Resetting The Immune System May Stop Multiple Sclerosis
Feb 22, 2017 02:02 AM EST
A clinical trial drove by Imperial College London has uncovered the capability of risky new treatment to stop the movement of different sclerosis.
Around the world, there are 2.3 million individuals with different sclerosis (MS), an illness created by a deficient immune system that assaults neurons in the brain and spinal cord. At present, there are medications that can moderate the growth of MS, however none can stop it or cure it.
A study drove by Imperial College London and published in JAMA Neurology features another treatment that could be life-saving for some, however lethal for others. The treatment kept symptoms from worsening in 46% of patients for a life span of no less than 5 years. In any case, out of the 281 patients enlisted, eight of them died in the following months, the risk being higher for those who are older and with more severe types of MS.
The treatment was called 'autologous hematopoietic immature stem cell transplantation' (AHSCT), a method where the patient's own bone marrow stem cells are reaped and transfused back after eliminating any existing immune cells with chemotherapy. Past researches have recommended the transfused cells regrow a "reset" immune system that does not harm neurons any longer.
According to the lead author of the study Paolo Muraro, based on the study which is the largest long-term follow up study of the procedure, it is shown that doctors could "freeze" a patient's disease and stop it from becoming worse up to five years. However, such treatment carries a 'small risk of death", and MS is a disease that is not immediately life-threatening.
The study also discovered that the treatment was more successful in patients with relapsing MS, a type of the disease described by flare-ups took after by periods with enhanced symptoms, reported BBC. Head of Biomedical Research at the MS Socienty Sorrel Bickley said that the treatment is best in individuals with MS who have "active inflammation" in their brain and spinal cord.
Further studies could help decide in more detail which patients can benefit by this treatment and which are at risk. Muraro emphasized that larger trials including placebo groups are the next stride.
In the mean time, biotechs are working on alternatives to better treat patients with MS such as antibodies created by Geneuro, now in Phase IIb; shark-inspired antibodies from Ossianix; and customized multi-omics financed by the EU Horizon 2020.