Autologous T-Cell Vaccination for Multiple Sclerosis
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- Vandenbark, A.A. & Abulafia-Lapid, R. BioDrugs (2008) 22: 265. doi:10.2165/00063030-200822040-00006
T-cell vaccination (TCV) is a unique approach to induce immune regulation that may have importance in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). TCV employs a classic vaccine strategy of injecting an attenuated form of the disease-causing agent — in this case, myelin-reactive T cells — that have been selected and expanded from each MS donor and then re-injected after irradiation to induce protective immunity. This anti-T-cell immunity consistently results in selective deletion or regulation of the targeted pathogenic T cells in vivo. Longitudinal studies have established that TCV is safe and often results in a reduced relapse rate and clinical stability or improvement, at least temporarily, in the majority of treated MS patients. These results lend direct support to the involvement of inflammatory myelin-reactive T cells in the MS disease process. However, these hopeful trends reported in a number of pilot trials await validation in larger proof-of-principle trials that are now in progress.