January 16, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

multiple sclerosis

3 min read

I’m continuing my stem cell patient Q&A series and today’s Q&A#2 post is focused on whether autoimmune patients generally or specifically those who have received chemo and hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) are at higher risk from COVID-19? Multiple patients have asked me this. It’s a great question and obviously urgent right now during the outbreak. BTW, You can read patient Q&A#1 from this Q&A series on the potential for stem cell clinics to put patients at risk of graft-vs-host disease via stem cell …Read More

3 min read

“HSCT Chicago Clinic Closing!” is the startling header in all caps on a patient-run Facebook page about a stem cell therapy clinical trial program at Northwestern University. What’s going on? Unfortunately, the promising field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases seems to have suffered an unexpected setback here. Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern, one of the leading figures in the area of developing HSCT approaches for MS and other autoimmune disorders, is going on a sabbatical …Read More

5 min read

Stem cells for MS? How promising is that? A new paper gives stronger reason for hope, but unfortunately this story is more complex than it seems on first glance. New Paper The idea of using a stem cell-related approach to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) has been around for a long time holding major promise, but there hasn’t been much in the way of high-quality trial data out there in the published literature. A paper this week from the Richard Burt team at Northwestern (NW) …Read More

4 min read

Multiple sclerosis (MS) can be an extremely debilitating disease that ultimately is fatal in some patients and reduces life expectancy and quality overall substantially. An MS patient named Caroline Wyatt, who works at the BBC, had the courage to open up in full detail on the BBC about having MS, her experience getting an experimental treatment of stem cells in Mexico, and how she is doing now. It’s a powerful new piece that brings home the complexities of having MS and of getting this hopeful, …Read More

6 min read

By Hamideh Emrani (@HamidehEmrani) This year, Dr. Harold Atkins was honored with the Till & McCulloch Award. He and Dr. Mark Freedman led a clinical trial that used stem cells to reset the immune system as a treatment strategy for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and a few other neurodegenerative diseases, such as stiff person syndrome. You can read how this trial has affected patient Jennifer Molson here. This trial was a hypothesis-driven interventional clinical trial. The researchers hypothesized that through chemotherapy they could completely obliterate the …Read More

10 min read

Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern University has been doing cutting edge research on the use of stem cells for autoimmune disorders for more than a decade. The core idea behind the work that Burt and other research teams are doing is that stem cells may have revolutionary potential to somehow counteract the autoimmunity that causes serious, life threatening diseases in many patients, including those suffering from particularly aggressive forms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Some have recently been characterizing Dr. Burt’s MS experiments as potential …Read More

2 min read

A new stem cell clinical trial for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in Canada is raising hopes amongst patients and researchers. According to the Ottawa Citizen, the trial will be led by Dr. Mark S. Freedman (pictured, photo from Ottawa Hospital), director of the multiple sclerosis research unit at The Ottawa Hospital and “The Canadian trials which are funded with a $4.2-million grant from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Research Foundation.” This clinical trial will use a type of stem …Read More

2 min read

I did a brief email Q&A interview with Dr. Bob Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) on their new hES MSCs pre-clinical data for Multiple Sclerosis. I discussed the paper itself in a concise review yesterday here. Thanks to Dr. Lanza for doing the interview. 1. Were you surprised at the fact that the therapeutic benefit did not require engraftment or even the use of proliferative hES-MSCs? No, not at all.  MSCs usually persist for only a few days or weeks, and exert their …Read More

2 min read

There is more good news from leading stem cell biotech Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) on preclinical rodent studies using stem cells to treat mice with an MS-like condition. They published a new paper in the journal Stem Cell Reports entitled “Human ESC-Derived MSCs Outperform Bone Marrow MSCs in the Treatment of an EAE Model of Multiple Sclerosis” by Wang, et al. Note added: there’s a related interesting paper from Jeanne Loring and Tom Lane’s groups in the same issue using neural progenitors made from …Read More

8 min read

Today’s post is my no-B.S. guide to the possibility of stem cells being used to treat Multiple Sclerosis (MS). There is a great deal of buzz about using stem cells to treat or even cure multiple sclerosis. How much of this stem cell buzz is real hope and how much is hype? MS has a host of symptoms (see illustration at left from Wikipedia). For many patients, conventional chemical medicines do a reasonable job managing the disease. However, for others the disease relapses, is …Read More