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HSCT retrospective study: why it works in MS, the future, and the challenges

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  • HSCT retrospective study: why it works in MS, the future, and the challenges

    This article in Haematologica (2010 February; 95(2): 185188) looks at autologous hematopoetic stem cell transplantation in autoimmune diseases, looking at 13 years of data and more than 1,000 patients. It's a good overview of the promise (and challenges) facing researchers. - Dave

    The best results were reported for patients with systemic sclerosis, multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus. ...

    Among the various autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis has been the main indication for autologous HSCT. A recent review summarized the data on 400 patients in 12 trials. Patients had either remitting-relapsing or primary progressive disease and conventional immunosuppression had failed. Disease stabilization and improvement occurred in around 70% at least up to 3 years after transplantation. The timing of HSCT in multiple sclerosis may be critical as there is growing evidence that at some stage of the disease neurodegeneration may progress independently of autoreactive processes. ...

    Thirteen years after the first autologous HSCT for autoimmune diseases we are standing at the crossroads: research activity in this field will only be able to continue if prospective controlled trials can be performed and, even more importantly, be completed in a reasonable time span. To achieve this, interdisciplinary collaboration and support from regulatory authorities and healthcare groups are essential.

    Dave Bexfield