The MS Center’s Dr. James Bowen is a part of the HALT-MS trial, which has made the list of the 20 top research advances supported by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID).
The study tested a treatment regime on 25 patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), the most common form of multiple sclerosis. Relapsing-remitting MS is characterized by symptom flare-ups followed by periods of remission.
Each patient in the study previously had experienced worsening neurological disability while taking standard medications. The study showed that with high doses of immunosuppressive therapy followed by transplantation of the patient’s own blood-forming stem cells, sustained remission in some people with RRMS occurred.
Nearly 80 percent of the trial participants did not experience an increase in disability, a relapse of MS symptoms or new brain lesions over the three-year period after receiving the stem-cell transplant.
More to Come
The study plans to follow participants for a total of five years, but initial results are promising and will help inform larger trials in the future.
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