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Autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation a new form of therapy for multiple sclerosis MS patients
2013-10-25

Autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation - a new form of therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients has been successfully used in the treatment of 9 patients in Poland. This form of therapy is only available in one place in Poland - the Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Clinic.

The procedure is relatively simple but the patient has to remain under medical supervision for a long period of time. The treatment offers a chance to stop MS progression and even revert the symptoms brought on by the disease.

With the aid of stimulant drugs a large number of hematopoietic cells is derived from the patient’s peripheral blood. The cells are then frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored for later use. After a short recovery period the patient undergoes intensive chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Although the patient’s immune system is severely weakened during these procedures the pathogen responsible for MS is also destroyed. After 3 to 4 weeks the patient’s previously derived cells are reintroduced in to the patient’s blood stream, under close supervision. Due to the fact that the cells are autologous there is no risk of rejection during the transplant.

The head of the Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Clinic stated that the results so far are very satisfying, patients that were previously completely bedbound regained the ability to walk with the use of a cane. She also stated that awareness regarding the availability of this treatment method in is still very low. She hopes that more MS patients will decide to use the new treatment method and that future patients will not resort to this treatment method as a last resort, since certain degenerative changes are irreversible once they take place.


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