A new study published in the JAMA has revealed that for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), high-dose immunosuppressive therapy (HDIT) with autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) is related with sustained remission and improvements in neurologic function.
Most patients with RRMS who received disease-modifying therapies experience breakthrough disease. Autologous (i.e. using a patient's own cells) HCT has been studied in RRMS with the goal of removing disease-causing immune cells and resetting the immune system.
Researchers examined the effectiveness of early intervention with HDIT/HCT for patients with RRMS and breakthrough disease. They found that of the 24 patients who received HDIT/HCT, the overall rate of event-free survival was 78.4 percent at 3-years, which was defined as survival without death or disease from a loss of neurologic function, clinical relapse or new lesions observed on imaging, while progression-free survival and clinical relapse-free survival were 90.9 percent and 86.3 percent, respectively, at 3-years. The adverse events were consistent with the expected toxic effect of HDIT/HCT and no acute treatment-related neurologic adverse events were seen. Researchers also noted improvements in neurologic disability, quality-of-life and functional scores.