Scientist at Cambridge University Working Toward a Cure for MS

In an article with Cambridge News, scientist Dr. Su Metcalfe talks about her work into a potential cure for autoimmune diseases, with particular emphasis on multiple sclerosis.

MORE: Researches develop a method of targeting the immune cells that trigger MS.

Dr. Metcalfe, who is based at Cambridge University in England, is currently looking for funding to further develop her theory that using a stem cell particle called a LIF would switch off the body’s auto-immune cells and help repair the brain.

In addition to being able to switch off the body’s autoimmune response, LIF also protects the brain and spinal cord — the areas affected by multiple sclerosis — and aids in repairing tissue, including brain tissue.

The research has not been smooth sailing. Metcalfe has found that LIF cannot survive outside the cell for more than 20 minutes before being broken down by the body, making it difficult to use as a therapy. However, she has found that nanoparticles could be the answer to the problem, as they can be used to help deliver the LIF therapy. By using antibodies with the nanoparticles, the therapy can be directed to certain areas of the brain — helping to repair damage caused by multiple sclerosis.

Metcalfe is now looking for research funding and hopes that one of the big pharmaceutical companies will step in. She hopes to begin clinical trials of the therapy by 2020.

MORE: Ocrevus lowers MS relapses even further in extended study.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

54 comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    When and if this no available i would like to take part in this i have RRMS and i am 29 and if there is something that could even be possible sign me up

  2. Ghaleb says:

    I have had MS for almost 10 years now. I have had too many flare ups and issues to post here. I am interested in the study and would love to know how to be a part of this trial!

  3. Howard Whitmire says:

    My fear is if and when there is an actual CURE for MS, what would it cost? The cure would take a large chunk of money from the pharmaceutical companies that make the treatments now used. Just wondering out loud.

    • Mike Chmielewski says:

      Yes, there is no profit in making drugs that cure disease. So, good luck on getting any funding from Big Pharma.

    • Petrine says:

      Do not give up hope. At one time the drug Harvoni, used to cure Hep C, was only available to people with buckets of money. It is now covered by the basic medical coverage and the makers of Harvoni have been known to even pay the deductible for some people. At least this is the case in Canada.

  4. Terry Jeffers says:

    My husband would like to take part in your study. He is 48 yrs ol
    d and has S.P.M.S.
    He is sencond generation.
    His mother got it when he was 9yrs old in 1978 she passed in 2003 and 5 yrs later he was diagnosed.
    He would like very much to do this study so Please consider him

  5. Georgia says:

    I would also volunteer in this trial for the cure to me. But it should come to fruition sooner, than 3 years from now

  6. Clint Mahadeo says:

    I have primary progressive MS and hope this may be of help to me and would be very interested in any trials if this is the case.

  7. John wehrman says:

    Hello. This is John wehrman and I am from troy Ohio. I have had MSfor a known 5 plus years. I would be interested and willing to be in a clinical as this disease is in effect ruining my life. My sister had MS and I helped her through her milestones so I have seen in real life what MS does to people. I am awarethe MS reacts differently in everyone but I am starting to experience similar things in my MALice that appeAred in my sister’s life please consider me for a clinical I pray some relief for me would be super but in the end paying the results forwArd to help others would be the ultimate reward.

  8. John wehrman says:

    Hello I am John wehrman from troy Ohio I am 61 years old and diagnosed 5 years ago with MS. I helped my sister through her battle with MS. I realize MS responds differently in each individual but I am now seeing a lot of close similarities of what my sister had. It is now starting to ruin my life so I would love to be considered for a clinical.

  9. If the pharma companies find out that this discovery will CURE MS not only will they NOT fund the study, they will SHUT IT DOWN so we will never hear about it again. Hopefully the pharmas will find a way to make the big bucks off of this disovery or else we with MS will be told to JUST KEEP TAKING THEIR DRUGS

  10. Michael Cavallo says:

    I’m 59 years old, PPMS for 40 years, wheelchair-bound and getting weaker. My wife, Patty, is in worse shape. Would/ could this help us? Looking for a miracle.

  11. Karin Hulme says:

    Hello, I am 58 and have had PPMS for about 16 years (+ some if you count multiple episodes of optic neuritis in my twenties) and would love to be part of this trial.

  12. I too have Relapsing MS. I was only diagnosed in January of 2014 at age 66, My doctor in Atlanta said I am the oldest person he has ever diagnosed or heard of being diagnosed. I am doing okay< I guess, bit it is really hard. I am on Tysabri infusions but still am having a terrible time with my balance. I was on therapy for a while but it caused my arthritis to flare up in my knee. Anyone have any suggestions?

  13. Stephen says:

    I’ve had primary progressive for 10yr now and have seen a number of potential cures come and go. They either announce breakthroughs prematurely without doing the due diligence or big Pharma steps in and squashes any hope for a proper investigation into the project. There is 2 things that always come to my mind when stuff like this comes up, this is 2017 and there are a great deal of brilliant scientists in the field of MS which makes me wonder if they are so brilliant or are they worried of losing their jobs with a cure? And, with the expertise that is available outside of Big Pharma, could it be possible to find funds to conduct these trials without their money. They say there is 2.5 million pwMS throughout the world and not everyone is on the DMT and yet there is Billions and Billions of dollars brought in every year from these therapies. I believe there are a great deal more of us (MSers) out there than they want us to believe. It was 2.5 million 10yr ago when I was diagnosed. Just Saying!

  14. I have had multiple sclerosis for 30 years now; the first ten R/R now SPMS.
    I use a wheelchair but maintain my ability to transfer by
    horseback riding and scuba diving. I live independently with minimal help. I refuse to give up; I hope you will consider me for this study. Thank you

  15. Kym says:

    My opinion. Why would big Pharm. help find a “cure” for MS? They’d loose tons of money from the so called Disease Modifying Drugs. It’s all about the money!

  16. charles says:

    important studies like this one really should get preferential funding from somewhere. i hope that there is a kindly billionaire out there who takes notice.

  17. Tim Johnson says:
  18. Mark says:

    I have had MS. for 30 years. I would like to be considered for your trial . I have never been on any MS. medications.

  19. Joseph Turano says:

    My name is Joe I have had Ms for 17 years I am 40 years old I have lost my legs and I’m permanently in a power chair I would do anything to get into a study for MS if not to help me to help people with Ms in the future I have gone to Germany for stem cell therapy and that didn’t seem to do anything and if you told me going in the backyard and eating dog poop would help me I would eat it all day

    • Pat hawkins says:

      Who r we kiding folks,first its t cells,now its b cells causing m.s,all those drugs poisoning us,they do a number on r insides do those drugs out way the damage they can do?don’t get me wrong they r tring,I’m scared about the future living with m.s lowering my immune system in bringing out the chances of cancer and other bad sh.t,is not worth it to me,we struggle,we fight,we do r best,but a cure sorry my friends we will never see it big pharmacy will go belly up and they can’t have that,just blowing off some steam sorry

  20. Joseph Ramos says:

    I am a male 56 yrs old and I was dianosed 4 yrs ago but had MS alot longer. I would love to me part of the study to help others with MS. Please consider me for the study.

  21. Dave Zinschlag says:

    What if everybody with MS sent $20. Boom, keep brilliant Dr. Su going without Big Pharma capitalists involved. How do we do this? Just saying and praying!

  22. Karen Schatz says:

    I have SPMS – I was diagnosed 3 yrs ago at 52 but I had probably had it many years. Since then I have lost my job and all my money. Still waiting for SSDI. I live in Southern California and I am willing to try almost anything. My memory is shot so if this can help repair the brain I would love to try it.

    Thanks Karen

  23. Debbie Ramsey says:

    I would love to take part in the study. I was diagnosed at 24 years of age and thought to have had it since I was 13. I am 44 now and any hope for the future I welcome. I was told years ago that there would be no Pill form. Well there are plenty just not helping me. I just started Orcrevus. Hopefully that will help some until 2020.

  24. Janette McClain says:

    Hello, my name is Janette, age 57, and I would love to be part of the trials. My MS consists of 40+ lesions only in my brain. Cognitive abilities are being reduced and the pain in my head (not headaches) is debilitating……but I am a fighter !!! I am dual citizenship US/United Kingdom and would move to the Cambridge area in a heartbeat if it meant I had a chance to be part of the trials. The motivation of European scientists to keep looking for a cure is an inspiration to me. Also, the $6500 + per month cost of the Aubagio I have been prescribed is out of reach now that my health insurance has expired. Let’s work together…..

  25. Diana Brown says:

    Hi, I am 68 years old, and have had ms since the 1970’s, Was not diagnosed until 2001, long time, I would love to somehow participate in this trial. I am SPMS now. I have taken every drug there is, but I am housebound, as I have almost no family, and can’t drive, vision issues, live in a rural area by necessity. Please consider me, Thank you.

  26. Rhonda Neckel says:

    I was diagnosed at 30 and I am now 71, I feel I am doing pretty good being I have had MS for years. Walking is tuff but I manage with a walker or Cain, standing to long hurts but if I hurt I sit down. I have MS but it doesn’t have me, Copaxone works for me. ❤️

  27. Bea says:

    Do not depend on Big Pharm to help fund finding the cure for ANYTHING! That would be like them funding the death of their cash cow. They make their money pumping out endless overpriced meds that “slow down” MS. Your best bet is to request help from an independently wealthy person who’s been affected by MS in their family like a JK Rowling who has her own MS research facilty.

  28. Hayley Norris says:

    I was diagnosed 3 years ago. I’m 43 and really want to take part in the trial. I’d do anything to get a full life back. Not just for me but for my family and and any other sufferers. Hayley

  29. Liza says:

    We know the umbilical cord is rich in proteins, is same thing the scientists need to investigate more please! T- cells are inside we need to have more research, becouse I hear can cure cancer.

  30. Lynn kretlow says:

    I would like to be in the study. I heard testing was going to be done at Yale too. I live in the Chicago, IL area and have family members that live near Yale. I have RRMS and was diagnosed in 2012 when I was 47.

  31. Mark L says:

    I have had progressive M.S for over 20 years. I have never taken any M.S medication. Although with some difficulty I can still walk with a cane or a walker. It has taken a toll on my body. I would want nothing more than to be considered for your trial.

    Thank you for your time as well as consideration.

    Mark.

  32. Eric Woodard says:

    We the people with MS should put pressure on the government to find out why the drug companies are not finding cures for any diseases in the past 50yrs I think the last disease that was cured was polio something is very wrong when you pick profit over people may God help us all.

  33. David Halkyard says:

    I am 68 had primary progressive for the last 26 years, when first diagnosed the myelin project was the hope and I said wow within 5 years there will be a cure or a treatment that works. 25 years on still waiting.! Now I know i am to old for the trial when it gets to that stage, hoping you make am exception and include me.
    The hope of a treatment/cure has kept me going all this time with the Poem I wrote in 1996 below.

    OH-TO BE STRONG

    Give me the Strength
    To face reality, without fear
    To face the days, without self pity, anger or Poison
    And to be strong, like a normal person should

    Give me the patience
    To cope with my family and friends
    To cope with there unwanted sympathy and unintended rejection
    And to be strong, like a normal person should

    Give me the compassion
    To forgive and make allowances for ignorance
    To forgive the parasites, who sell false hopes for profit
    And to be strong, like a normal person should

    Give me the humility
    To say thank, you, for help and support
    To say thank you, for your time and patience
    And to be strong, like a normal person should

    Give me the nerves
    To move my muscles
    To move my limbs; legs, feet, toes, arms and fingers
    And to be strong, like a normal person should

    Give me the courage
    To continue, to fight and live with Multiple Sclerosis
    To continue, to live in the hope of a cure and remain positive
    Oh; to be that normal person; oh I wish!

    By
    Dave Halkyard
    10th December 1996 ©

  34. Johanna Mattern says:

    My husband (38) was diagnosed 3 years ago with PPMS. He’s been in treatment with Rituximab infusions every 6 months but doesn’t seem to help much, he’s getting more and more problems walking. If there is any chance he could be included to take part in this study we would be most grateful.

  35. andrew maclean says:

    im 47 had ms for 22 years its my right side that is affected and my balance iv never had any kind of medication if im not to old i would like to be considered thankyou.

  36. Donald Peters says:

    Donald Peters says:

    My wife (70 yrs.) has Secondary Progressive MS now for thirty years and in a wheelchair now foe the last 8 years. She said she would love to take part in this trial.

  37. Jayne Nester says:

    Jayne Nester, says I have had MS for 12 years. I also am a dibetic, so not sure numbness in hands and feet are nuropathy or MS? Wouldn like to be considered for trial.

  38. Dianne Roncal, DMD says:

    Hello everyone, we highly recommend that you talk to your doctor and see if it is available in your area.

  39. Veronika Hristova says:

    Hello, my name is Veronika, I am 26 years old and I was diagnosed with MS in 2015. I would like to be part of this trial study.

  40. jojo says:

    Look at us!
    Hear us!

    We are desperate and have no time to wait. I understand that you Dr. Su Metcalfe are trying to raise money, but it is beyond cruel to put this out there and give us false hope. If the disease doesn’t kill us articles of hopes and cures that are not even close will. I read the article with tears in my eyes, could not believe it. To good to be true, and it was. I felt the relapse come on. It is time for the media and Pharma to acknowledge what pain they are causing. Shame on all of you!

  41. Christopher says:

    Sorry people when don’t need another therapy what we need is a way to hyp up the biddy ability to repair its myilen I have second dairy MS and that is just a stage that sorry to say everyone with MS will get,at lest according to my doc so that why I say we need to start look a repairing ms damages to the biddy. Plus sometimes I feel it is all Lie’s the drug company makes billion on there drugs and the CEO don’t won’t to loose that or there million dollar homes,and boat’s or car’s so I say why isn’t there better thin to to focus on repair,permanent repair. In my opinion that the way to go! Now American let wake up and get it done

  42. Maylen Moen says:

    Hi, im 32 and had MS since i was 24 (2008). I would love to take part in this trial. Even tough im settled in Norway.

  43. Francoise coupal says:

    I was diagnosed with ms primary progressive for two years. Only taking a high dose of biotene. Seeing dr freedman in Canada 🇨🇦. Would love to be part of your study.

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