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Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Other Upcoming Treatments for Progressive MS: Jeffrey Cohen, MD

The director of the Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research at Cleveland Clinic discussed upcoming new therapies for relapsing MS.

"We’ll need treatments that prevent further worsening. Disease-modifying therapies for progressive MS will probably have to have different modes of action compared to our currently available therapies.”

This content originally appeared on our sister site, NeurologyLive.

Progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) continues to be among the greatest unmet needs, with little effective available options for patients despite the influx of recently approved treatments for relapsing forms of the disease. There is still much to be understood about the course of the disease.

Mesenchymal stem cells may offer a promising route for MS treatment, with a recent study demonstrating safety in a cohort of 20 patients with primary and secondary progressive MS.

Patients in the study showed several improvements across assessments such as the Timed 25-Foot Walk and the 9-Hole Peg Test. While these results were encouraging, clinicians must remember that it is still in the early stages of study, according to lead investigator Jeffrey Cohen, MD. Cohen, the director of the Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research at Cleveland Clinic, also noted that efficacy has been inconsistent across different cohorts.

In an interview with NeurologyLive®, Cohen provided insight on the realistic outlook of when methods like stem cells will make an impact on the progressive MS community, as well as what types of research approaches the space should take to try to tackle the disease.