Dr. Mark Freedman interviewed about experimental mesenchymal stem cell treatment for multiple sclerosis

November 16, 2008

Dr. Mark Freedman was interviewed on CTV National News about an experimental stem cell treatment that researchers in Israel are offering to multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The treatment involves mesenchymal stem cells, one of the three types of stem cells found in adult bone marrow.

Dr. Freedman noted that some patients seem to have improved after receiving this therapy, but much more research is needed to determine if it is safe and effective. Dr. Freedman is organizing an international meeting to discuss this and he hopes to eventually begin a clinical trial in Canada.

Dr. Freedman and colleague Dr. Harry Atkins are currently leading a clinical trial that is examining another type of bone marrow stem cell transplant for MS. This trial uses strong chemotherapy and “hematopoetic” stem cells to replace the damaged immune system with a new one. More information about this trial is available on the MS Society of Canada’s website. The Stem Cell Network also provides general information on stem cell research for MS.

Patients interested in experimental therapies for MS should speak with their specialists.