Chemotherapy is used to destroy a patient’s faulty immune system. Then stem cells from the patient’s blood and bone marrow are infused to help rebuild it. One stem-cell patient in the study relapsed with MS inside a year. Patients said the results were “a miracle” and had seen them return to normal life after the disease left them in a wheelchair or unable to read.
“We are thrilled with the results – they are a game-changer for patients with drug-resistant and disabling multiple sclerosis,” Professor John Snowden, director of blood and bone marrow transplantation at Sheffield’s Royal Hallamshire Hospital, which led the UK part of the trial, told to media. A neurologist at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in the U.K. told the BBC this was the best result he had seen “in any trial for multiple sclerosis,” though he included the caveat that the results were only preliminary.The results were presented at the annual meeting of the European Society for Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation on Sunday. However, doctors insist it is not a one-size-fits-all solution and isn’t suitable for all MS patients, warning the process can be gruelling involving chemotherapy and a few weeks in isolation in hospital.