Small Preliminary Study Examines Blood Stem Cell Transplant to Delay MS Progression



Media advisory: To contact corresponding author Richard K. Burt, M.D., email Marla Paul at The full study is available on the For The Media website.

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Bottom Line: In a randomized clinical trial, researchers compared the effect of a stem cell transplant using a non-myeloablative regimen (a lower-dose, short course of more tolerable immune specific chemotherapy and antibodies to suppress the immune system) versus continuing disease-modifying therapy in 110 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The primary outcome was disease progression and other outcomes included neurologic disability, quality of life, time to relapse and no evidence of disease activity. The stem cell transplant was better than continued drug therapy for patients with frequent relapses and moderate disability. Further studies are needed to replicate the findings of this preliminary study.

Authors: Richard K. Burt, M.D., Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and coauthors.

Visual Abstract


Related Material

The following related elements from the JAMA Network are also available on the For The Media website:

— The JAMA study, “Association of Initial Disease-Modifying Therapy With Later Conversion to Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis,” by Tomas Kalincik, Ph.D., Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, and coauthors.

— The JAMA editorial, “Stem Cell Transplantation to Treat Multiple Sclerosis,” by Harold Atkins, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., of the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.


To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.


Editor’s Note: The article includes funding/support and conflict of interest disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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