Jun 2016

CBC program delves deeply into stem cell treatment for MS

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Want to know more about last Thursday’s announcement that two Ottawa doctors have found a way to shut down aggressive MS?

In case you missed it, Rita Celli, host of CBC’s Ontario Today, dedicated her entire hour-long program on Friday to discussing the report. Published in the Lancet, the paper details how Drs. Harry Atkins and Mark Freedman were able to halt the progression of the disease for the 24 patients in the study. Some patients, like Jennifer Molson, saw their MS symptoms disappear entirely over time.  You can access the podcast here.

Ms. Celli features Dr. Freedman who explains how the treatment destroys the patient’s immune system through chemo and then rebuilds a new MS free one using their own previously harvested bone marrow stem cells. He also takes calls from listeners, some of whom tell their stories of life with MS.

The program also features clips of Ms. Molson explaining how the treatment freed her from life in a wheelchair, and Dr. Atkins declaring that “MS can be stopped in its tracks.”

The program provided a comprehensive look at the treatment, which is considered high risk (one patient died) and is only for those MS patients for whom nothing else is working.

6 thoughts on “CBC program delves deeply into stem cell treatment for MS”

  1. Drs. Atkins and Freedman are pioneers and leaders in this field. It would be valuable for Canada to get behind this and ensure that we can fund the research to learn more and to improving technology to increase the opportunities for access to more patients … with improved outcomes.

  2. Greg says:

    I’ve been raising money for my local MS Society chapter in the U.S. for about 10 years. Thank you for your great work toward a cure! I know we’re a few years away, but this news is hope for many people.

  3. Ed Nameth says:

    Hi When do you think this treatment for ms will come to Canada? I was told it could be ms when I was 22 years old. Now I’am 57 I was Dianosed in 1988.worked till I997

    1. Joe Sornberger says:

      This treatment is in Canada now. The CBC report is about two doctors, Harry Atkins and Mark Freedman, who ran a clinical trial at The Ottawa Hospital. However, it is only for extreme case of MS. You can find out more about the treatment here. (http://bit.ly/2hui5n8)

      1. Shirley Brennan says:

        We have been trying to get my husband to Ottawa to have this done. But it seems to have stalled. My husband has no treatment for his MS and he went from being the bread winner in our family to some days being in a wheelchair since he was diagnosed in 2009. He continues to go down hill and yet we do not seem to be able to connect all the dots to get him there. Not sure what to do.

        1. Joe Sornberger says:

          Thank you for your comment. The Ottawa Hospital, where Dan had his treatment with Dr. Atkins, has produced an information sheet for people seeking more information about this kind of treatment and for autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma MS, Crohn’s and Stiff Person Syndrome You can find it here.
          I hope that this is helpful and provides you with the information you need.

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