Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for MS: Progression-Free Survival Seen in Nearly Half of Patients
By Amy Orciari Herman
Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Jaye Elizabeth Hefner, MD
Autologous stem cell transplantation for multiple sclerosis might help slow neurologic progression in nearly half of treated patients, suggests a retrospective study in JAMA Neurology.
Researchers studied some 280 adults with MS who underwent autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation between 1995 and 2006 in 13 countries; 78% of patients had progressive forms of MS, and 22% had relapsing forms.
Overall, progression-free survival at 5 years post-treatment was 46%. Factors associated with better outcomes included relapsing (vs. progressive) MS, younger age, and fewer treatments before transplantation. In particular, among patients with relapsing MS, progression-free survival was 73%.
Some 3% of patients died within 100 days of transplantation; these deaths were considered treatment-related. The authors note that transplant-related mortality has improved since the study period.
Commentators say stem cell transplantation "might be a reasonable choice for younger patients with relapsing MS who have failed 1 or 2 treatments." In addition, "the data would suggest some utility in treating patients with progressive disease."
JAMA Neurology article (Free)
JAMA Neurology comment (Subscription required)
Background: NEJM Journal Watch Neurology coverage of stem cell transplant for MS (Your NEJM Journal Watch registration required)