Thanks for posting this Scorp.
If promising results lead to a larger, multicenter clinical trial that also yields good outcomes, Cohen said the treatment could be offered in a clinical setting within five to seven years.
And good news is now this is already happening with a larger international trial:
http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... ageid/1405
For me, I would personally seriously consider this treatment following stopping of MS disease activity (following HSCT) because the science looks quite good.
BTW. . . Prof. Shimon Slavin is currently offering the same treatment that involves the necessary & critical component of culture expansion as I post on my blog:
http://themscure.blogspot.com/2011/06/g ... -have.html
International Center for Cell Therapy & Cancer Immunotherapy (CTCI) Tel Aviv, Israel
Professor Shimon Slavin
Here's the US-based MSC infusion phase I trial info. (In the title of this phase I Cleveland Clinic study they wrongly use the word "Transplantation." I really wish they had not used this nomenclature because this is not a classic transplantation procedure because it does not utilize chemotherapy and the wording is only likely to confuse some people. It is actually just a (re)infusion procedure. I'm not sure why the FDA let them incorrectly use the term "transplantation." Oh well.):
And here is a video report on the subject from Case Western:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S49VSZh ... r_embedded
For this therapy at CTCI, same as the Cleveland Clinic protocol, MSC's are collected from the patient's own bone marrow (probably surgically aspirated from the pelvic bone, but they may also do it by using a mobilization drug (G-CSF) and then perform PBSC collection from the peripheral bloodstream) and then the MSC's are replicated (culture expansion) ex-vivo over a period of 1-3 months to create a substantially large MSC population (in the neighborhood of 1-2 million stem cells per kilogram of body weight) and then re-infused back into the body. (Cleveland Clinic does it all via IV infusion directly into the bloodstream. Slavin does approximately 1/3 via IV infusion and 2/3 via intrathecal injections into the spinal column.)
The in-vitro research data with MSC's as treatment for MS looks quite promising. I'm not dismissing it, but because it does not include chemotherapy to ablate self-intolerant immune cells I would not personally do it as a first-attempt treatment because I think it extremely unlikely (or impossible) that it would stop the underlying MS disease process. Although. . . . . . I might seriously think about doing it following HSCT in the possibility that it may effect repair of already-damaged nerve structure & function. However, such an effect has yet to be proved or disproved in human clinical efficacy trials. Here is the small amount of preliminary phase I EDSS clinical outcome data as presented by Dr. Dimitri Karussis which is not negative, but is also not overwhelmingly positive nor consistent and is why today (without further data) I am somewhat ambivalent about the use of MSC's for MS. (click to enlarge):
However, for everyone else considering such treatment the decision is yours, not mine. I'm just glad CTCI offers actual HSCT that includes chemotherapy that has already been repeatably-proven in population studies to be effective and enable substantial EDSS improvement following transplantation. But if you decide to chance-it and go for the MSC therapy alone without first eliminating the autoreactive immune cells of your body, don't be surprised if there is little, or no positive clinical outcome beyond a placebo effect.
The following video presentation by Dr. Dimitri Karussis who works, or worked together with Prof. Slavin describes the science behind the various treatment protocols they provide, including the MSC therapy (which I personally do not favor as first-attempt treatment but would consider it following HSCT once the antigen epitope has been rendered naive via chemo ablation):
http://www.informed-scientist.org/prese ... -sclerosis
Prof. Slavin Bio:
http://ctcicenter.com/index.php?option= ... icle&id=50