency Program
 Department of Neurology
 Rutgers NJ Medical School
 Newark, NJ


Machteld E. Hillen, MD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosciences and Director of the Adult Neurology Clinic at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (NJMS). She is also an attending neurologist at University Hospital and was an attending physician at Overlook Hospital, the East Orange Veterans Administration, and the Bernard Gimbel Multiple Sclerosis Center.

A member of the American Academy of Neurology, Association of University Professors in Neurology, and American Academy of Neurology, Dr. Hillen has been nominated for or received numerous teaching awards and other recognitions, including the 2018 Golden Apple Award for Teaching from NJMS. She has served as Principal Investigator for numerous trials and studies, including the current “Open-label study to evaluation the effectiveness and safety of ocrelizumab in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis who have had a suboptimal response to an adequate course of disease modifying treatment” and “Randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel-group study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of ocrelizumab in comparison to interferon beta-1a (rebif) in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis.”

Dr. Hillen has also authored or co-authored several articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as numerous abstracts and professional presentations.

 Alina Ahsan
 MS Community Manager
 Health Union, LLC
 Philadelphia, PA


Alina Ahsan is a Community Manager for the online platform, one of 17 online ecosystems managed by Health Union, LLC. Alina works with patient, professional, and physician advocates and experts to identify unmet needs in the community and to develop original, engaging content to help meet those needs.

 Laura Kolaczkowski
 Patient Advocate
 Dayton, OH



Laura Kolaczkowski was dropped into the world of eHealth in 2008, the year she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and also had a myocardial infarction (MI) — the combination of these separate medical events left her wanting to understand more and challenged her to become an engaged patient. She is the Lead Patient Representative on the Governing Board for iConquerMS, the Accelerated Cure Project’s patient-powered research network. She has served as a Patient Reviewer for the Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) and is certified as a PCORI Science-trained Ambassador. She has an active presence online at patient forum sites and maintains her personal blog at and writes as an MS Expert for

This activity is intended for MS specialists, neurologists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who manage patients with MS.

This program is designed to address the following IOM competencies: provide patient-centered care and employ evidence-based practice.

At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Recognize the benefits of starting an optimal DMT early enough to achieve the new treatment goal of “no evidence of disease activity” (NEDA)
  • Apply current evidence to select a personalized disease modifying treatment approach with appropriate modifications based on disease activity
  • Implement practical strategies for improving patient engagement in management plans


Joint Accreditation:

In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and Rockpointe. CMSC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Physicians – This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Potomac Center for Medical Education and Rockpointe. The Potomac Center for Medical Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


Physicians – The Potomac Center for Medical Education designates this online enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

For questions regarding CME credit, the post-test, or evaluation, please email

Nurses – The CMSC designates this activity for 1.0 credit of continuing nursing education (1.0 credits are in the area of pharmacology). For information about the nursing accreditation of this program, please contact the CMSC at

The Potomac Center for Medical Education (PCME) adheres to the policies and guidelines, including the Standards for Commercial Support, set forth to providers by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and all other professional organizations, as applicable, stating those activities where continuing education credits are awarded must be balanced, independent, objective, and scientifically rigorous.                 

All persons in a position to control the content of a continuing medical education program provided by PCME are required to disclose any relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest to PCME as well as to learners. All conflicts of interest are identified and resolved by PCME in accordance with the Standards for Commercial Support in advance of delivery of the activity to learners. Disclosures will be made known to the participants prior to the activity.

The content of this activity was vetted by an external reviewer to assure objectivity and that the activity is free of commercial bias.

Program Faculty Disclosures

The program faculty reported the following relevant financial relationships that they or their spouse/partner have with commercial interests:

Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, MD – Consultant/Independent Contractor: Celgene; Grant/Research Support: Biogen, Teva

Machted E. Hillen, MD – Grant/Research Support: Genentech

Alina Ahsan – Nothing to disclose

Laura Kolaczkowski – Nothing to disclose

Non-faculty Content Contributors

Non-faculty content contributors and/or reviewers reported the following relevant financial relationships that they or their spouse/partner have with commercial interests:

Chad Williamson, MS, MBA, CMPP; Blair St. Amand; Lindsey Scott, PT, DPT, ATC: Nothing to disclose

The planners, reviewers, and staff at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers in a position to influence content have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

The contents of some CME/CE activities may contain discussions of non-approved or off-label uses for some agents mentioned. Please consult the prescribing information for disclosure of approved uses.

In order to view this presentation, your computer must have audio capabilities (working speakers or headphones) and must have an internet browser capable of playing an HTML5 video.

There is no fee for this activity. To receive credit, participants must take the pre-test, view this CME activity in its entirety, and then complete the post-test, with a score of 70% or better, and evaluation. The estimated time for completion of this activity is 1 hour. To receive their certificates, participants must demonstrate mastery of the presented material via the post-test.  Participant is allowed to take the post-test multiple times.

Jointly provided by:               

In collaboration with:   

This program was supported by an educational grant from Sanofi Genzyme.