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Stem Cell Therapy: Modern Medicine’s Promising Future For MS Treatment

Stem Cell Therapy: Modern Medicine’s Promising Future For MS Treatment

MS research shows that adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy may potentially repair the damage and inflammation seen in the nervous system of patients with MS.  During an autoimmune reaction, the myelin sheath coating which is formed around the axons of neurons slowly deteriorates, thus causing physical and cognitive impairments.  By calming down the autoimmune attack and attenuating inflammation, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy may halt the progression, and potentially reverse the damage of MS.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the potential of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in treating the different types of MS. In Saudi Arabia, a group of researchers published the literature review, “The Immunomodulatory and Neuroprotective Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE): A Model of Multiple Sclerosis (MS),” describing how MSCs prevent progressive damage in mice induced with MS. The cells secrete soluble factors that inhibit the T-cells contributing to the autoimmune attack, thus protecting neurons from further damage.

In the study, “Mesenchymal Properties of SJL Mice-Stem Cells and Their Efficacy as Autologous Therapy in a Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Model,” researchers in Spain isolated MSCs from one mouse and transplanted the cells into another mouse with an experimental model of relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis. The mice receiving cells rather than saline as a control exhibited lower clinical scores and slower disease progression. These results were confirmed with another mouse strain, demonstrating the robustness of treatment.

Additional evidence comes from a group of researchers and clinicians from the United Kingdom who treated MS patients in the study, “Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: An Open-Label Phase 2a Proof-of-Concept Study.”

Research findings show that intravenous administration of autologous mesenchymal stem cells to patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is feasible and safe and suggests structural, functional, and physiological improvement in patients after receiving treatment with autologous mesenchymal stem cells which is consistent with remyelination. In addition, patients experienced enhanced visual acuity.

Dr. Andre Lallande, Medical Director of StemGenex Medical Group and Principal Investigator of the observational study “Outcomes Data of Adipose Stem Cells to Treat Multiple Sclerosis,” evaluates the quality of life changes measured by the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Inventory (MSQLI) in individuals following mesenchymal adipose-derived stem cell therapy. The minimally invasive surgical procedure consists of cell isolation, activation, and re-administration, where the patient’s own stem cells are administered via full body IV and through additional customized administrations.  “I am excited to be a part of a study that investigates enhancing the body’s ability to regulate and heal itself,” said Dr. Lallande.

Recently, the REGROW Act was introduced by U.S. Senators and House Representatives, bipartisan legislation to accelerate the development of stem cell therapies, which have the potential to fully restore or establish normal function in damaged human cells, tissues and organs for those living with diseases and untreatable conditions.  “The development of regenerative medical treatments is one of the most exciting aspects of modern medicine,” said U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-Colorado), in a press release.

The REGROW Act is legislation designed to establish a unique regulatory pathway tailored specifically for stem cell therapies which can reduce both the time and cost of delivering safe and effective stem cell therapies to patients.  “Groundbreaking new achievements in regenerative medicine therapies are reached every day, but they get stalled in the FDA approval process because the treatments are often too personal to scale up to large clinical trials,” said Mark Takai, in a press release. “Regenerative medicine is based on specific patient needs, using a patient’s own cells to grow healthy tissue to treat often fatal diseases. This bill cuts through the bureaucratic red tape.”

This issue is so important that the two Houses of Congress from both main political parties introduced the bills, S 2689 and HR 4762. “Bipartisan Policy Center commends Senators Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Representatives Mike Coffman (R-Colorado), Mark Takai (D-Hawaii), and Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia) for their collaboration and introduction of the REGROW Act,” said Janet Marchibroda, in a press release.

Stem cell therapy is one of the most exciting aspects of modern medicine and with time, adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy may potentially become the standard of care given to MS patients today.


The preceding article is content provided by our sponsor StemGenex Medical Group. The views and opinions expressed in the content above are not the views and opinions of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, LLC.

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  1. Spiro says:

    As interesting as the MSC studies have been, for progressive disease, neural progenitor cells, like what is being done at Tisch Center with Dr. Sadiq, will be more efficacious in restoring mobility.
    MSCs have very modest and transient effects. Once axons have been lost, like what is happened in progressive disease, the remyelination caused by MSCs will not be of much help.

  2. Kristen M. says:

    I have received treatment for Primary Progressive MS at StemGenex. My treatment protocol was very in-depth, and the follow-up was amazing. StemGenex is the most professional, caring group of people I have ever received medical treatment from. I had very successful results with my treatment, and would highly suggest to anyone with MS, that they speak to them about their options for treatment. It was worth ever dollar I spent to gain my health back, and feel good again.
    I am forever grateful for their research team, and treating professionals.

  3. Eliza Tyler says:

    I personally have had treatment with StemGenex, not of MS, but with positive outcome. I have also met several of their patients there for treatment of MS, all with a very positive outcome in symptom relief, even prior to the studies. I am thrilled to see this treatment coming to the forefront as a form of treatment rather than those horrible biologics that are prescribed. There is anther treatment using HSCT, which requires a round of chemotherapy being successfully used to halt MS however, it is not yet being done here in the US as a regular avenue of attack. This is a huge step in bringing stem cell treatments to the people. I for one, am a believer in the power of stem cells if we can just get through all the FDA red tape. Excellent article!!

  4. Jack Arias says:

    I agree with SPIRO’s comment of May 3 rd above, and my wife is a patient of Dr Sadiq at Tish Center, and we are awaiting results of phase I results and forthcoming phase II both aproved by the FDA to start her on this protocol soon.

    • Jack Arias says:

      Lidia, apparently yes so far and good results have resulted amongst the first twenty patients in the phase 1 of the protocol.
      Jack Arias

    • spiro says:

      It depends. In progressive MS, whether PPMS or SPMS, axons have already died off due to years of demyelination. So MSCs will NOT regenerate these lost axons. Hence why the MSC results worldwide have shown very little improvement in progressive disease. However, they do still offer immunomodulator effects to calm the immune system but at the progressive phase, the immune attack is no longer the problem, degeneration based on hypoxia and lack of energy in mitochondria seems to be the issue (the autoimmune component ends after RRMS and continues only in progressive relapsing or early SPMS). The only study shown so far to reverse disability is what the Tisch MS center in NY is doing with neural progenitor stem cells: these do differentiate, they think, into new neurons, not just remyelinate. That trial is in Phase II and has been mentioned here already. I know it’s confusing.

        • spiro says:

          This is the Tisch MS Center in NYC headed by Dr. Sadiq, V. Harris, etc. It’s important to realize that this is the ONLY FDA approved Phase II trial of stem cells in MS. All others are in Phase I (the legitimate ones, like the Cleveland clinic); the for-profit centers that have no research behind them unfortunately just take adipose or bone marrow stem cells and re-inject them back into the patient with no effect other than placebo. The key in the legitimate trials is to culture and expand these MSCs, not just take them out and reinject them: sadly, this does nothing. For a definitive review, read Wheelchair Kamikaze’s summary. These clinics use anecdotal patient testimonies to claim effectiveness but there is no clinical evaluation of these “improvements” or scientific scrutiny. They are the clinics that advertise. I’ll say no more about that for risk of offending anyone going there for treatment. The Tisch center uses neural progenitor cells, which are the initial lineages of new neurons, not just remyelination. I can go on and on about these advantages; their Phase I results were remarkable and speak for themselves and were independently evaluated by blinded clinicians/neurologists, not some company brochure. Hope that helps.

          • Steve says:

            The one question I have is will this one procedure stand alone by itself. While other procedures use chemo in an attempt to reboot the immune system, this one doesn’t seem to address it. To me it would make life a roller coaster, get this treatment and your system repairs until the next attack and then back to square one.

          • Ian Franks says:

            Steve, HSCT does include the use of chemo to kill the immune system which is then rebooted by the stem cells collected from you earlier in the treatment process.

  5. spiro says:

    As Jack above states, Dr. Slavin and his associate in Israel has documented some effectiveness of MSCs in low EDSS progressive patients, but nothing compared to reversal of disability as seen with NPCs used at the Tisch clinic. Also, the MSC results, even admitted by Karussis and Slavin, have a short transient effect that fades, typically only up to six months.

  6. Jack Arias says:

    Exellent the review of Spiro on this matter, and anyone in secondary or primary progresive MS ought to contact Tish Center to obtain more info regarding the ongoing phase II tests by contacting Dr Sadiq’s secretary in N.Y. In our case
    My wife has developed MDS over the past 18 months which seems unrelated to the Stem cell protokol and we had to suspend the procedure temporarly to attend this new issue.

    • spiro says:

      Best of luck to your wife Jack. Unfortunately,neurologists are not very aware of the Tisch trial. The media has done an ok job documenting this trial. I am writing to the NMSS to fund this critical trial which offers the best hope for reversal of established disability in PROGRESSIVE MS patients. Please support

  7. Lisa Lynch says:

    Hello, I have been reading a lot about stem cell therapy, I am considering flying to Phoenix Arizona to the stem cell therapy center there. They use the adapose tissue to get the stem cells. My MS has progressed and I would try anything.

  8. Lauren says:

    Ms has stolen my life. Got it when I was 17. Am now 52. Used steroids. I think they helped. Was able to live “normal” life till I was about 37 ish. Would love to hear about anything that would help me regain some of my life.

  9. Debra Estrem says:

    We would be interested in trying stem cell therapy as well. Deb was diagnosed in 2010 at age 55 SPMS has progressed very fast and has not walked for 4 years. She has bloating problems no one can figure out and bowel difficulties.
    Leg Stiffness is now becoming more problematic.

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