Polly asks Paolo if stem cell therapy is something we should be considering at an early stage of progression ?
Yes, for any therapy in MS, the earlier the better, but I think the window of opportunity may extend into the earliest part of the progressive phase for those who have secondary progressive disease. At that stage we know that there can be still active inflammation. We do have a number of markers, clinical and MRI, to establish whether that kind of inflammation is still ongoing and if so, there is still opportunity for intervention to stop the process and potentially reverse it.
So repair can still happen even if people have progressive conditions, it’s not that anything’s dead, it’s still just reparable?
Yes. There is, by the time progressive disease has started we know that unfortunately a lot of damage has already occurred and this makes things more difficult, but in the early stages of progression there is, on the one side, there is still spare capacity, and on the other side there is still some form of repair which is spontaneously occurring, although it’s ultimately on the way to failing and if we can try and find new ways to stop that failure and reverse the failure, then we can be successful at stopping progression.
MS Reporter: Polly
MS Expert: Dr Paolo Muraro sees patients at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and his research programme is aimed at understanding and developing effective therapies for multiple sclerosis.
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