OBJECTIVE:To summarize the evidence on immunoablative therapy followed by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (aHSCT) to manage severe and treatment-refractory multiple sclerosis (MS).
METHODS:We collected all the published studies of aHSCT in any form of MS from 1995 to 2016, carefully excluding reports that were updated in subsequent studies. Endpoints were transplant-related mortality (TRM), rate of disease progression, and no evidence of disease activity (NEDA) status. A weighted metaregression based on a Poisson model was run, assessing whether there were study-specific characteristics with an effect on TRM and progression.
RESULTS: Fifteen studies including 764 transplanted patients were pooled in the meta-analysis. The pooled estimate of TRM was 2.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3%-3.4%). TRM was higher in older studies (p = 0.014) and in studies with a lower proportion of patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) (p = 0.028). A higher baseline Expanded Disability Status Scale (p = 0.013) was also significantly associated with a higher TRM. Pooled rate of progression was 17.1% at 2 years (95% CI 9.7%-24.5%) and 23.3% (95% CI 16.3%-31.8%) at 5 years. Lower 2-year progression rate was significantly associated with higher proportions of patients with RRMS (p = 0.004). The pooled proportion of NEDA patients at 2 years was 83% (range 70%-92%) and at 5 years was 67% (range 59%-70%).
CONCLUSIONS: The emerging evidence on this therapeutic approach in MS indicates that the largest benefit/risk profile form this therapeutic approach can be obtained in patients with aggressive MS with a relapsing-remitting course and who have not yet accumulated a high level of disability.
Casanova B, Jarque I, Gascón F, Hernández-Boluda JC, Pérez-Miralles F, de la Rubia J, Alcalá C, Sanz J, Mallada J, Cervelló A, Navarré A, Carcelén-Gadea M, Boscá I, Gil-Perotin S, Solano C, Sanz MA, Coret F.Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: comparison with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
Neurol Sci. 2017. doi: 10.1007/s10072-017-2933-6. [Epub ahead of print]
The main objective of our work is to describe the long-term results of myeloablative autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (AHSCT) in multiple sclerosis patients. Patients that failed to conventional therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) underwent an approved protocol for AHSCT, which consisted of peripheral blood stem cell mobilization with cyclophosphamide and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), followed by a conditioning regimen of BCNU, Etoposide, Ara-C, Melphalan IV, plus Rabbit Thymoglobulin. Thirty-eight MS patients have been transplanted since 1999. Thirty-one patients have been followed for more than 2 years (mean 8.4 years). There were 22 relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients and 9 secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) patients. No death related to AHSCT. A total of 10 patients (32.3%) had at least one relapse during post-AHSCT evolution, 6 patients in the RRMS group (27.2%) and 4 in the SPMS group (44.4%). After AHSCT, 7 patients (22.6%) experienced progression of disability, all within SP form. By contrast, no patients with RRMS experienced worsening of disability after a median follow-up of 5.4 years, 60% of them showed a sustained reduction in disability (SRD), defined as the improvement of 1.0 point in the expanded disability status scale (EDSS) sustains for 6 months (0.5 in cases of EDSS ≥ 5.5). The only clinical variable that predicted a poor response to AHSCT was a high EDSS in the year before transplant. AHSCT using the BEAM-ATG scheme is safe and efficacious to control the aggressive forms of RRMS.
This is another HSCT study published after the review will have been done. Again this suggests the earlier you start the more likely the procedure will suceed and is more suitable for RRMS.