Wednesday , August 17 2022

A clinical study finds that new immunotherapy improves MS symptoms



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The World's First Clinical Study of New Cellular Immunotherapy for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) found that for most patients it improved symptoms and quality of life.

The results of the clinical trial were published in JCI Insight.

The treatment is targeted at the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It is based on the theory of prof. Michaela Pendera of the University of Queensland and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH) that MS is caused by the accumulation of EBV infected cells in the brain and that EBV-targeted therapy can potentially inhibit MS progression.

New cellular immunotherapy was developed by Professor Rajiv Khanna and his team at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. Phase I of the clinical trial was conducted in collaboration with Professor Michael Pender and his colleagues.

Pender said that a total of 10 patients – five with secondary progressive MS and five with primary progressive MS – received four doses of cellular immunotherapy to RBWH.

"Seven of these patients showed improvement, and without this treatment we would expect their symptoms to worsen further," Pender said.

"Improvements involved reduced fatigue and increased productivity and quality of life to improve vision and mobility, and it was important that the treatment was safe and without serious side effects." Our findings provide growing evidence that EBV infection plays a role in the development of MS, "Pender said.

Khanna said it was the first time that T-cell immunotherapy in the world was used to treat any autoimmune disease.

"We have already used these cellular immunotherapy to treat various types of cancer and viral infections, which is a breakthrough because we first discovered that these treatments are safe and have a positive improvement in autoimmune disease," Khanna said.

"This study opens the door to the development of similar cellular immunotherapy for certain other autoimmune conditions. From this Phase I study, we also found out what cell properties produce best results for patients. We can apply this knowledge to cellular immunotherapy for other diseases to ensure the best results for all patients, "Khanna added.

Multiple sclerosis can cause a number of symptoms, including coordination problems, balance, weakness, arms and legs, cognitive problems and memory loss.

(This story was not processed by Business Standard employees and is automatically generated from a syndicated source.)

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