Hematopoietic Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis: Top 10 Lessons Learned
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- Atkins, H.L. & Freedman, M.S. Neurotherapeutics (2013) 10: 68. doi:10.1007/s13311-012-0162-5
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Reports from more than 600 hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) have appeared in the medical literature for the last 1 and one-half decades. The patient’s own stem cells are harvested and stored temporarily while high doses of chemotherapy and biologics are used to destroy the auto-destructive immune system. The immune system is regenerated from the infused autologous hematopoietic stem cells. Increasing clinical experience has refined patient selection criteria and management in the peri-transplant period leading to a reduction in treatment-related complications. HSCT, when used to treat patients with aggressive highly active multiple sclerosis, can reduce or eliminate ongoing clinical relapses, halt further progression, and reduce the burden of disability in some patients, in the absence of chronic treatment with disease-modifying agents. The top 10 lessons learned from the growing experience using HSCT for the treatment of multiple sclerosis are discussed.