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Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis—An Interim Analysis of Efficacy *

Based on the good results of experimental transplantation in animal models of multiple sclerosis and of other autoimmune diseases, we have treated 24 patients suffering from chronic progressive multiple sclerosis with high-dose chemotherapy (BEAM regimen) followed by autologous blood stem cell rescue and antithymocyte globulin. Blood stem cells were mobilised with cyclophosphamide at 4g/m2 and G- (or GM-) CSF. In 9 cases, additional CD34+ cell-selection of the graft was performed. Here we update previously published results of this novel treatment, mainly with regard to clinical efficacy, as the median follow-up time has reached 40 months (range, 21–51). Infections were the principal toxicity early after the procedure, with death of a patient from aspergillosis 65 days post stem cell infusion. No serious late events occurred apart from a case of autoimmune thyroiditis that developed 11 months after transplant in a patient who had received a CD34+ cell-depleted graft. Mild and transient neurotoxicity was observed in 10 patients (42%), most probably associated with fever and infections. Eighteen patients (18/23; 78%) responded to the treatment, i.e., they were improved or stabilized, while five patients progressed, of which 4 had primary progressive disease. Of those improved or stabilised (18), 9 patients have maintained stable condition whereas 9 developed relapses or they slowly resumed progression, although their disability scores have not gotten worse than they were before transplantation. The probability of progression-free survival (compared to entry status) at 3 years is 92% for patients with secondary progressive disease and 39% for the primary progressive type. CD34+ cell-selection did not seem to yield better results except for a delay in progression or in relapse after transplantation. These results appear better than those achieved by any other treatment of progressive multiple sclerosis, including beta-interferon, but they need to be confirmed by other open or controlled studies in view of the well-known difficulty of judging objectively the effect of a treatment in patients with this disease.


* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 04-24-2014