A recent study published in Transplantation Proceedings suggests that a second autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) can be safely performed on people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have previously received a stem cell transplant. MS is a neurological condition characterized by the immune system attacking healthy parts of the brain and spinal cord, resulting in nerve cell damage and a range of symptoms.
The aHSCT procedure involves collecting a person’s own hematopoietic stem cells, wiping out their immune system with chemotherapy, and reintroducing the collected cells to create a new immune system that does not attack healthy body parts. While aHSCT is not officially approved for MS treatment in the United States, it is considered effective in certain cases.
The study focused on four MS patients in Mexico who underwent a second aHSCT procedure after their disability started to worsen following their first transplant. The second procedures were successfully performed without complications, and two of the patients experienced slower rates of disability worsening compared to before the second aHSCT. Although this is a small study, the researchers believe it demonstrates that a second aHSCT can be a safe and feasible option for some individuals with MS, emphasizing the need for more extensive research on the safety and efficacy of this approach.