September 26, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Dr. Richard Burt

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

9 min read

Today’s post is the last of a three-part series on the Burt stem cell trials at Northwestern. This piece is focused on funding and the future of the trial, and also includes perspectives from patients. You can read Part 1 here and Part 2 here, which focused on issues related to potential encouragement of patient fundraising that unintentionally releases private information and on concerns over marketing of the ongoing trial as already known to be something like curative for MS. I’ve summarized my overall concerns in a flow chart below. …Read More

7 min read

Can science now cure MS in some patients with stem cells or is that near on the horizon? What about stem cells for other serious autoimmune disorders? What are the risks to patients in terms of health, money, and hope? What if patients must find $100,000 or $200,000 just to get into a clinical trial for this and insurance only sometimes helps in a big way? Will the trial conclude with an approved product that works and is safe enough? It’s always complicated with an ongoing …Read More