Duke Participates in the BEAT-MS Clinical Trial Comparing Stem Cell Transplantation to Immunotherapy

Duke Participates in the BEAT-MS Clinical Trial Comparing Stem Cell Transplantation to Immunotherapy

Duke University, through the Immune Tolerance Network, is offering a multicenter, Phase III interventional clinical trial examining the efficacy of autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, an emerging therapy for patients with active, treatment-resistant, relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). The condition causes inflammatory flares in the brain and spinal cord once every 12 to 15 months.

Background Research

According to data generated from clinical trials in the U.S., Canada and Australia, risks with stem cell transplantation come with inherent risks. For example, such studies include a 1% mortality rate for those who opt for the approach to deal with MS. Interestingly, of the patients whose immune system reconstituted, data indicate that they were no longer experiencing new symptoms several years later, but the mortality risks are not fully known. What is known is that those patients who have undergone immune reconstitution therapy are especially susceptible to additional health risks such as secondary infection and even new neurological symptoms. For example, those patients that participated in an Alemtuzumab study found they experienced a high r...

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