MS treatment to feature on Panorama

Published date: 18 Jan 2016 at 10:26AM

Tonight’s Panorama episode is scheduled to focus on a new stem cell treatment for MS, known as Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (AHSCT or HSCT).

This is a relatively new treatment, currently in trials and available on the NHS at a limited number of accredited centres in the UK.

We worked with producers and the research team at Sheffield to provide information, but we didn’t have any say on the content or the final edit, nor do we feature in the programme.  

Promising, but more research needed

Dr Emma Gray, our Head of Clinical Trials, said: “More than 100,000 people are living with MS in the UK and it’s crucial they have a range of effective treatment options available to them.

“Ongoing research suggests stem cell treatments such as HSCT could offer hope and it’s clear in the cases highlighted by Panorama they’ve had a life-changing impact. However, trials have found while HSCT may be able to stabilise or improve disability in some people with MS it may not be effective for all types of the condition.

High-risk treatment

“We want people to be aware HSCT is an aggressive treatment with significant risks. It needs to be carried out at an accredited centre or as part of a clinical trial.

“The MS Society has recently funded a study looking into the impact of HSCT on the immune system and we’d like to see larger trials in this area. They would help us learn more about the safety and long-term effectiveness of the treatment and who could benefit from it.”

If you want to know more about this kind of treatment, talk to your neurologist. Only a health care professional will be able to refer you to an accredited centre.

Tune into BBC One at 8:30 tonight to watch "Can You Stop My Multiple Sclerosis."

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