Past, present and future of cell-based therapy in progressive multiple sclerosis


Although substantial progress has been made in the development of effective drugs for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, no convincingly treatment exists to slow and/or reverse progressive forms of the disease. Advances in the field of cell-based therapies have opened to novel possible application to treat inflamma- tory and degenerative disease of the central nervous system including progressive MS. Major expectation arises from the use of (i) oligodendrocyte progenitor cells for directly replacing the damaged myelin and (ii) non-haematopoietic stem cells for the potential of influencing host immune response and endogenous mechanisms of repair. Each approach has potential advantages but also safety concerns and unre- solved questions that are to be addressed in order to witness further advance in clinics. In this chapter, we summarize the preclinical research leading to the current sta- tus of cell-based therapies to treat progressive form of MS and discuss the current obstacle and main objective for prospective clinical application.