How does HSCT work?
All immune cells in the body originate from a common progenitor, known as a hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) found in the bone marrow. As the HSC divides, it gives rise to a wide diversity of immune cell repertoire that all serve specific immune functions. Many of these immune cells, known as lymphocytes, are capable of recognizing and defending against foreign pathogens that enter the body.
For an, as yet, unknown reason, some of the lymphocyte immune cells develop a corrupted memory in which they become self-intolerant and attack & damage different cells and tissues of the body. In the same manner as normal cells divide, so does the mutant auto-toxic cell clone, giving rise to a large population of autoreactive cells that mediate damage of different normal structures.
Autoimmune damage of myelin is associated to MS, NMO, CIDP and TM. This is the fundamental mechanism that underlies autoimmune disease and using chemotherapy to eliminate these self-intolerant auto-toxic lymphocytes is the key to also halting the underlying autoimmune disease. The immune cells eliminated from the body are eventually replaced with new immune cells created in the bone marrow, which do not contain toxic corrupted cells, thereby halting the underlying disease activity.
What are the benefits of HSCT?
The aim of the entire HSCT treatment process is to stop the immune system from causing damage of the myelin so that proper electrical conduction within the nervous system is restored. In addition to the halting of the underlying autoimmune disease, the reinstatement of appropriate healthy signaling from nerves to muscles often results in clinical and symptomatic improvement.View video