Hematopoietic SCT for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Bone Marrow Transplant. 2010 Aug 9;
Hematopoietic SCT for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Atkins H

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the leading autoimmune indication for autologous hematopoietic SCT (aHSCT). Patient selection criteria and transplant interventions have been refined through a series of cohort and registry studies. High- and low-intensity chemotherapy-based conditioning regimens have been used, creating trade-offs between toxicity and effectiveness. TBI has been associated with greater toxicity and poor outcomes. aHSCT stops MS relapses and lessens the disability in malignant MS, which otherwise rapidly incapacitates patients. Better responses occur in progressive MS earlier in the disease when it has a more inflammatory nature. aHSCT prevents further disability in many patients, but some actually recover from their infirmities. Current regimens and supportive care result in very low morbidity and mortality. MS patients experience unique complications in addition to the expected toxicities. Cytokines used alone for stem-cell mobilization may induce MS flares but are safe to be used in combination with steroids or cytotoxic agents. Urinary tract infections, herpes virus reactivation and an engraftment syndrome may occur early after aHSCT. Rarely secondary autoimmune diseases have been reported late after HSCT. Increasing experience in caring for patients with MS has reduced the frequency and severity of toxicity. Conceived as an opportunity to ‘reboot’ a tolerant immune system, aHSCT is successful in treating patients with MS that is refractory to conventional immunomodulatory drugs.

Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 9 August 2010; doi:10.1038/bmt.2010.168.

PMID: 20697363 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]