Clinical Trials

Preventing the risk of MS using vitamin D in patients with a first demyelinating event in Australia and New Zealand (PrevANZ)

Type of Study/Intervention


Recruitment Status


Form of MS

Clinically isolated syndrome, Optic neuritis

Brief summary

This is a phase IIb randomised double-blind, placebo-controlled dose ranging trial to determine the safety and efficacy of vitamin D3 in preventing the risk of MS in patients with a first demyelinating event.

There is a great deal of lay information to suggest that people with MS or at risk of MS should take oral Vitamin D supplementation. However, no adequately powered scientific study has examined the role of Vitamin D3 supplementation as prevention or treatment for MS. There is insufficient commercial interest in conducting such a study, but the need for evidence is great. If effective, oral Vitamin D supplementation could provide a low cost MS therapy with virtually no side effects. Therefore, MS Research Australia is sponsoring this trial with the support of state MS societies, other trusts and foundations and community donations.

The trial will assess the efficacy of oral vitamin D3 in preventing the development of multiple sclerosis in participants at high risk of MS (that is people with a first demyelinating event, FDE).

The trial will compare three doses of oral daily vitamin D3 (1,000IU 5,000IU or 10,000IU/day) to placebo. After agreeing to participate, participants will be randomly and blindly assigned to one of these four study arms and will continue to take study medication for 48 weeks.

The primary end-point measure will be the onset of a second demyelinating event as determined clinically or by MRI scan. The trial will also assess whether there is a dose-response relationship between the study medication and the study end-points and where there is a relationship between serum vitamin D levels achieved and study end-points. The trial will also determine if oral vitamin D3 has an acceptable side effect and safety profile by monitoring any adverse events (including changes in blood calcium levels) over the 12 months.

The trial aims to enrol 240 participants with FDE from 21 Australian and New Zealand MS trial centres over the course of three years.

Inclusion criteria

For inclusion in this study, a participant must meet the following criteria:

  • aged between 18 and 65 years old inclusive
  • have a first isolated, well-defined, uni- or multi-focal first demyelinating event (FDE)
  • be able to receive first dose of study drug within 120 days of FDE symptom onset
  • have an MRI brain scan that is supportive of demyelinating disease (Paty A or Paty B criteria)
  • an EDSS between 0 – 6.5 (inclusive)
  • be able to give informed consent and sign the informed consent form
  • be willing to avoid open-label vitamin D supplementation and external serum vitamin D testing for the duration of the study
  • be willing to avoid use of sunbeds
  • not have received any prior disease modifying treatment for MS other than glucocorticoids
  • be willing to avoid treatment with beta-interferon, glatiramer acetate, natalizumab, mitoxantrone, or other chemotherapy agent specifically for demyelinating disease until recurrent disease activity occurs (ie the primary endpoint is met)
  • be able and willing to comply with all study procedures including MRI scanning as per protocol
  • be willing to use effective contraceptive methods for the duration of the study and at least 6 months following.

For full details of Exclusion criteria please visit the ANZCTR trial listing here.

Anticipated start date

May 2013

Recruitment contacts


State Location Site Investigator Study Coordinator
(Click for Email)
Contact Number
NSW Sydney Save Sight Institute Dr Clare Fraser Amanda Dinh 02 9382 7386
NSW Newcastle John Hunter Hospital Associate Professor Jeannette Lechner-Scott Nicole Lingard 02 4921 3540
NSW Sydney Brain and Mind Centre Dr Todd Hardy Marinda Taha 02 9351 0730
VIC Geelong Geelong Hospital Dr Cameron Shaw Sharon Jones 03 4215 0710
VIC Melbourne Royal Melbourne Hospital Associate Professor Tomas Kalincik Lisa Taylor 03 9342 7061
VIC Melbourne Box Hill Hospital Professor Helmut Butzkueven Maria Sakkas 03 9095 2447
VIC Melbourne Austin Health Professor Richard Macdonell Melanie McMurtrie 03 9496 5529
VIC Melbourne Monash Neurology Associate Professor Ernie Butler Wendy Hayes 03 9594 3051
VIC Melbourne Alfred Health Professor Helmut Butzkueven Janene Richards 03 9903 8652
QLD Gold Coast Griffith University/Gold Coast Hospital Professor Simon Broadley Sofia Jimenez-Sanchez 07 5678 0750
QLD Brisbane Wesley Research Institute Professor Pam McCombe Virginia Gehrke
07 3721 1524
SA Adelaide Calvary Wakefield Hospital Dr Andrew Lee Paul Stockle 08 8132 0494
WA Perth Australian Neuromuscular Research Institute Professor William Carroll Susan Walters 08 6457 0209
TAS Hobart Royal Hobart Hospital Professor Bruce Taylor Bruce Taylor 03 6222 8323
NZ Auckland Auckland Hospital Dr Ernie Willoughby Roddi Laurence 09 307 4949
Ext 25816
NZ Christchurch Christchurch Hospital Dr Deborah Mason Jane Eagle 03 378 6130
NZ Dunedin Dunedin Hospital Dr John Mottershead Sharon Stevenson-Hall 03 470 0999
NZ Waikato Waikato Hospital Dr Chris Lynch Ruth Mylcreest 02 154 9778
NZ Wellington Wellington Hospital Dr David Abernethy Liz Goode 04 806 0078


Further details

Full details of the trial can be found on
Or visit the ANZCTR trial listing here.



Trial results

Expected in 2019

Last updated

19 Nov 2020

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Start typing and press Enter to search