Australian study

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Australian study

Postby TwistedHelix » Mon Apr 07, 2008 7:46 am

Yet another example of sloppy journalism: an article light on facts and specifics, and which doesn't seem to know the difference between a study and the treatment.

New Wesley Research Institute study aims to halt the progression of multiple sclerosis
'Might prove the most effective treatment of MS ever' -- research leader

A new research study being conducted at The Wesley Research Institute (WRI) aims to stop the progression of early active stage Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in its tracks.

There are currently more than 2.5 million people worldwide with MS, a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system.

They suffer from a range of debilitating symptoms including impaired gait and mobility, bladder and bowel dysfunction, cognitive and visual impairment, and profound muscle weakness.

Principal Investigator of the project at the WRI, Dr Pamela McCombe, is a neurologist at both The Wesley Hospital and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and also Chairman of the WRI Research Committee.

“This study might prove to be the strongest, most effective treatment of MS ever.”

“Current treatments for MS only reduce the progression rate of the disease. This new treatment, if successful, will actually halt the progression of MS.”

“Not only does it aim to stop MS in its tracks but it will also spare MS sufferers from weekly injections replacing them with infusions over three consecutive days every year.”

“The medication targets lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) to decrease the inflammatory reaction responsible for the progression of MS.”

Preliminary studies have demonstrated that as a result of this medication sufferers have experienced fewer disease relapses, a decrease in the formation of central nervous system lesions and a reduction in cumulative disabilities.

“This suggests to me that there is every chance this medication will prove successful and become widely used.”

This is an international study involving 200 sites. The WRI is one of fifteen sites in Australia to trial this new treatment, and one of only two in Queensland. The other site is the Gold Coast Hospital.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Queensland said in a statement: “The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Queensland welcomes the participation of local researchers in ground breaking research that may one day provide freedom from MS for the thousands of Australians living with this disease, and endorses the quality of the contribution of Queensland research in this exciting world-wide effort.”


This MS study forms part of the WRI’s commitment to furthering neurological research, which also includes research into better treatment and diagnoses of brain tumours and stroke.

The WRI is currently recruiting volunteers for this study. For more information on please call the WRI’s Clinical Trials Centre on 07 3232 7920 or visit The research study is ethically approved and there are no costs associated with participation.

The Wesley Research Institute is an independent, not-for-profit medical research institute based in Brisbane that conducts research that that aims for immediate improvements to quality of life through better diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitationK
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Postby jimmylegs » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:14 am

the web site seems a little light on specifics too, although i did find this ... rology.php

Research Projects
Immune response in stroke

Clinical problem
Every year in Australia there are 40,000 to 50,000 strokes leading to brain injury. It is the second most common cause of death and the major cause of disability in Australian adults. After the acute stage of ischaemic stroke there is usually some early clinical recovery. Later this is followed by further recovery involving neuronal growth factors usually only found in the brain during development. It is expected that enhancement of this process would assist recovery.

The study
The hypothesis to be tested is that there are increased numbers of activated T-cells (special class of white blood cells involved in the immune response) after stroke, and that these react with brain antigens to produce the growth factors that aid late recovery.

Thus the aim of the study is to confirm the group’s preliminary finding that there is an increase in activated T- cells following stroke. They will also determine whether the T-cells found in stroke patients produce the growth factors that could aid brain repair. Finally, if the results are positive, they wish to collect DNA from stroke patients for whom they have both clinical outcome and immunological data in order to investigate genes related to the protective immune response.

Ultimate aim
In the long term, this study has the potential to lead to new therapeutic strategies for stroke.

Dr Pamela McCombe
Dr S Read
Dr JM Greer
Dr Noel Saines

Project partners
The University of Queensland

i can't find a neurology item in their current clinical trials web site section.


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Postby dignan » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:53 am

Hmmm, without doing any digging, I think they're talking about Campath.
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Postby jimmylegs » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:19 am

i would have no idea! :)
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Postby Lyon » Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:50 pm

Last edited by Lyon on Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dignan » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:31 pm

Yeah Bob, I was thinking either campath or rituxan, but it says the study is at 200 different sites, which means phase 3. The rituxan ppms phase 3 is already over, and the rrms rituxan trial is mid-stream right now, whereas the campath phase 3 is just starting up. So I vote campath.
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Postby Lyon » Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:38 pm

Last edited by Lyon on Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Australian study

Postby HarryZ » Tue Apr 08, 2008 5:47 am


I can't count the number of similarly worded articles I have read over the past 45 years!!

I find it interesting that nobody yet knows the cause of MS but here is a treatment that the writer states may stop MS in its tracks. And no specifics! More misleading hope for MS patients. I just shake my head at these publications.

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Postby Astra » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:08 pm

I am kicking myself now because Dr McCombe (who is running the trial) is my neurologist and I asked her about this treatment and then promptly forgot what it is called. I haven't been diagnosed yet but my MRI had areas of demyelination (probably why I forgot everything she told me, very stressful). She did mention that the treatment is very intensive though, much more so than the interferon treatment. She also didn't mention it when discussing treatments, I asked, which makes me wonder just how intensive it is.
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