Our world-first vitamin D trial update

Over the last decade MS Research Australia has supported several important Australian studies that have contributed to the considerable body of evidence that vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased risk of developing MS. However, if vitamin D supplementation is to be adopted as an early, preventative intervention for people at high risk of developing MS, rigorous evidence for optimum dosage, efficacy and safety is required from a carefully designed randomised controlled trial.

Australia has a critical mass of expertise in this field and MS Research Australia has worked with these researchers to develop the vitamin D MS Prevention Trial (PrevANZ). It is a phase IIb randomised controlled trial of oral vitamin D supplementation in people who have experienced a first demyelinating event. The trial is funded by MS Research Australia, with the support of the state MS Societies, including significant contributions from the MS Society of WA, MS Queensland, Trish MS Research Foundation, Foundation 5 Million Plus and other trusts and foundations.

After a period of preparation for the trial in which protocol, ethics approvals and regulatory requirements were finalised trial sites have been progressively set up, with the first patient enrolled in June 2013. 20 sites have now been established in MS clinics around Australia and New Zealand with the final site, the Wesley Research Institute in Brisbane, coming on board in May 2014. Enrolment of patients has been progressing steadily and the PrevANZ Steering Committee is working with their colleagues to increase awareness of the trial and ensure that recruitment of participants continues to grow to reach our target of 240 patients in the trial. Results are expected in 2017.

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Our world-first vitamin D trial update