Stem cell transplant found to improve MS patients

Medical doctors have seen that the stem cell transplant can stop multiple sclerosis.


One hundred patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) took part in a trial which involved wiping out their immune system by way of cancer drugs and then rebooting it with stem cell transplant.

Hospitals in Chicago, Sheffield, Uppsala in Sweden, and Sao Paulo in Brazil joined this international trial. In the UK, 10,000 people have MS, a disease that attacks nerves of the brain and spinal cord.

Louise Willetts, an MS patient from Rotherham, is now clear of symptoms after participating in the trail. She said: “It feels like a miracle.”

These results were shown at the annual meeting of the European Society for Bone Marrow Transplantation in Lisbon. The study revealed that after one year of either haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) or drug treatment, only one relapse occurred among the stem cell group while 39 relapses happened among the drug group.

Prof Richard Burt, the lead investigator, Northwestern University Chicago, said: “The data is stunningly in favour of transplant against the best available drugs – the neurological community has been sceptical about this treatment, but these results will change that.”

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