Paul from the MS community: So you said previously that you were not accepted on Lemtrada, so then what was the criteria you had to meet to be accepted for HSCT?
Dave Bexfield, MSers Expert and founder of Active MSers: For this particular trial I still had to be pretty early on in my disease, under ten years, I believe. I had to be able to walk a hundred metres, unaided, which, that was a big experience, because when I initially went in for this treatment I could walk 500 metres, no problem.
By the time I actually got transplanted, it was touch and go whether I could do a hundred metres to qualify. And I had a relapse and they basically said you’re out of the trial. And my sister, my physical therapist sister, she taught me how to walk again, be able to just get out the hundred metres. Again, this was all for clinical trial purposes. In general HSCT is better for younger relapse remitting aggressive disease, in general.
Paul: So then I guess having some support just before you start treatment might actually make a difference on fulfilling this sort of eligibility criteria, right?
Dave Bexfield: Oh, absolutely. I mean my MS at the time when I applied, it was about three years after I’d been diagnosed, and I was in great physical shape. I mean I knew I was in great physical shape, my legs just didn’t work. And then other things started to come down. But at the time when I was going into the treatment, I couldn’t have been in much better shape.
I know it sounds weird if you can’t walk, but I still exercised every day as much as I could and my heart was in great shape, and chemotherapy can really do a number on your heart.