A new study, published in JAMA Neurology, adds to the growing body of evidence of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation as an effective treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). This procedure halted disease progression for 5 years in almost half of patients.
For the study, a team of researchers analyzed data from 25 treatment centers in 13 countries, identifying 281 patients with multiple sclerosis who was treated with the foregoing procedure between 1995 and 2006, 78% of them had a progressive form of the condition. The scientists discovered that 46% of patients had no disease progression in 5 years after the treatment.
Lead study author Dr. Paolo Muraro from the Department of Medicine at Imperial College London says: “In this study, which is the largest long-term follow-up study of this procedure, we’ve shown we can ‘freeze’ a patient’s disease – and stop it from becoming worse, for up to five years. However, we must take into account that the treatment carries a small risk of death, and this is a disease that is not immediately life-threatening.”