Am J Stem Cell 2013;2(2):95-107

Review Article
The development of hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cell transplantation as an
effective treatment for multiple sclerosis

Jameson P Holloman, Calvin C Ho, Arushi Hukki, Jennifer L Huntley, G Ian Gallicano

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, 3900 Reservoir Rd. NW,
Washington DC 20057, USA. Contributed equally to this manuscript.

Received May 28, 2013; Accepted June 12, 2013; Epub June 30, 2013; Published July 15, 2013

Abstract: This article examines the current use and future implications of stem cell therapy in treating Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is the
most common neurological disease in young adults, affecting approximately two million people worldwide. Currently there is no cure for
MS. The standard treatment of MS involves disease-modifying drugs, which work to alleviate the symptoms of MS. However, these drugs
carry adverse side effects and are ineffective in preventing disease progression in many MS patients. Hematopoietic stem cell
transplantation (HSCT) was first used in 1995 to treat patients with severe rapidly progressing MS. The HSCT treatment protocol has
evolved into a less intense conditioning regimen that is currently demonstrating efficacy in treating patients with variable disease
severity—with best results in early-stage rapidly progressing MS patients with active CNS inflammation. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy
(MSCT) is an experimental stem cell therapy currently undergoing clinical trials. Animal models and early clinical trials have shown
promise that MSCT might be a low risk treatment to precipitate neuroregeneration and immunomodulation in MS patients. Specifically,
neuroprogenitor and placental-derived mesenchymal stem cells offer the best hope for a practical treatment for MS. Stem cell therapy,
and perhaps a combinatorial therapeutic approach, holds promise for a better treatment for MS. (AJSC1305001).

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, stem cells, autologous hematopoietic stem transplantation, mesenchymal stem cell transplantation

Address correspondence to: Dr. G Ian Gallicano, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Georgetown University
School of Medicine, 3900 Reservoir Rd. NW, Washington DC 20057, USA. E-mail: gig@georgetown.edu
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