An experimental new stem cell treatment has been used in Australia on a patient with rapid onset multiple sclerosis (MS).
The treatment procedure is similar to rebooting the patient’s immune system.
The procedure involves extracting stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow and storing them in a liquid nitrogen tank, then administering chemotherapy and bone marrow stimulating drugs before reinfusing the extracted stem cells.
A second dose of chemotherapy was required in this case to knock out the patient’s immune system and remaining bone marrow cells.
The patient’s extracted stem cells were reinfused after a day. The normal marrow regenerated and produced healthy blood cells after 14 days, following a period of reduction of the cells in the blood due to the chemotherapy.
The procedure allowed the patient to walk within weeks and MRI scans revealed that almost all life-threatening lesions had disappeared, according to abc.net.au.
The treatment is not suitable for everybody with MS, said Canberra Hospital.