FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, BRAIN STEM CELLS TRANSPLANTED INTO MS PATIENTS
According to the Pontifical Academy for Life, brain stem cells have been transplanted for the first time in the world into 15 multiple sclerosis patients, with none of them showing any side effects so far.
Other actors in this history-making story include the Associazione Revert Onlus, a nonprofit founded in 2003 to finance, promote and incentivize brain stem cell research, and the Fondazione Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza of San Giovanni Rotondo, a hospital founded by St. Padre Pio. The reports said that, “possible therapeutic effects of the trial are now being assessed.”
The Academy website noted that, “For the first time ever, all patients recruited in a brain stem cell transplantation trial were treated for the experimental treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.”
It continues: “On the occasion of the World Day of Multiple Sclerosis, which is celebrated on 30 May, the Pontifical Academy for Life of the Vatican State and its President Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, together with the Revert Onlus Association, announce the conclusion of the Phase I clinical trial that involves human brain stem cell transplantation in fifteen patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.” This was done with the patronage of the Stem Cell Foundation of Terni.
“We are proud to announce this important milestone in the ongoing experimentation with brain stem cells,” said Angelo Vescovi, Scientific Director of the IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza in San Giovanni Rotondo and of the Advisory Board of Revert Onlus, as well as Professor of the University of Milano Bicocca. “We are now waiting for the one-year follow-up and the submission of the Phase II protocol for this disease as soon as possible.”
Academy president Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia had this to say about the announcement: “I thank the Director of IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, Prof. Angelo Vescovi, who has been working with tenacity and determination for almost thirty years to reach new goals in regenerative medicine and give hope to those suffering from multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases.
“Revert’s research,” added Archbishop Paglia, “is unique in its kind because it is free from any ethical and moral problems and this makes us even more proud of the results obtained and makes us look to the future with greater optimism, always with respect for life. The milestone reached also shows that the initiative was not extemporaneous, but it evolved over the years, expanding and including other neurological diseases and the evaluation of desirable standardizable therapeutic effects. Sick people deserve to have answers and treatment options and it is only serious and constant work that can satisfy all of this, free of charge.”