ms cancer treatment: Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant could help treat certain form of multiple sclerosis, say doctors in Sheffield
According to media reports Tuesday, patients with multiple sclerosis are regaining independence with the help of a common cancer treatment.
speaking with the BBC, Steven stoney described how MS quickly took over his life.
“I was crossing a road. I didn’t fall, but I just melted,” Storey told BBC.
“Within nine months, Steven’s condition had deteriorated to the point where he needed 24-hour acute care,” the BBC anchor said.
“You could have stabbed me in my leg and I wouldn’t have felt it,” Storey said.
Storey received a bone marrow transplant using his own stem cells. Now, he can swim and ride a bike — all within one year of treatment. His next goal is to walk.
The treatment is called hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (or HSCT). First there’s chemotherapy, which weakens the immune system. Then, the patient’s stem cells that are too young to have “flaws that trigger MS” are harvested from the patient’s blood and used to rebuild that immune system.
Storey received the treatment as part of a clinical trial at a hospital in the U.K. Another patient given the treatment, 25-year-old Holly Drewry, went from having to use a wheelchair to being able to walk.
A consultant on the trial compared it to “rebooting” the immune system. MS affects about 2.3 million people worldwide. Researchers describe this latest treatment as a “major achievement.”
Basil Sharrack, a consultant neurologist at Sheffield teaching hospitals NHS foundation trust, told the Guardian: “The new treatment is showing some remarkable results in the small number of patients we have treated so far.
“It is important to stress, however, that this treatment is only suitable for patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis disease who have had two or more significant relapses in the past 12 months, failed to respond to standard drug treatment and who have had the illness for at least 10 years.”
Emma Gray, the head of clinical trials at the MS Society, said: “Ongoing research suggests stem cell treatments such as HSCT could offer hope, and it’s clear that in the cases highlighted by Panorama, they’ve had a life-changing impact.
“However, trials have found that while HSCT may be able to stabilise or improve disability in some people with MS, it may not be effective for all types of the condition.
“We want people to be aware that HSCT is an aggressive treatment that comes with significant risks. It needs to be carried out at an accredited centre or as part of a clinical trial.
“The MS Society has recently funded a study looking into the impact of HSCT on the immune system and we’d like to see larger trials in this area. They would help us learn more about the safety and long term effectiveness of the treatment and who could benefit from it.”
According to National MS Society, it is estimated that more than 400,000 people in the U.S. have MS.