Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
Cell therapy is considered a promising potential treatment for multiple sclerosis, perhaps particularly for the progressive form of the disease for which there are currently no useful treatments. Over the past two decades or more, much progress has been made in understanding the biology of MS and in the experimental development of cell therapy for this disease. Three quite distinct forms of cell therapy are currently being pursued. The first seeks to use stem cells to replace damaged myelin-forming oligodendrocytes within the CNS; the second aims, in effect, to replace the individual’s misfunctioning immune system, making use of haematopoietic stem cells; and the third seeks to utilise endogenous stem cell populations by mobilisation with or without in vitro expansion, exploiting their various reparative and neuroprotective properties. In this article we review progress in these three separate areas, summarising the experimental background and clinical progress thus far made.