Bone Marrow Transplantation

A board to discuss future MS therapies in early stage (Phase I or II) trials.

Bone Marrow Transplantation

Postby bromley » Tue May 23, 2006 10:50 am

The following appeared on the Canada MS Society 'Ask an Expert' section. The answer was given by Dr Mark Freedman who is oversseing the project. It's good to see that those who have been througt it have not seen a recurrence of their MS and some have seen improvements.


Q :

A few months ago I saw a program on W-5 about MS patients who were undergoing bone marrow transplantation. Can you tell me anything more about how well they’re doing?

A :

Many are wondering about the status of the now 11 patients who have had the experimental treatment of chemotherapy to completely remove their immune system and replace it with a new one from their own blood stem cells. The rationale for this treatment was that since the exact nature of how the immune system has gone faulty in MS to start attacking the brain’s wire insulation (myelin) is still unknown, simply replacing the immune system with a new one should result in no further disease. So far, using all of our clinical and MRI surveillance techniques we have not been able to detect any evidence whatsoever of disease recurrence. What is more remarkable is that there appears to be some degree of recovery in various systems such as vision and motor function, but this has occurred several years after the transplant. Whether this change reflects the action of the stem cells used to replace the immune system (which can be stem cells for many systems including the brain) or the successful results of the body’s own ability to repair itself in the absence of ongoing disease remains to be worked out.
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Postby Dunmann » Tue May 23, 2006 11:56 am

I wonder if Dr. Freedman compared the levels of EBV antibodies before and after the procedure. If the immune system was completely wiped out, it should have removed any infection from the EBV and perhaps this is why they are not seeing anymore symptoms or progression?! That is, if you believe in the EBV theory.

I personally was given a diagnosis of either "just about to get mono" or "just recovering from mono" in my early twenties. My grandfather deteriorated rapidly from Alzheimer’s, perhaps this was my genetic flaw. I subsequently was diagnosed with MS at 30.
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