About MAMS trials

Diagram displaying each stage of the Octopus trial: treatment beginning, MRI analysis and disability progression analysis
Diagram displaying each stage of the Octopus trial

Octopus is the first MS trial to use a type of trial design known as Multi-Arm Multi-Stage (MAMS). 
This method can have many advantages over traditional trials:

  • It allows several treatments to be tested at the same time against a common control (i.e. “multi-arm”).

  • Treatments which appear to be effective from the early data can continue onto the next trial stage without the team having to stop and set up a new trial (i.e. “multi-stage”).

  • It allows data to be analysed while the trial is ongoing, rather than only at the end. 

  • Decisions can also be made on early results about stopping treatments that do not show promise.

  • When new information about different treatments becomes available, these treatments could be added into the trial

The MAMS approach has been used successfully to improve treatments in the Systemic Therapy in Advancing or Metastatic Prostate cancer: Evaluation of Drug Efficacy (STAMPEDE) trial. For more information about the STAMPEDE trial, visit the STAMPEDE website.

Octopus is funded by the MS Society