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Photo: Immuno fluorescence at the Edinburgh lab

HSCT approved by NHS Scotland

The Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG) has said HSCT should be considered as a treatment for MS on the NHS in Scotland.

Their guidance, which was published last week, paves the way for eligible people in Scotland living with MS to access the treatment.

What did the assessment say?

The SHTG looked at the effectiveness and safety of HSCT based on available research.

It concluded that HSCT should be considered for people with relapsing MS who haven’t responded to DMTs. And it said there should be equal access across Scotland to the treatment.

What is HSCT?

HSCT stands for haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. It's an intense chemotherapy treatment for MS. It aims to stop the damage MS causes by wiping out and then regrowing your immune system, using your stem cells.

It’s most effective for people:

  • with signs of active inflammation, as seen by frequent relapses alongside new or active lesions on an MRI scan
  • who are early on in their disease course
  • without significant disability (EDSS score of less than 6.5).

It’s currently available to a limited number of people living with MS in England.

Pushing for real change for people with MS

Morna Simpkins, our Scotland Director, said:

 “The decision to approve HSCT for the treatment of MS is good news and could help in the development of a clear pathway, for people who could potentially benefit, to access it.

“We’ll push to ensure this decision leads to real change for people with MS by continuing to engage with other groups to offer the treatments, including HSCT, which are right for them”

Read more about HSCT