Stem Cell Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis – first-of-its-kind study
At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) researchers presented a new study about stem cell therapy in multiple sclerosis. MSC-NPs was safe and well tolerated. The stem cell treatment might be a new option for patients suffering from progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). It’s called Intrathecal administration of autologous mesenchymal stem cell-derived neural progenitors (MSC-NPs).
What does that mean?
Intrathecal administration of autologous mesenchymal stem cell-derived neural progenitors (IT-MSC-NPs) is an experimental approach to treat multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers extract bone marrow of the patient and isolate specific mesenchymal cells, so called “neural progenitor cells”. The cells are processed and multiplied in the laboratory and then injected (up to 10 million cells per injection) into the patient again. Intrathecal means into a space around the spinal cord which is connected to the brain.
The small phase I clinical trial included only 20 multiple sclerosis patients. Each received 3 doses of IT-MSC-NPs.
Neurological improvements were observed while no serious adverse evets were reported. 65% of patients had minor side effects including headache and fever.
The authors of the study conclude that IT-MSC-NPs as treatment for MS “appears safe and well tolerated”. However, the study was a phase I trial. Future research has to show if the promising results can be verified.