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Stem Cell Therapy for MS Patients Produced "Miraculous" Results

January 18, 2016

A cutting-edge stem-cell treatment has produced results that have been referred to as a “miracle” on multiple occasions. Patients embarking on a trial of the new treatment have found they can walk again and that the disease even appears to be stopped in its tracks.

Holly Drewry, 25, was wheelchair bound after the birth of her daughter Isla, now two. She told the BBC’s Panorama program: “I couldn’t walk steadily. I couldn’t trust myself holding her (Isla) in case I fell. Being a new mum I wanted to do it all properly but my MS was stopping me from doing it.

“It is scary because you think, when is it going to end?”

The treatment that she ultimately underwent involved a high dose of chemotherapy. This tapped out the immune system, which was ultimately rebuilt with stem cells from the patient’s own blood.

“I walked out of the hospital. I walked into my house and hugged Isla. I cried and cried. It was a bit overwhelming. It was a miracle.”

Her treatment has now been reviewed and her condition has been found to be halted. She will need to be monitored for years but the hope is that her transplant will be a permanent fix. These stem cells work so well, because they have the chameleon-like ability to become any cell in the body based on their environment.

During the treatment, the patient's stem cells are harvested and stored. Then doctors use aggressive drugs which are usually given to cancer patients to completely destroy the immune system. The harvested stem cells are then infused back into the body where they start to grow new red and white blood cells within just two weeks. Within a month the immune system is back up and running fully and that is when patients begin to notice that they are recovering.

It is important that the patient is in good physical shape to benefit from this type of treatment.