New evidence on the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
- Dr. Kouzi
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A new study is adding to evidence that people with multiple sclerosis can benefit from a type of stem cell transplant -- including some patients who are in a more advanced phase of the disease.
The research is the latest look at a potential alternative treatment for some patients with MS -- using their own blood stem cells to try to reboot their faulty immune systems.
Studies have found that the approach may benefit some patients in the earlier stages of MS. Now, the new findings suggest the same could be true of some patients in the second phase of the disease, known as secondary progressive MS.
Researchers found that among more than 2,000 Italian adults with secondary progressive MS, those who received the stem cell therapy fared better over five years than those taking standard medications.
Overall, 62% saw no worsening in their disability, compared with 46% of patients on medication. A small number -- 19% -- even maintained some improvement over five years, versus 4% in the medication group.
Experts said the findings add to evidence of the promise of the stem cell approach. But they also had important cautions.
For one, the study was not a clinical trial that directly tested stem cells against standard MS medications: It looked back at the records of patients treated for MS at various Italian medical centers somewhere between 1997 and 2019.
That means there could be "confounding factors" -- differences between patients who did or did not receive stem cell transplants -- that make it hard to draw conclusions, said Bruce Bebo, executive vice president of research for the National MS Society.
On top of that, patients taking MS medications did not receive the latest drugs approved for the disease. So it's unclear how those more targeted medications might stack up against stem cells.
Those are critical points, given that stem cell transplants are no small undertaking, according to researcher Dr. Matilde Inglese, head of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at the University of Genoa in Italy.
The whole process takes about three months, including a hospital stay and a period where patients have a severely compromised immune system. Ideally, Inglese said, eligible patients would get into a clinical trial testing stem cells against the best available MS drugs.
One such trial, called BEAT-MS, is underway in the United States.
MS is a neurological disorder caused by a misguided immune system attack on the protective sheath around nerve fibers in the spine and brain. The symptoms include vision problems, muscle weakness, numbness and difficulty with balance and coordination.
Cord blood contains immune cells capable to be used in immunotherapies. An important publication from R&D Department of Biohellenika
- Dr. Kouzi
Аn optimized, simplified and clinically approved culture system to produce, in large scale, dendritic cells capable of priming specific T cells
Eleni Gounari a,b,*, Nikolaos Tsagias a, Angelos Daniilidis c, Kokkona Kouzi a,d, George Koliakos a,b
a Biohellenika Biotechnology Company, Thessaloniki, Greece
b Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
c 2nd Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hippokratio General Hospital, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece d Department of Histology Embryology, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece A
Keywords: Dendritic cells Hematopoietic stem cells Specific T-cells Colorectal cancer (CRC) Cancer immunotherapy
A B S T R A C T
Cancer immunotherapy using dendritic cells (DCs) able to induce specific immune responses to naïve T lymphocytes raises great research interest. However, the extremely complex and expensive methods used to produce DCs, combined with the limited number of autologous DCs in the circulation make any application almost impossible. Aim of the study is the development of an optimized and simplified system to easily produce in large scale cord blood-derived DCs, loaded with common tumor antigens, capable of promoting controlled Th1 immunoresponses following clinically approved maturation with vaccines. CD34+cells cultured in the presence of a cytokine cocktail in miniPERM® bioreactors and the generated DCs were matured using anti-flu vaccines. Autologous T cells plated with DCs pulsed with overlapping peptides CEA and WT1 for multiple stimulations. 200 billion of myeloid DCs were produced and matured in just 8 h in bioreactors, presenting an increased expression of the co-stimulatory molecules and also high levels of Th1 related cytokines. Upon just the 2nd stimulation, the T cells exhibited specificity following stimulation with the CEA/WT1 peptides and strong cytotoxic capacity in co-culture with a colorectal cancer (CRC)-cell line. The high produced doses of DCs, easily maturated with clinically approved agents, and capable of priming specific T cells, could potentially strengthen the further progress in DCs-mediated cancer immunotherapy field.
Differentiation, 125 (2022) 54–61