ABSTRACT: High-dose immunosuppressive therapy (HDIT) with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HSCT) is a new and promising approach to the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients because currently there are no effective treatment methods for this disease. In this article, we present results of a prospective clinical study of efficacy of HDIT + auto-HSCT in MS patients. The following treatment strategies were employed in the study: "early," "conventional," and "salvage/late" transplantation. Fifty patients with various types of MS were included in this study. No toxic deaths were reported among 50 MS patients; transplantation procedure was well-tolerated by the patients. The efficacy analysis was performed in 45 patients. Twenty-eight patients achieved an objective improvement of neurological symptoms, defined as at least 0.5-point decrease in the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score as compared to the baseline and confirmed during 6 months, and 17 patients had disease stabilization (steady EDSS level as compared to the baseline and confirmed during 6 months). The progression-free survival at 6 years after HDIT + auto-HSCT was 72%. Magnetic resonance imaging data were available in 37 patients before transplantation showing disease activity in 43.3%. No active, new, or enlarging lesions were registered in patients without disease progression. In conclusion, HDIT + auto-HSCT suggests positive results in management of patients with different types of MS. Identification of treatment strategies based on the level of disability, namely "early," "conventional," and "salvage/late" transplantation, appears to be feasible to improve treatment outcomes.
Experimental Hematology 09/2008; 36(8):922-8. · 2.90 Impact Factor