Hadassah Medical Center at Israel Conducts Breakthrough Trial for Treatment of MS
The unprecedented trial of the injection of stem cells directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, brings hope to millions of patients worldwide suffering from MS.
A 43 year old woman, suffering from Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, is currently treated at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. She will be the first of 48 patients who will partake in Hadassah’s breakthrough clinical trial, in which she will receive an injection of her own stem cells into her cerebrospinal fluid. The success of this unprecedented trial hopes to change the lives of the 2.5 million people worldwide who suffer from MS.
The cause of MS is unknown, and current treatment of this severe autoimmune disease is limited. MS is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks and eats away at the nerves’ protective covering (Myelin). The damaged areas in the nervous system are known as MS Plaques.
The Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Hadassah Medical Center is directed by Professor Dimitrios Karussis. Prof. Karussis, a neuroimmunological expert, serves as the chair of Israel’s Neuroimmunological Society, and represents Israel on various European forums for MS research and treatment. The department head of Hadassah’s MS Center is Prof. Tamir Ben-Hur.
In recent years, Prof. Karussis initiated clinical research with usage of innovative medication, along with T-cell vaccinations and stem cell transplantation. This research, done in conjunction with various medical centers across the globe, hopes to bring hope to those suffering from diseases which affect the nervous system, including MS.
The current study will serve as the world’s first attempt to test the effectiveness of injecting stem cells into the cerebrospinal fluid, in comparison to its injection into the patient’s vein.
The clinical trial subjects were carefully hand-picked for this specific trial. Prof. Karussis and his team sought MS patients who currently suffer from Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, in order to properly measure the influence of the trial on their medical condition.
Over the course of 6 months, each patient will receive a stem cell injection – some into their vein, while others directly into their cerebrospinal fluid. The second stage of the trial will include a second injection.
Prof. Karussis explains the importance of the stem cell injection, “The injected stem cells are at their preliminary stage of maturity. This provides the opportunity for potential renewal of damaged Myelin, as well as a potential suppressant for the disease.”
Prof. Karussis continues, “The cell renewal process will not only prevent future MS attacks, but will also significantly improve motor and cognitive functions which were previously affected by MS, including walking, memory, and more. Preliminary results of our trial has seen wheelchair-bound patients getting back on their own two feet.”
Funding for this $2.5 million trial is funded by Hadassah’s research funds, along with Prof. Karussis’ research fund, and generous donations of families worldwide in support of what they hope will lead to a cure for those suffering from MS.
Prof. Karussis concludes, “This is truly a groundbreaking trial on a worldwide scale. The various, unprecedented components of the trial, including the multiple subjects, unique injection technique, and double-injection hope to pave the way to a new form of treatment of MS.”
Source: Hadassah Medical Center - Israel.