Realistic Outlook for Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Other Treatments in Progressive MS: Jeffrey Cohen, MD

Disease Spotlight | <b>Disease Spotlight: Multiple Sclerosis</b>

The director of the Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research at Cleveland Clinic discussed when clinicians should anticipate new therapies to treat progressive MS. [WATCH TIME: 2 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 2 minutes

"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.”

Despite the influx of recently approved treatments for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), progressive MS continues to be among the greatest unmet needs, with little effective available options for patients. To this point, tackling the disease has been difficult and researchers are still trying to understand more about its course. One promising method has been the use of mesenchymal stem cells, which most recently demonstrated 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.