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General criteria for a potential experimental autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) for the treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS)

This is an experimental treatment, which has not been proven to be superior over currently approved disease modifying agents (DMT) in controlled clinical trials. An ASCT is not intended and capable of reverting existing damages to the nervous system caused by previous attacks of the disease. There are substantial risks associated with an ASCT, which is why it can only be considered if the MS is highly active despite sufficient treatment with currently approved DMTs.
 
An Asct can generally only be considered, if

  • there is a highly active relapsing multiple sclerosis despite at least two sufficiently given DMTs*
  • the disease onset was no longer than 10 years ago and the first DMT was no longer than 5 years ago
  • the EDSS is between 2.5 and 5.5
  • there are no medical contraindications for an ASCT

* Activity must be documented by an increase of the EDSS in the past two years of greater 1 and a considerable increase in lesion load in the cerebral MRI. Prior DMTs must have consisted of one baseline therapy (interferons, glatiramer acetate) and on further DMT (fumarate, fingolimod, natalizumab, teriflunomide, mitoxantrone). These criteria must be doscumented by a statement of the treating neurologist.

Even if these criteria are fulfilled, every decision to offer ASCT will be carefully evaluated, as it may depend on other factors not listed here.