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Published 01 November 2022

AHSCT and Progressive MS. Conflicting Studies (Year 6.4) - UPDATED

UPDATED 23 December 2022

Two conflicting studies about HSCT and progressive MS have surfaced in the last two months. The first was an apropos article from Tomas Kalincik, PhD, of the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia in a late-breaking presentation at the 2022 meeting of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS). The second was by Matilde Inglese, MD, PhD, study author and professor of neurology at the University of Genoa, in Italy, which was published in Neurology on December 21, 2022.

Dr. Kalinck's Study

The presentation was regarding AHSCT and Progressive MS. Kalinick's findings have long since been suspected, yet there are definitely some high-profile cases that contradict this new research. My mentor, George Goss, mentioned throughout this blog, is one of them. Without George's detailed documentation of his experience, I might not have undergone my such treatment. (My own diagnosis at the time of my procedure was Relapsing MS.)


New Evidence Sheds Light on Stem Cell Transplantation for Progressive MS

— Disability, relapses no better than disease-modifying drug

"Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) was not superior in preventing relapses or reducing disability progression compared with natalizumab (Tysabri) in progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), new research suggested."

Dr. Inglese's Contradicting Study

Dr. Inglese found the exact opposite results for patients with SPMS. The majority of the patients with similar disease progression and symptoms fared better with HSCT than they did with DMTs. As summarized by MS News Today:

"More transplant recipients also experienced clinical improvements that were sustained after three and five years. After 10 years, disability scores improved slightly for transplanted patients compared with worse scores for patients on medications." 

Matilde Inglese, MD, PhD, commented:

“Our results are encouraging, because while current treatments for secondary progressive MS have modest or small benefits, our study found stem cell transplants may not only delay disability longer than many other MS medications, they may also provide a slight improvement in symptoms.”

Read about her article in Neurology:

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in People With Active Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis


Important Timeframes

  • My Stem Cell Transplant Date: June 5th, 2016
  • Treatment duration: 4 weeks
  • Typical onset of disability reversal: +9 months
  • Typical complete recovery from procedure: +1 to +2 years
  • Typical maximum reversal of disability: +2 years


I am not a doctor. I am a scientist (engineer) who has had MS since March 2013.

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