Monday, 2 March 2015

Miracle Stem Cells


#MSresearch #MS blog #stem cells miracle cure more like poor reporting

‘Miracle’ stem cell therapy reverses multiple sclerosis
The treatment, is the first to reverse the symptoms of MS, which has no cure, and affects around 100,000 people in Britain.A pioneering new stem cell treatment is allowing multiple sclerosis sufferers to walk, run and even dance again, in results branded ‘miraculous’ by doctors.

Patients who have been wheelchair-bound for 10 years have regained the use of their legs in the ground breaking therapy, while others who were blind can now see again.

The treatment, is the first to reverse the symptoms of MS, which has no cure, and affects around 100,000 people in Britain.

It is not 1st April but 1st  March so what should we make of this. 


Is it time to "hang up our boots" because everything is sorted or should we keep them on to give the journalist a really good kicking for shoddy reporting. I have my Bovver boots ready to rumble I think.

My simple advice is, if you are reading anything in the newspaper about MS, be very sceptical and cautious....It is invariably wrong or half a story at best.

This is about the use of bone marrow stem cells to to replace the immune system and is the most extreme form of "induction therapy" aimed at rebooting the immune system. This study has been reported by us and it is clear that the majority of people are not leaping out of their wheel chairs. This is just the type of poor reporting that the media specialise in ...media hype 

"This is not a treatment that is suitable for everybody because it is very aggressive and patients need to be quite fit to withstand the effects of the chemotherapy," warned Prof Sharrack.

This may not be suitable for everybody because it probably doesn't work for everybody. If you have aggressive inflammation there may be movement problems, get rid of it and you can walk again, however loose nerves and you do not recovery properly...we seek this with the beasties all the time. We even see this as part of the natural recovery process paralysed to walking to paralysed to walking ec etc etc


We commented on the JAMA paper already (CLICK)

15 comments:

  1. Thank you, this is the kind of journalism MSers need, no more articles about the unending complexities of the immune system or the lack of understanding of neurodegenerative pathways. Just add stem cells to the diseased state and witness the reversal of disability. Was this so difficult Team G? To be somewhat serious, stem cells seem to offer hope but we cannot bypass the science without proper clinical trials. In other words "We got to have HEART" (feel free to use this slogan for your study). i think the transplant teams are going to be busy in the future.

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    1. Whilst I now first sentences are tongue in cheek but if this is what you need you are in the wrong place here, just add stem cells and bobs your uncle but this is exactly the problem with the media. Because they do not properly inform. The stem cells that I believe MSers largely think about and want are ones that make nerves and repair, but the stem cells here are nothing of the sort. They are simply replacing the immune system. This is what all the drugs largely aim to do or recreate and ablation and immune stem cell replacement is the most extreme form of this and is the clinical readout of the basic science that was evident well over twenty years ago. Basic science shows that you can also get as good an outcome without the aggressive treatment.

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  2. yes it might not be a miracle cure , but I understand the potential risks and I am willing to take them for the potential benefits , and this is coming form an EDSS 0 CIS (I am not willing to do it unless I am clinically or radiologicaly proven to have MS , so holding it for now)

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  3. I bet if Team G were involved in this project then they'd be labelling it in more positive tones like they do alemtuzamab. The market is full of sham efforts other than heir own stuff, it seems.

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    1. Like that's just your opinion, dude.

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    2. I think you hit the nail on the head there Anon. I personally undergo this trestment because of the chemotherapy but wait, isn't that what campath is, recycled chemo?

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    3. Maybe if we were a haematology lab we would be more into bone marrow transplants, the EAE literature is full of them

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  4. Would be a different response if the headline was campath me thinks!

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  5. "This is not a treatment that is suitable for everybody because it is very aggressive and patients need to be quite fit to withstand the effects of the chemotherapy,"
    Indeed, if you have a compromised blood:brain barrier as a result of MS, then the chemo could enter the brain (it doesn't normally which is why brain tumours are so difficult to treat with chemo) with potentially serious consequences for some.

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    1. Cyclophosphamide, used in non-myelo HSCT, is able to permeate the blood brain barrier (compromised or not) to some significant degree. As are some of the drugs in the BEAM protocol used for myeloablative HSCT (especially Carmustine). This is part of the intended effect of HSCT and one of the benefits versus the mabs (i.e. HSCT is able to impact the autoreactive lymphocytes that are trapped behind the BBB in the CNS). The risk profile with IV Cyclophosphamide in the doses used is not massive and it's not a drug that is associated with a particularly high risk of secondary neurological injury...

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    2. Incidentally guys, this is featured prominently in today's Daily Mail as well (online and in print). One thing you may be interested in, in the context of the ZEUS trial, is that they (presumably paraphrasing Prof Sharrack) quote a cost to the NHS of £30,000 for the procedure. A lot less than the numbers we've all been speculating over.

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    3. Yes cyclophopsphamide can penetrate the brain to some degree but if you're an MSer with sick neurons, the consequences may be more severe than if you do not. I'm just speculating here!

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  6. What is up with the undertones on this blog? I read the comments because often they help me understand broader issues but i have so little appreciation for the 'war' between the 'researchers' and the 'sufferers who don't appreciate the researchers' efforts. Seriously is this blog staffed by a bunch of especially bright kindergarteners? Poor poor poor researchers breaking their backs to do a job they're paid and chose to do, they volunteer their blog time and are so unappreciated by the world they cannot make a point without breaking into sarcasm and snarky comments? Seriously? Are any of you actually capable of growing up or is this how you get your kicks in the afternoon after a bad day?

    I’m stunned that this blog is supposedly monitored and written by grown ups, let alone medical professionals.

    I’m a relative of someone with MS and it has been a while since I have been this disgusted.
    - Bojana

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    1. Dear Bojana,
      Sorry you're offended. Personally, I think it's important we fight our corner when our research/motives are questioned (by a minority it's fair to say, it shows we are human beings not remote from MSers in our ivory towers. We could just not post any negative comments but I think the blog would soon just become too cosy, like the majority of other MS blog sites. We aim to answer questions and comments in a rapid manner, sometimes our responses may appear harsh but believe me if you saw some of the vile abuse we do not post, you may understand our occasional tetchiness.
      All the best and keep coming back.
      MD2

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  7. Unlike Bojana, I am not at all offended. I appreciate all candor. I am extremely grateful to Dr. G, all the MD's and staff that take the time to participate in this blog.

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