Article by: Fergus Walsh, BBC News
Jan. 18, 2016
UK doctors in Sheffield say patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are showing “remarkable” improvements after receiving a treatment usually used for cancer.
In MS the protective layer surrounding nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord – known as myelin – becomes damaged. The immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin, causing scarring or sclerosis.
The treatment – known as an autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) – aims to destroy the faulty immune system using chemotherapy. It is then rebuilt with stem cells harvested from the patient’s own blood. These cells are at such an early stage they’ve not developed the flaws that trigger MS.