During clinical tests chronic autoimmune disease was stopped in 17 of 24 patients, but one died from oslozhneniy
results of magnetic resonance imaging of a healthy brain (left) and a patient with multiple sclerosis (right). Photo: Jessica Wilson / Science Photo Library
Canadian doctors reported the results of clinical trials of a radical approach to the treatment of multiple sclerosis with stem cells, pishetNew Scientist. The proposed method can call them extreme. Imagine being treated or completely save you from illness, or kill.
However, the test results are encouraging. Some patients confined to a wheelchair, completely get rid of the symptoms and have now returned to normal life, which can be called a miracle
Multiple Sclerosis -. Chronic autoimmune disease that affects the myelin sheath of nerve fibers. The disease has no relation to the "Alzheimer's disease" (a disease does not exist) and radically different in simpotomatike.
In multiple sclerosis, the person's own immune system attacks the body, attacking the protective myelin sheath of nerve fibers in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. Outbreaks of the disease gradually grow. Myelin acts as a electrical insulation for conductive nerve fibers. The widespread violation of isolation leads to disturbances in the transmission of electric current of the circuit throughout the body. The nervous system is starting to fail, a person impresses blindness or paralysis, and eventually the nervous system is completely out of order, that means death.
structure of a neuron. Orange color shows the myelin sheath
Multiple sclerosis occurs in young and middle age (15-40 years). The causes of the disease are unknown until the end of the doctors, but by now found several factors that are correlated with the emergence of multiple sclerosis.
The distance from the equator (probably related to decreased production of endogenous and vitamin D intake of exogenous in areas with less sunlight), a high-risk zone - the regions north of the 30th parallel on all continents Stress li.. > Private hepatitis b vaccination (in spite of the results of scientific research, the World health organization issued a statement that the analysis of the available data does not confirm the hypothesis that vaccination against hepatitis b increases the risk of the disease). Low levels of uric acid main feature of the disease is the simultaneous failure of several different parts of the nervous system that leads to a variety of patients with neurological symptoms.
From multiple sclerosis affects about 20 million people worldwide, mostly women living in more northern countries such as Canada and Russia, the northern regions of the United States.
Existing medications can ease the frequency or strength of the immune system to attack the myelin sheath of nerve cells, but do not eliminate the disease and do not apply to some patients.
The radical approach of Canadian physicians involves treatment of the disease by the complete destruction of the existing immune system and restart it with the help of stem cells. Stem cells - a special kind of cell in the body, which are able to specialize yourself or produce offspring in the form of specialized cell types. In this case, they are used to create a new immune system.
This method of treatment suggests that the disease should disappear completely. The immune system attacks the body ceases. Moreover, as shown in clinical tests, over the years, the human body is able to rebuild and repair the damage inflicted by the disease in previous years. That is, the nervous system repairs itself, so that the patient is gradually returning the lost function.
Despite the risky approach, the results of clinical trials are encouraging. For example, one who participated in the experiment, patients Jennifer Molson (Jennifer Molson) of the Canadian province of Ontario decided to experimental radical treatment 14 years ago, when the disease has reached such a stage that the girl is under the clock medical supervision in a hospital in Ottawa, moving only on the walker, a cane or in a wheelchair. When she was released on the weekend, the girl looked after her boyfriend, and she completely relied on his help: he cut her food and fed, clothed, and bathed her in the bathroom. That is, Jennifer could not live a normal full life without assistance. At the time of maximum development of the disease she lost control of her bladder and bowels.
Patients with such severe form of multiple sclerosis agree to any experimental solution, even very risky. So Jennifer Molson was one of the first who took part in clinical trials for the full restart of the immune system. In 2002, physicians began to destroy her immune system. She became one of the 24 patients who were chosen for the first clinical test of the experimental method.
Interestingly, this method of treatment of multiple sclerosis was discovered quite by accident in the treatment of patients with leukemia, who both suffered from multiple sclerosis. Leukemia (leukemia) - a malignant disease of the hematopoietic system, a method of treatment which involves the extraction of bone marrow cells with the further destruction of the human immune system with the help of intensive chemotherapy. A sample of purified bone marrow cells from cancer cells and returned to the body to create a new, clean immune system. Surprisingly doctors, this method is restarted immune system, some patients are not cured only leukemia and multiple sclerosis.
Doctors do not have a clue on why the immune system attacks the myelin sheath of nerve cells. According to one theory, it is a false alarm of the immune system in response to viral infection, when the virus is similar to the protein myelin. As in the case of allergic reactions, in such cases, the immune system do not have time to develop an antidote, so that it reacts to a dangerous threat to quickly and aggressively (but not necessarily exactly). If this theory is correct, then reboot the immune system clears out its "memory" of information on the signature of the allergen (virus), so attacks on it are terminated.
Today, a few medical centers in the world offer a radical experimental treatment of multiple sclerosis with the proviso that the patient is suffering from a severe form of the disease and conventional medications have no effect. If the patient has a disease of moderate severity, the doctors suggest a milder form of chemotherapy, reducing the probability of curing the disease.
Of the 24 patients who participated in the Canadian clinical trials, 17 people managed to stop the progression of the disease. However, a reboot of the immune system was given to them is not easy: chemotherapy followed by loss of hair, loss of nails, nausea, diarrhea, it causes infertility and early menopause in women. But the most dangerous - is the risk of infection, when a person's immune system is completely absent in the first week, and then very weak. It is due to infection from one patient had a liver transplant, and he died due to complications of transplantation.
18 months after the start of treatment, Jennifer Molson saw the first physical improvement, and three years later was able to return to work. By now her life is completely back to normal, the disease has disappeared without a trace, and Jennifer is no different from all the other healthy people. On weekends it is skiing and rowing kayak. On weekdays, Jennifer works researcher at the same hospital in Ottawa, where there used to be as a terminally ill patient.
Scientific work with the results of clinical trials in Canada, published June 8, 2016 in The Lancet (doi: 10.1016 / S0140-6736 (16) 30169-6, pdf). It is the world's first scientific paper that describes the successful treatment of multiple sclerosis with long-term positive effect without the use of medication.
The first table shows data on 24 patients who underwent the procedure of replacing the immune system between October 2001 and December 2009.
No patient relapses were observed following treatment with stem cells. A total of 314 MRI procedures (marked with lines on the right-hand chart), the average time tracking of patients after treatment is 6-7 years. The cross means the death of the patient, the asterisk - censorship of scientific research, when the patient subsequently received a further alternative, experimental treatment or unreliable, so he was excluded from the sample
"We avoid the word beginning with" and ", but these patients are cured, - says Michael Rudnitsky (Michael Rudnicki), Program Director for Regenerative Medicine and Sprottovskogo center of stem cell research at the Research Institute of Public Health of Ottawa, who was not involved in the research work so it can afford such high-profile expression. - Jennifer Molson moved in a wheelchair in a rehabilitation center and could not work. And now she is skiing, married again and got a driver's license. I think it will become the new standard for the treatment of progressive multiple sclerosis. »
Jennifer Molson in various stages of recovery after treatment
Currently, the treatment of the actual mortality 1% (4% does not, as in this clinical test, 24 patients). Now doctors want to try another option of chemotherapy, which is less likely to cause complications in the liver. It may be able to reduce mortality. You can try less radical options of chemotherapy, to find a balance between efficacy and toxicity, experts say.