Histamine, LDN, CCSVI & Lyme Dx – MS Therapies

Marilyn Bachmann
T cell therapy…
Tue Apr 25, 2017 13:46

The new study involved patients with progressive MS, where the disease steadily worsens without periods of recovery.

Most had the "secondary" progressive form -- which means they initially had relapsing-remitting MS, but it worsened. One patient had progressive MS from the start, which is known as "primary" progressive MS.

The patients agreed to try a treatment never studied in MS, said study co-author Rajiv Khanna, of the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia.

The approach is known as "adoptive" immunotherapy, where a patient's own immune system T cells are genetically tweaked to fight an enemy -- such as cancer cells.

Khanna's team took samples of the MS patients' T cells, then altered the cells to boost their ability to recognize and attack the Epstein-Barr virus. Those T cells were infused back into the patients' blood, at gradually escalating doses over six weeks.

Epstein-Barr is a common virus that infects most people at some point.
But researchers suspect it plays a role in MS in some people.

According to Khanna, there is also evidence that MS progression correlates with Epstein-Barr "activation" in the body. The aim of the T-cell therapy is to "clear out" B cells -- another type of immune system cell -- that are infected with Epstein-Barr.

Over six months, the researchers said, none of the patients suffered serious side effects from the treatment.

In addition, three showed symptom improvements within two to eight weeks of their first T-cell infusion.

The findings are scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, April 22-28, in Boston.

The biology behind the T-cell therapy is not fully clear, Bebo said.
Although Epstein-Barr is suspected as one factor in driving the initial development of MS, even that is not established, he said.

On the other hand, there is evidence that B cells drive inflammation in MS, Bebo said.

In fact, a new MS drug approved just last month works by targeting B cells, he noted.

That drug, called Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), is the first drug ever approved for primary progressive MS in the United States. It can also be used for the relapsing-remitting form.

Bebo said he suspects that if the experimental T-cell therapy has benefits in MS, it might be because it clears out B cells.

Even if the approach proves effective, there are practical hurdles in delivering a therapy like that, Bebo pointed out.

Khanna said his team is collaborating with a U.S. biotech company to see if the treatment process can be refined -- by creating "off-the-shelf"
versions of Epstein-Barr-fighting T cells, for example.

Bebo emphasized the bigger picture: The new drug ocrelizumab was just approved and other treatments are in the pipeline.

"This is one of many approaches being tested," Bebo said. "We're learning more about MS progression all the time. So the future looks bright."

Study results presented at meetings are usually considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

    • Encouraging.... JoyceF, Fri Apr 28 12:08
      This is interesting to read. I am currently undergoing 5 bi-monthly infusions of Rituximab which is actually the same thing as the "new" Ocrevus talked about here. The Rituximab was doing very well... more
    • T cell therapy… anon, Tue Apr 25 19:15
      Hmmm..., I think I'll pass. 3 out of 100 aren't very good odds. ;-) LOL
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