HALT-MS, a new clinical trial, recently found that a treatment plan of high-dose immunosuppressive therapy and blood transplantations can help people who suffer from multiple sclerosis. The trial found that this treatment, called HDIT/HCT, resulted in 69 percent of participants surviving and maintaining their current level of health over a five year period. None of these participants expressed new brain lesions, increased disability, or relapse. They also did not take any of their regular MS drugs during this time.
The trial was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and performed by the Immune Tolerance Network. In their research, they found that a one-time treatment of HDIT/HCT was overall more effective than long term usage of the currently available MS drugs. In HALT-MS they used a group of 24 volunteers that had relapsing-remitting MS and were experiencing active inflammation. They hope to perform another trial on a larger, randomized group of people to further their research and findings.
During this trial, doctors collected the participants’ stem cells and gave them a high-dose of chemotherapy in order to crash the immune system. They then returned the participants own stem cells in order to rebuild the immune system again. Researchers believe they have found a better option to current MS drugs and hope that one day this can be used a therapeutic option for people with active relapsing-remitting MS.
Shiva Gopal Vasishta is an MD certified Neurologist working in Voorhees, New Jersey. He attended the Government Medical College and graduated in 1979. He completed his residency at Houston City Hospital. Shiva Gopal Vasishta has now been practicing medicine for 40 years and specializes in Psychiatry.
Shiva Gopal Vasishta is a member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is an experienced neurologist currently working at Kennedy University Hospital. Shiva Gopal Vasishta treats patients with brain disorders including MS.