Friday, January 1, 2016
Happy start to 2016, everyone!
Some events in life hold more significance than others. For me, this includes December 28, 2009, my stem cell transplantation birthday and the day that I beat MS.
For anyone that has followed along with my journey to undergo HSCT that started a little more than six years ago, it's been a great ride with no regrets and an outcome every bit as I had hoped. And some more (symptomatic reversal / improvement) as a bonus.
By the way, doctors consider 5 years of cancer remission a "cure." By this same definition I am cured of MS. So far only HSCT has been shown capable of this:
Most MS Patients Who Received Stem Cell Transplants Still In Remission Years Later
A quick status update of my health: Although I still have a degree of remaining partial (mostly ambulation) disability that I can live with, my underlying MS disease activity & progression remains halted today and my status remains stable. This includes that 8 of 11 symptoms I had prior to transplantation have completely disappeared. I could cite a lot of details, but I won't bore you (you can read prior posts in the blog if you want to dive in to such details). Instead I will say directly and straightforward that HSCT has kept me out of a wheelchair that I have no doubt I would otherwise be in now had I not undergone HSCT.
However, I will cite some highly relevant study data previously presented at the European Blood & Bone Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) Autoimmune Disease Working Group Meeting detailing the long term monitoring of a controlled population of transplanted MS patients from several independent Italian HSCT centers.
These data outlining HSCT recipient's Progression Free Survival (PFS) for both relapsing and secondary progressive (that's me) *strongly* indicates two important lessons learned that is also completely consistent with other voluminous published data and treatment centers; first is that although HSCT is not effective in 100% of all treatment cases, it is the *most* effective treatment to completely and durably halt the underlying disease activity & progression in the overwhelming majority of *both* relapsing *and* progressive MS patients. Secondly is that once a transplantation recipient passes +5 years of cessation of underlying disease activity, the disease remission appears to be permanent. There is absolutely nothing else at all shown to be anywhere even close to this effective. And since I am well past the five year point for halting of my disease, I have good confidence that most likely my great success in achieving post-transplantation stability will be enduring. Probably forever. Which is also consistent with other HSCT recipients that I have met that are now well past a decade of total disease remission.
So in summary, I did something that ignorant neurologists everywhere will wrongly tell you is impossible:
I beat MS with HSCT!
If you are also interested in beating autoimmune disease with HSCT (effective for many more diseases other than just MS, such as CIDP, Scleroderma, Lupus and many others), I invite you to join our Facebook forum "Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant - MS & Autoimmune Disease"
Since my own transplant, there are now more than a dozen private HSCT facilities that have opened up and treating autoimmune disease patients all around the world. We have helped hundreds of patients in their quest to seek and undergo HSCT as the best method so far discovered to beat autoimmune disease, and we'd be happy to help you or someone you know, as well. See you in the forum. :-)