Canadian doctors have used adult stem cells taken from multiple sclerosis patients to attempt to cure them of their disabling condition. CTV News reports that researchers at the Ottawa Hospital have successfully treated four patients with stem cells obtained from their own bone marrow.
The doctors destroyed the immune systems of the patients with chemo-therapy and then inject the stem cells to regenerate systems without the disease.
Six months after the first patient was treated, she was found to have no evidence of the disease on MRI scans. Researchers are very hopeful but remain cautious. "In four cases, we've had four successful grafts with no evidence of any active disease," says Ottawa Hospital's Dr. Mark Freedman. "The cure in this case would be a listing remission, not requiring any intercession with any more aggressive drugs," explains Freedman.
While similar research on advanced MS patients has been shown to arrest the disease in the brain but not the body, the Canadian research is being undertaken with younger and healthier MS patients.
[OTTAWA, April 15, 2002 (LSN.ca)]