Taking Novantrone, Campath or the extreme, bone marrow/immune system replacement, can really shake up one's entire system. After all, these are heavy duty cancer treatments and they can cause many different changes in a person.
I agree that the cancer drugs can cause complications / changes (an avoidable death on the Campath trial), but one has to weigh this up against the possible changes caused by MS (a disease which at the end of the day eats away at your brain and spinal cord). The terms 'late stage MS' and 'end stage MS' are not ones that are easy to take. The pictures of Richard Pryor are a reminder of what may happen.
The fly in the ointment is that the neuros cannot give a prognosis. If they could say "your MS will be mild and you should be working / walking in 25 years time", then you might decide to not start any treatment. If they said "you will become severely disabled within ten years", then you might be quite happy to take a chance with the chemo drugs.
Dr Freedman has said that for those who have undergone the Bone Marrow Transplantation there are no MRI / clinical signs that the disease has returned. Of course time will only tell, so fingers crossed for those that have been through it.
Until they can work out what is happening with this disease, the sufferers are caught between a rock and a hard place. The situation is complicated when they publish research saying that benign MS may not be so benign. And terms like near-normal lifespan! Until they can come up with some answers, sufferers will have to continue to play Russian roulette - do you do nothing and see how it progesses? do you start on CRABs which seem to offer little benefit? do you go for chemo drugs which potentially can provide bigger benefits but also higher risks? etc etc.
This in many ways is a cruel disease which at the moment we cannot free ourselves of (for those with it). Tysabri, for all its faults (Biogen's handling of the PR etc) offers hope to some. I hope that it delivers some benefits for those who have been waiting for so long.