'Boost for autoimmune diseases fight MS
Autoimmune diseases the real terror threat! Inside your body. Your
own defenses forces have turned against you specially in women of
A first step towards tackling autoimmune diseases such as
multiple sclerosis (MS) with bone marrow transplants has been
taken by scientists.
The technique involves a more efficient transplant that
removes the need for potentially damaging radiotherapy or
So far it has only been tested on mice, but researchers
believe there could be "potentially big" benefits for human
Bone marrow transplants, which transfer adult stem cells to
the patient, are now mostly reserved for patients with
life-threatening blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukaemia.'
Once transplanted, these cells transform into blood and
immune system cells. But before a transplant can be performed
the patient's original stock of stem cells must first be cleared
This is currently done using intense radiotherapy or
chemotherapy treatment, which can seriously damage body tissues.
Patients may be left infertile, brain damaged, or at increased
risk of further cancer.
For this reason the treatment is considered unsuitable for
autoimmune disorders, although some research has been done on
marrow transplants for MS sufferers.
In theory, renewing the immune system could prevent the body
attacking itself and cure an autoimmune disease.
The new approach uses an antibody to wipe out the original
stem cells without the harmful side effects of radio or
chemotherapy. The molecules destroy blood and immune system stem
cells by latching onto specific proteins on their surfaces. Once
removed, the new stem cells can be transplanted.
Professor Irving Weismann, from Stanford University School of
Medicine in California, who co-authored a paper on the research
in the journal Science, said: "It is essentially a surgical
strike against the blood-forming stem cells."