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Bone-Marrow Stem Cells in Multiple Sclerosis Show Promise

Posted May 05 2010 12:00am
ScienceDaily (May 5, 2010) — A groundbreaking trial to test bone marrow stem cell therapy with a small group of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has been shown to have possible benefits for the treatment of the disease.

Bone marrow stem cells have been shown in several experimental studies to have beneficial effects in disease models of MS. The research team, led by Neil Scolding, Burden Professor of Clinical Neurosciences for the University of Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trust, have now completed a small trial in patients with MS to begin translating these findings from the laboratory to the clinic.

The Bristol team report on this pioneering trial in an article published online in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. The study was performed at the Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol and the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre.

The study explored the safety and feasibility of cell therapy in patients with MS. Participants had a general anaesthetic during which bone marrow was harvested. The marrow cells were filtered and prepared so that they could be injected into the patient's vein later the same day.

The procedure was well tolerated and the participants were followed up for a year. No serious adverse effects were encountered. The results of clinical scores were consistent with stable disease. The results of neurophysiological tests raised the possibility of benefit.



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