Multiple sclerosis patients could get better quality of life through new world-first therapy

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Multiple sclerosis patients could get better quality of life through new world-first therapy

A world-first clinical trial has helped improve the quality of life of multiple sclerosis patients, with seven out of 10 participants reporting positive changes.

A world-first clinical trial has helped improve the quality of life of multiple sclerosis patients, with one participant saying the treatment helped her feel “in control of her life” again.

The new therapy, trialled by researchers from QIMR Berghofer and the University of Queensland, involved 10 patients receiving four doses of cellular immunotherapy treatment.

In 2003, Professor Michael Pender from UQ proposed a theory that multiple sclerosis was caused by an accumulation of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) in the brain.

QIMR Berghofer Professor Rajiv Khanna AO developed the treatment, which involves taking blood from patients, extracting their T (immune) cells and “training” them in the laboratory to recognise and destroy the EBV.

Professor Pender said results from the clinical trial had been very promising, with seven of the 10 participants reporting positive changes.

“The degree of improvement varied from reduction in fatigue and improved quality of life and productivity to improvements in mobility and vision,” he said.

Louise Remmerswaal was a fit and strong mother of two young children when she was diagnosed with MS in November 2001.

She said before the trial she struggled with vertigo, fatigue and continence.

“I was feeling really dizzy all the time, it kept me from making conversations with people who were standing up. I would feel physically ill if I had to look up at them,” Ms Remmerswaal said.

“Even at night time getting from my wheelchair into bed my head would just be spinning and since the trial that has completely gone away.

Read on: Multiple sclerosis patients could get better quality of life through new world-first therapy

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