There is a treatment for people with MS having HSCT, stem cells done in Russia, Singapore, the main countries as of yet. There is a long waiting list and it is not very cheap. My concern is the small percentage of deaths and complications. My MS is not active although I seem to have neuro pain and other issues, but not bad enough to have this treatment as of yet. Although the woman that started all this called Kristy Cruise who was on 60 minutes in Australia, has had everyone following her in her footsteps. Her MS was inactive but had her treatment in Russia with success. My question is what do you think of HSCT treatment and how will this treatment effect the "anxious" people?
Hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) have featured prominently in the news for the past year but have been used for over 15 years to treat rare cases of aggressive MS at several centers in the US, Canada and Europe. This is not an approved indication for the treatment of MS and therefore not covered by insurance. Because of the prohibitive costs in the US, Canada and Europe, many people are traveling to Singapore and other countries able to provide HSCT and other medical procedures at a lower cost and, in some cases, fewer complications by well trained specialist. I am not aware of the facilities available in Russia. The real issue is whether HSCT are ready to be used on a wider scale in the treatment of MS. I believe that based on the current evidence, the answer is no. However, people should be able to make there own decision on this issue, as there is evidence to support HSCT in certain cases. My usual response is to advise people on the degree to which I think they may or may not benefit from this treatment.
Discuss this with your physician as I do not know the specifics of your case.
Revere (Rip) Kinkel MD
Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program
Professor of Clinical Neurosciences
University of California San Diego
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