The technique, based on using stem cells developed by a Polish scientist, was presented in Warsaw on Wednesday.
Professor Andrzej Klimek, one of the leaders of the project explained that the method, which is owned by Luna Laboratory, consists of injecting a patient’s stem cells from their own bone marrow.
So far four patients in an advanced stage of MS have been given the treatment, Prof Klimek said. “After using the method they underwent observation for a further two-year period and the results of it were fairly optimistic” the professor added. He claimed that after a single application of the stem cells, the improvement in the patients’ health was significant. The MS returned in the case of one patient only, but the symptoms were short-lasting.
According to prof. Klimek, there are no side effects of this particular method.
He added that MRI results on patients’ brains showed that the number of brain areas affected by MS dropped, which means that the treatment is indeed effective.
Asked what made this treatment different from existing methods using stem cells, the president of Luna Laboratory, Wioletta Zdańska said that the cells aren’t multiplied in a laboratory. In addition to that, the selection of the cells is very precise and the proportions of the doses are more accurate. This increases the probability of success.
As she emphasized, at present the company is seeking ago-ahead from the Ministry of Health interested in the purchase of this therapy, should the hospital test results be satisfactory.
One of the patients treated using this innovative method is the President of MS Association in the southern Polish city of Wroclaw, Maria Mańkowska. During the press conference she shared her story. The woman suffers from MS and other auto-immunological conditions. She mentioned that before the treatment she had difficulty walking and problems with her eyesight. Now she can work, drive and take care of her grandchildren.
MS is a medical condition which is caused by an immune attack which targets the myelin sheath components of the brain. The myelin sheath acts as an insulator for neurons which allows them to communicate properly. Multiple sclerosis causes the body’s immune system to attack the myelin sheath. This destroys the communication of neurons and messages from the brain are distorted, slowed or altogether stopped.