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DSECT/DSEN Monthly Seminar Series - Jan 27, 2017



“Using population-based data linkages and pan-Canadian networks to investigate multiple sclerosis (MS) drug safety and effectiveness”

Presented by

Prof. Helen Tremlett, PhD
Professor, Medicine (Neurology); Canada Research Chair in Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroepidemiology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver 


Dr. Kaarina Kowalec, PhD
Postdoctoral Researcher, Medicine (Neurology),
University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Thursday, January 26th at 3-4pm EST

Online via GoToWebinar



Download Event Flyer (PDF)



This presentation will discuss the use and linkage of population-based data to multiple sclerosis (MS) specialty clinic databases to answer questions regarding MS drug safety and effectiveness. We will also present methods on how to harness pan-Canadian and worldwide networks to identify pharmacogenomic biomarkers of serious adverse drug reactions to MS drugs, including a recent study on interferon-beta associated liver injury in MS.

Learning Objectives:

1. Gain insight into population-based data linkages and application to MS drug safety and effectiveness. 

Audience/chair to pick one of 2 questions:

  • What’s the cancer risk in MS and do the MS drugs (beta-interferon) alter cancer risk?
  • Do the disease modifying drugs impact long-term disease progression in clinical practice?

2. Harnessing pan-Canadian networks to identify pharmacogenomic biomarkers of beta-interferon associated liver injury in MS


  • Website for the Canadian Network for Advanced Interdisciplinary Methods (CAN-AIM) for comparative effectiveness research:
  • Journal articles that may be discussed during the presentation:
    • Kingwell E, Bajdik C, Phillips N, Zhu F, Oger J, Hashimoto S, Tremlett H. Cancer risk in multiple sclerosis: findings from British Columbia, Canada. Brain. 2012; 135:2973-2979

    • Kingwell E, Evans C, Zhu F, Oger J, Hashimoto S, Tremlett H. Assessment of cancer risk with beta-interferon treatment for multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Published 4 March 2014, doi:10.1136/jnnp-2013-307238

    • Shirani, A, Zhao Y, Karim M, Evans C, Kingwell E, van der Kop M, Oger J, Gustafson P, Petkau J, Tremlett H. Association between use of beta-interferon and progression of disability in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. JAMA. 2012 Jul 18; 308(3):247-56


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