Stem cell transplant halts MS disability progression: study
Stem cell transplants should be performed in young multiple sclerosis (MS) patients before they go through rounds of other treatments as the procedure is most effective if done in the early stage of the disease, a new study suggested.
The researchers also found in the study that patients with relapsing MS enjoy more long-term benefits from stem cell transplants than those suffering secondary progressive MS.
Long-term outcomes after Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (AHSCT) were found to be good, with roughly half of all MS patients free of the devastating disease progression at 5 years.
Dr. Sorrel Bickley, the chief of Biomedical Research at the UK-based MS Society, said, “It shows that AHSCT can slow or stop progression for many years, and [that] the treatment is most effective in people with MS who have ‘active inflammation’ in their brain and spinal cord.”
The researchers reached the conclusion after the observational study tracked a total of 281 MS patients who underwent the procedure of AHSCT across 25 centers worldwide between 1995 and 2006.
The new research was detailed in the most recent (Feb. 21st) edition of the journal JAMA Neurology.