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Autologous Bone Marrow Transplantation for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system and represents one of the leading causes of neurologic disability in young adults. Current treatments for MS have shown limited efficacy in patients with either a progressive or an aggressive disease course. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been proposed to control or even cure refractory cases of MS. Indeed, HSCT is able to temporarily eradicate the autoreactive cells and to reset the aberrant immune response to self-antigens. In the last decade, owing to the growing experience in selecting the most appropriate patients to transplant and the recent advances in chemotherapeutic and support regimens, the transplant-related mortality of autologous HSCT in MS patients dropped down to 1,3 % and the progression-free survival ranges from 47 % to 100 %. Altogether, these data support autologous HSCT as a possible second-line therapy for refractory MS.