Stem Cell Therapy Strikes Out in Progressive MS
In two retrospective studies that drew from the international MSBase registry, autologous hematopoietic stem cell therapy (AHSCT) did not outperform a disease-modifying therapy (DMT) in patients with multiple sclerosis. One study looked at progressive MS and found no evidence of superiority. Another study in relapsing-remitting MS showed a reduction in relapses compared with treatment with the immune reconstitution therapies alemtuzumab and cladribine, though the results were not definitive.
@amina Some previous, small retrospective studies had suggested that AHSCT could benefit progressive MS. For example, a study published in Neurology looked at outcomes following AHSCT in 210 patients with MS and found a disability worsening–free survival of 85.5% at 5 years in relapsing-remitting MS and 71.0% in progressive MS. However, such studies are prone to bias, according to Bruce Cree, MD, PhD, who was asked to comment on the progressive MS study. Both studies were presented at the annual meeting of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS).