Navigation Links
Stem Cell Transplants Help MS Victims
Date:1/29/2009

'Resetting' overactive immune system in early stages of disease worked, study finds

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Stem cell transplantation seems to stop and, in some cases, undo neurological damage in people with multiple sclerosis, a small study shows.

The trial involved just 21 patients, but a larger, randomized trial is under way in the United States, Canada and Brazil.

"This is the first trial for any phase of MS, whether early or later, of any therapy anywhere that has shown reversal of neurological disability," said study author Dr. Richard K. Burt, chief of the division of immunotherapy at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

MS is a disease in which the immune system turns on the body and attacks myelin, the protective covering on nerve cells. The disease usually starts with a "relapse-remitting" phase, with alternating periods of flare-ups of symptoms and relatively peaceful spans. After a decade or so, however, most patients move into the more severe, secondary-progressive form of the disease.

"There is a need to find a means by which we can control the progression of MS, particularly in these patients who are not responding to FDA-approved therapies," said Patricia O'Looney, vice president of biomedical research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Treatments are clustered toward the relapse-remitting stage, with little available for the latter stage. "Generally, when you get to late progressive MS, nothing really works," Burt said.

The technique used in this study, autologous non-myeloablative hemopoietic stem cell transplantation, "resets" the immune system and is already used for secondary-progressive MS.

"This has primarily been used over the last 10 to 15 years in progressive MS patients, people who are doing terribly, and we have nothing to offer them," O'Looney explained. "There have been some fatalities associated with this aggressive protocol."

And success was limited.

But, for the new study, researchers tweaked the technique and moved it to relapse-remitting patients who were younger than in previous studies.

"This is a safer approach, and we do it earlier in the disease because people have less disability so it's safer again," Burt said.

The study involved 21 patients with the earlier stage of the disease who were not responding to treatment with interferon.

The procedure basically involves stripping the patient's body of its immune cells, and then repopulating the body with stem cells from the patient's bone marrow.

"You're trying to wipe out the immune system and then, with one's own cells, reconstitute it with the hope that the new cells will not target myelin. That's the theory, get rid of bad cells and reconstitute it with new cells from one's own body so hopefully they haven't been triggered yet to attach to myelin," O'Looney said.

Seventeen of the participants improved by at least one point on a scale used to measure disability. Five participants relapsed, then went into remission after more treatment.

After about three years, none of the patients' disease was progressing and 16 were no longer relapsing. And some experienced improvements, all without major side effects.

The findings were published online Jan. 30 in The Lancet Neurology and will appear in the March print issue of the journal.

Still, specialists are curbing their enthusiasm until further results are seen.

"We need to see a larger number of samples... and [we need to] know if the benefit they're seeing is due to the immune system being reset or because the immune system has been suppressed and will return as the way it was," O'Looney said.

More information

Visit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for more on this condition.



SOURCES: Richard K. Burt, M.D., chief, division of immunotherapy, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago; Patricia O'Looney, Ph.D., vice president, biomedical research, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, New York City; March 2009, The Lancet Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. National Foundation for Transplants to Expand Program Providing Hotel Accommodations to Patient Families
2. New Heart Pump Helps Women Awaiting Transplants
3. Blood-incompatible infant heart transplants safe, may save more lives
4. Blood-Incompatible Heart Transplants Safe for Infants
5. Lung Transplants May Not Help Most Cystic Fibrosis Children
6. Alcohol may amplify chronic rejection in lung transplants
7. Bone marrow cell transplants help nerve regeneration
8. Cell Transplants Hold Promise for Heart Attack Survivors
9. UCLA Program Aims to Revolutionize Kidney Transplants
10. Rural Residents Get Fewer Organ Transplants: Study
11. National study will look at German-made heart pump for children needing heart transplants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Stem Cell Transplants Help MS Victims
(Date:3/24/2017)... FL (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... Inc. ( http://www.hygieacare.com ) announced their partnership to prep patients for colonoscopy at ... Endoscopy Centers in 87th Ave., Miami, FL. , The HyGIeaCare® ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “Finding Christ Through Social Media: Year One ... the writer’s path toward true communion with God. “Finding Christ Through Social Media: ... creation of published author Lea Michelle Johnson, a follower of Christ, wife and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... “The Communion of ... people of God in congregations across the United States. “The Communion of ... in 1964 who has served congregations in seven states throughout his long career ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... CO (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... A ... bar for entry into teacher preparation programs. The NCTQ report suggests, based on a ... entry requirements would significantly improve teacher quality in the U.S. It argues that this ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... Texas ... located at 960 Gruene Road in Building 2. The clinic is the group’s second ... Bennett, PT, says opening the company’s second New Braunfels location brings things full circle ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... The key factors driving the growth of dialysis ... growth and increasing healthcare expenditure. Some of the noteworthy trends ... ESRD patients, rising demand for home PD treatment and huge ... market is hindered by high treatment costs and stringent regulations. ... Complete ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... BARBARA, Calif. and INDIANAPOLIS ... (NYSE: LLY ) and the William Sansum ... the lives of Latino people affected by diabetes through ... tremendous burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease bears a ... United States ," said David Kerr , ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017   BioSpace , ... resource, has partnered with Indiana Biosciences Research Institute ... organizations and educational institutions to bring the state,s ... first-ever BioIndiana Hotbed map, an artistic representation of the ... was presented to Vice President Mike Pence , ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: