chapter  31
10 Pages

Autologous stem cell transplantation in multiple sclerosis: preliminary clinical results and future activities

Recent reports have suggested the possible beneficial effects of haemopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The definition of the risk/benefit ratio for such a treatment is perceived as a major issue for the neurological community world-wide. The 1st Consensus Conference on Bone Marrow Transplantation in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis was held in Milan (Italy) in February 1998. Participants from 16 different European and North and South American countries discussed the guidelines for performing HSCT in MS. This conference was organized in order to:

(a) define criteria for patient selection; (b) define transplantation procedures to maximize the efficacy and minimize the toxicity

of the treatment; (c) standardize patients’ outcome evaluation; and (d) establish an international working group to evaluate the efficacy and safety of HSCT

in MS and to study the immunological changes related to HSCT in MS patients.