A small group of 24 patients who suffer from multiple sclerosis received a new treatment which stopped or reversed MS symptoms for three years. Seventy percent of patients were able to experience this type of benefit from the stem cell treatment process.
Here is how the process works: in MS patients their broken immune system is obliterated, then new stem cells are transported and the symptoms the disease causes are stopped.
A few patients did not experience symptoms until seven years after their transplants. Some went from being wheel-chair bound to walking. But in order to obtain the benefit of this treatment, there were many side effects one had to go through.
Infections and organ damage from the intense chemotherapy treatment were some of the side effects patients suffered from. One patient died from complications of treatment.
These risks may seem worth it to patients who are experiencing quickly progressing MS symptoms, they need to remember this was a small study done and it did not have a control group.
A stem cell biologist, Stephen Minger, told BBC news, “It's important to stress that this is a very early study. Nevertheless, the clinical results are truly impressive, in some cases close to being curative.”