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Monday, March 7, 2016

MS Stem Cell Therapies Show Promise, But More Work Is Needed, Researcher Tells ACTRIMS 2016

FEBRUARY 22, 2016  By: Alisa Woods, PhD

Dr. Andrew Goodman of the University of Rochester discussed the latest research and perspectives on stem cell strategies for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), saying in a presentation at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2016 that such therapies, while promising, are not yet ready for widespread clinical use.
New therapies for MS patients that might both restore the immune system and protect the nervous system are greatly needed. Dr. Goodman, a professor of Neurology, chief of the Neuroimmunology Unit, and director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at the university, reviewed current stem cell therapy approaches, including the use of “hematopoietic stem cell reconstitution following immunoablation, mesenchymal stem cells, and oligodendrocyte precursor cells” in a presentation titled “Stem Cell Therapy for MS.
His presentation at the forum, which ran Feb. 18–20 in New Orleans, Louisiana, offered:
  • an overview of the biology of stem cells
  • an understanding of the distinct goals of the various cell-based therapeutic strategies under study as potential MS therapies
  • an appreciation for the potential benefits, risks, and methodological uncertainties associated with stem cell transplantation

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