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Monday, August 15, 2016

MS Stem Cell Transplants May Become Safer with Pre-HSCT therapy approach


                                                                  
  


Written By: Magdelena Kegel



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Scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a method for stem cell transplants that may do away with the need for prior systematic treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. If successful, stem cell transplants could be an option for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), an option now limited by the risk of severe toxicity triggered by the chemotherapy.
The study, “Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in immunocompetent hosts without radiation or chemotherapy,” was the cover story of the latest issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine. The method has been successfully tested in mice, but if proven safe and effective in humans, it could truly revolutionize MS treatment, as well as the treatment of a host of other conditions.
“If it works in humans like it did in mice, we would expect that the risk of death from blood stem cell transplant would drop from 20 percent to effectively zero,” the study’s senior author, Dr. Judith Shizuru, MD, PhD, and a professor of medicine at Stanford, said in a news release.
While blood, or hematopoietic stem cell transplants, known as HSCT, have been available for MS patients for some time, health authorities in many countries — including the U.S. and EU — have not yet approved such treatments for MS. Lately, studies have supported the idea of stem cells being used for MS and a recent clinical trial found the method successful in 23 out of 24 patients.






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