This is just my own personal position on the subject. If it sounds opinionated, it is because it's just that. My opinion. But I do think that what I'm thinking here is based on a reflection and rational interpretation of the scientifically-determined clinical and research data and I think ultimately it will be proven correct.
I think your neurologist (like most neurologists) is completely wrong. All forms of MS is caused by a dysfunction of the immune system. If it's not caused by a dysfunctional immune system, then its not MS. So this means that the underlying etiological cause of RRMS, SPMS and PPMS are all closely related and involve many (if not most, or all) of the same regulatory processes' and immune (dys)functions.
But this doesn't surprise me to hear this from a run-of-the-mill neurologist, as I have heard many times before from so many other neurologists of the same ilk. Neurologists are well-trained in nerves. But they are not educated, not trained and typically not experienced in the actual underlying (immunological) mechanisms of MS that have a hematological origin. So although the manifestation of MS results in nerve function impairment, the cause of the disease is not coming from the nerves. As such, typical neurologists do not have a clue as to how to cure MS and instead seem to fall back on the only skill left they know how to do; prescribe drugs. To date the results are not overly impressive going this drug-use route. On the other hand, ask a hematologist or immunologist about this same subject and they clearly have a good understanding as to why HSCT cures the progression of MS in the vast majority of RRMS, SPMS and PPMS patients who receive the treatment. If these were three different diseases as many neurologists assert, then the clinical data would not show such good efficacy in all three morphologies of MS. (For example, my own SPMS is 100% stopped, and my pre-existing pre-treatment symptoms have reversed / improved 40% following my own HSCT procedure). I hope that someday neurologists will either finally come around and acknowledge & support the facts of the superior efficacy of utilizing HSCT for the treatment of MS in all forms of the disease or I wish they would just get out of the way and stop being so obstructionist.
There is one neurologist that I do know of that supports HSCT for the treatment of MS. He is a rare breed. . . .
Dr. Mark Freedman, Ottowa General Hospitalhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhKci3UzSGE
Onto your questions. . . . . Does anyone know the risks associated with the MSC treatments like in the Korean one?
I don’t specifically know anything about the MSC treatment in Korea, so I can’t comment on that. However, culture expanded MSC therapy is currently in phase I clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic to determine safety & tolerability and has been done at CTCI Israel for several years now. The early work so far shows that culture-expanded MSC therapy seems to be safe with few adverse events. The main theoretical (but not yet shown to be a problem) side effect might be benign pulmonary fibroblastic growths developing if trapped in the lung tissue (MSC's differentiate into connective tissues) that would require surgery to remove. But its still too early to say if this will be a problem as so far it has not shown to be so. Time will tell, though. So far, so good.How safe is HSTC?
The safety of HSCT has much more to do with where & how the procedure is performed, as opposed to the transplantation procedure itself. A good and experienced facility should have a reasonably low risk with a mortality rate less than 1%. But admittedly, if the procedure is performed in a slipshod manner at a low-quality treatment facility, it could be very dangerous. Something I would avoid. That’s why when I speak with people seeking HSCT for their own MS, I always encourage people to seek treatment at a reputable & experienced hospital facility that has a well-documented safety record.I heard that there are different ways of doing chemo with HSTC.
Yes, there are two major modalities of HSCT treatment for MS in common use today. I explain about them in detail on this page. . . . http://themscure.blogspot.com/2011/06/g ... -have.html
Sorry for my previous diatribe.