Stem cell study shows early promise for MS

A University of Bristol study has demonstrated that stem cell therapy could slow the progression of multiple sclerosis, lending hope to patients with the disease. In the trial, six MS subjects were injected with their own PCT stem cells collected from their bone marrow. Researchers then injected the stem cells into each patient's blood stream.

Results from the trial indicate that the treatment could stabilize the disease. But researchers were quick to point out that the therapy isn't some miracle cure, and that much more study is needed before they can conclusively determine the treatment's utility for treating MS. "We didn't see patients throwing away their wheelchairs, throwing away their walking sticks, the symptoms that the patients had didn't change a great deal," said trial leader Prof Neil Scolding. "They didn't get a lot worse over the 12-month period--and you might have expected them to--but neither was there a great difference in what patients could actually do. So this is just a beginning." A Phase II/III study is expected to get under way later this year.

- here's the BBC story