AHSCT

Stem cell therapy found safe, effective in RRMS study

Nearly three-quarters of people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) showed no signs of disease activity five years after receiving a stem cell transplant, according to a recent Swedish study. Moreover, about half of patients with at least minimal disability saw improvements after the transplant and about one-third remained stable.

Stem cell therapy may do most good when given early

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have never received treatment with a disease-modifying therapy tend to have better long-term outcomes after stem cell transplant, according to a recent report from a center in Mexico. The findings suggest that stem cell therapy may be most beneficial when given…

Stem Cell Transplant May Halt Nerve Fiber Damage in RRMS: Study

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (aHSCT) reduces markers of nerve fiber and myelin damage in people with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), according to a small study done in Sweden. “We investigated if therapeutic intervention with aHSCT could halt the injurious process leading to tissue damage in MS,” researchers wrote.

Stem Cell Transplant Found to Reduce MS Relapses, Ease Disability

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (aHSCT), a procedure that aims to “reset” the immune system, generally reduces disability and relapse rates in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new meta-analysis. “Current data encourage a broader application of AHSCT for treating patients with MS while still considering…

Stem Cell Transplant Gaining Ground as MS Therapy Option

Nothing was working for Jennifer Stansbury Koenig, who was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in 2010 the day before she learned she was pregnant. The first disease-modifying therapy (DMT) Koenig started in 2013, Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate), an oral capsule developed and marketed by Biogen, made her…

Blood Stem Cell Transplant May Help Immune System Longer

Treatment with an autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (aHSCT) seems to reboot the immune system in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients for at least three years, a small study found. The study, “Sustained immunotolerance in multiple sclerosis after stem cell transplant,” was published in Annals of Clinical and…

Stem Cell Transplant Reduces Relapses and Disability in RRMS, Study Suggests

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (AHSCT) induces a reduction in relapse rate and physical disability in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) who respond inadequately to other treatments, a small study suggests. The study, “Selective cognitive dysfunction and physical disability improvement after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation…

aHSCT Gets a Boost in US With NMSS Recommendations

Is the United States a step closer to approving a form of stem cell transplantation as a treatment for multiple sclerosis? I believe it may be. That’s because the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) has slightly changed its view of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, or aHSCT. aHSCT involves…

#ECTRIMS2019 — Promises and Warnings About Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy, or stem cell transplant, is an emerging yet controversial treatment approach for multiple sclerosis (MS). While some data uphold it as one of the most efficacious MS treatments, to date there have been no controlled studies comparing it to conventional medicines and providing more robust…

#AAN2018 – Stem Cell Transplant is Effective Treatment for ‘Aggressive’ MS, Study Shows

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, also known as aHSCT, has been shown to be safe and highly effective to treat patients with "aggressive" multiple sclerosis. Tested in 19 patients, transplantation of stem cells was found to induce clinically meaningful improvements in disability. These findings were shared at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Los Angeles, California. aHSCT uses a patient’s own healthy bone marrow stem cells, in combination with a much less aggressive chemotherapy and/or radiation regimen, to prepare the patient for the transplant. Previous studies have suggested that aHSCT is an effective strategy to treat patients with highly active relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) who do not respond to available disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), and international guidelines advocate for its use in patients with "aggressive" MS. To further demonstrate the potential of aHSCT as a treatment for "aggressive" MS, a research team evaluated its safety and effectiveness in MS patients who had not been treated previously with DMTs. A total of 19 patients were treated across several clinical centers: seven patients were from Sheffield, U.K., seven from Uppsala, Sweden, four from Ottawa, Canada, and one patient was from Florence, Italy. All patients received aHSCT between May 2004 and May 2017. In addition to aHSCT, patients were treated with BEAM (carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, melphalan) chemotherapy plus antithymocyte globulin (ATG) to reduce transplant rejection, or with Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) with ATG, or the triple combination of Cytoxan, ATG, plus busulfan as conditioning regimens. Patients had a median age of 33 years at diagnosis and received the aHSCT by a median time of nine years after symptom onset. They had a median disability score of 6.5 before the treatment, as determined by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). After a median follow-up period of 30 months, patients had a median EDSS score of 2.0, which represented a median improvement of 2 points (the higher the score, the worse the patient's disability level). None of the patients had clinical relapse following the transplant of stem cells. Only three patients developed new brain lesions detectable by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the first six-month follow-up evaluation, but no additional new lesions were detected in the following scans. The adverse effects reported during the study were comparable to those previously observed in similar treatments. No deaths related to the treatment were reported. Based on these preliminary results, the researchers concluded that aHSCT is “safe and highly effective in inducing rapid and sustain remission” in highly active MS, and "was associated with a significant improvement of [patient’s] level of disability.” “aHSCT should be considered as first line therapy in patients with ‘aggressive’ MS,” the team concluded. Another study presented at the AAN 2018 meeting further supports these findings, demonstrating the superior effectiveness of aHSCT over conventional DMTs for RRMS.