Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation for MS

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)

17 Replies

  • erash is this part of or is HCST? Or something else? For us non understanding ones.☺🌠

  • Jesmcd2 same thing

    Note they say safety has likely improved since this study was done

  • An interesting read. Thanks for taking time to share this, erash.

  • Thanks erash, if I was 10 years younger it would be a consideration but I think I need more positive results, blessings Jimeka

  • There still doing research and the safety is improving. But I get what you. Mean jimeka

  • Thanks for the info erash

    Think l don't know? What l would do? As it's not an option for me? LOL

    Are you having trouble posting the websites? I can help with that☺🌠

  • Jesmcd2 i copy and pasted directly and the references were hot links but it didn't show up that way 🙁

  • Wow, I don't feel like 3% death should be acceptable for ANY treatment.

  • Karen-x the safety is improving!

  • I have watched videos of younger women (under 30) that went to other countries for stem cell treatments. Not sure if it's the same as your article. They had stem cells removed and while their stem cells were being treated, the patient underwent something like 5 days of chemo to treat their body and make it ready to receive the treated stem cells. After they received the treated stem cells, they made a gradual but noticeable improvement until they felt disease free. Yes, just as if they were a cancer patient, there was hair loss, nausea and common reactions to the chemo. Most importantly, they felt completely WELL within a month or two. I'm ready, but at 68 yrs old, not eligible for drug trial or stem cell trials. This is a big frustration for me, because before I went numb last summer, I was very active, bicycling, swimming, and walking. Not a typical 68 year old. Sign me up for stem cell, I want my life back. Just had to have a little rant, not having a few good days is putting me in a frustrated mood.. I know, we all want our lives before MS back..

  • CalfeeChick

    Isn't it interesting how the average age of most of our regulars here seems to be at least the fifth decade--esp. Given the ave. age of onset ms 20-30s and many of us were diagnosed relatively recently (or are still awaiting diagnosis).

    P.s. Please deserve a good rant 😾

  • Could be because those of us a little older have the extra time to participate in our group. I'm just so glad to have found this group. To Listen, Share and suggest.

  • Yep, u r probably right CalfeeChick

    Nice photo! Your not really 68 per pic 😉

    By the way, weather getting any better? I've heard more flooding 🙁

    One of my brothers is in San Jose right now

  • I think I was 66 when that pic was taken. Can't tell the book by the cover. (That was a selfie just before I had all the hair cut off. It has since all grown back)

    Weather is a little better. We didn't get the high winds, but did get lots of rain. There's some flooding in the outlying areas. Lots of snow in the Sierra's. We haven't had this much rainfall here and snow in the Sierra's since 2011. Your brother can tell you about the rain yesterday as that area gets hit before we get it as we're further inland. There was lots of closed roads because of landslides, water over the roads, etc.

  • CalfeeChick so, how did you get all that hair under a bike helmet 😊

    Glad the weathers breaking a bit. I spoke to my brother on Sunday...he was grumpy that he had to stay inside--said he was going to a movie

  • RE: the hair, usually a long braid down the back. Sometimes 2 braids just or fun. My hair has thinned allot this last year, but is just as long now. I also wear bangs to hide a receding hairline. We saw on the news tonight some of the SJ flooding in the southern areas of SJ and toward Morgan Hill. Tell brother to stay safe and dry. So much weather and road problem, flooding. We sure needed the rain and it would be great if we had even more reservoirs for storage. After 5 yrs of drought, I think we're good now.

  • Thank you for posting. I am so tired of not having my life. Sign me up right now. 😊🌈

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