Seems encouraging but of course nothing concrete yet...
Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for progressive multiple sclerosis: report of efficacy and safety at three yr of follow up in 21 patients.
Ni XS, Ouyang J, Zhu WH, Wang C, Chen B.
Department of Neurology, Shanghai First People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
To observe the efficacy and toxicity of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS). Twenty-one patients with PMS were treated with autologous HSCT. Stem cells were mobilized with cyclophosphamide (CY) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. After conditioning regimen of CY and total body irradiation or BEAM, stem cells were reinfused. CD34(+) cell selection of the graft was performed and anti-thymocyte globulin was given for T-cell depletion. The probabilities of confirmed progression-free survival and disease activity-free survival were used to assess the efficacy and the adverse experiences were recorded to detect the toxicities. The median follow-up time was 42 (6-65) months. The probabilities of confirmed progression-free survival and the disease activity-free survival were 75% and 33.3%, respectively. The principal adverse events included allergy, infection, elevation of liver enzymes, transient neurologic deterioration and depression. Two patients died of severe pneumonia and varicella-zoster virus hepatitis, at 4.5 and 15 months post-transplant, respectively. Autologous HSCT seems beneficial to PMS. However, more patients and longer follow up would be required to assess the risk/benefit ratio.