Placental Cells May Present New Treatment for MS

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Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) tolerated treatment with cells cultured from human placental tissue, according to a study, the first of its kind, published in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

Researchers from Mount Sinai, Celgene Cellular Therapeutics and other institutions collaborated on the study that aimed to determine whether or not the treatment was safe for MS patients, including those with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS).

16 patients total were studied, including 10 with RRMS and six with SPMS, with four patients serving as the control. Six patients were given a high dose of PDA-001 cells, which resemble stromal stem cells found throughout the body, and six were given a low dose (four were given placebo). Patients were given monthly brain scans to determine and worsening MS activity, including enlarging brain lesions.

While the patients all responded safely to the treatment, early indications also suggest that the cultured PDA-001 cells can repair damage to nerve tissues destroyed by MS. Additionally, no subjects showed worsening via MRI imaging, and the majority showed stable or improved disability levels after one year.

Researchers pointed out that further study is needed on a larger group to better determine if the PDA-001 cells convert to myelin-making cells, or if they improve the environment of the damaged area to allow for natural repair. 

multiple sclerosis
Placental Cells May Present New Treatment for MS

This study, published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, shows that patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) were able to safely tolerate treatment with cells cultured from human placental tissue. The study, which is the first of its kind, was conducted by researchers at Mount Sinai, Celgene Cellular Therapeutics subsidiary of Celgene Corporation and collaborators at several other institutions.

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