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expert reaction to early-stage stem cell therapy trial showing promise for treating progressive MS

A study published in Cell Stem Cell looks at stem cell therapy for treating progressive multiple sclerosis.


Dr Aravinthan Varatharaj, Clinical Lecturer in Neurology, University of Southampton, said:

“This study shows that it is possible to inject stem cells directly into the brains of people with multiple sclerosis. The procedure was generally well-tolerated. The researchers hope that in the future this technique can be used to repair or regrow nerve cells in the brain. However, we do not yet have any good evidence that this is possible. Whilst this study showed that patients did not experience significant disease progression after treatment, there are other possible explanations for this, and this was not a controlled trial. Also, most patients still had evidence of disease activity on MRI scans, suggesting that this treatment did not fully suppress brain inflammation.”


‘Intracerebroventricular Transplantation of Foetal Allogeneic Neural Stem Cells in Patients with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (hNSC-SPMS): a phase I dose escalation clinical trial’ by Leone, MA. et al. was published Cell Stem Cell at 16:00 UK time on Monday 27 November 2023.


DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2023.11.001


Declared interests

Dr Aravinthan Varatharaj: I am involved in trials of disease-modifying treatments for progressive multiple sclerosis.

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