“It is like rebooting a computer, and you come back with the t-cells you were born with, and since no one is born with these multiple sclerosis we are hoping that we can eradicate the disease with the single infusion of chemotherapy,” says Dr. Gladstone. Dr. Gladstone’s study shows after up to two years of treatment, no patient had a new lesion or spot of disease on brain MRI.
“All of the patients after receiving chemo- therapy did not have disease progression. What was unexpected was that forty percent of the patients actually felt much better after the chemo therapy,” says Dr. Gladstone. Patients in the study reported improvements in all of the quality of life measurements that were evaluated, including pain, mental health, and physical function, including ability to walk.
Dr. Gladstone has also studied and shown a similar disease progression benefit of high dose cytoxan for patients with other autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and disease. He says more studies are going to be done on MS patients, and this current one at stony brook is ongoing. Dr. Gladstone exclaims, “I am very excited about these results. This is potentially a new modality for treating the sickest of the sick patients.”
Melissa adds, “I want to tell everybody, be brave try this chemo therapy treatment it works, I am better.” The proof? Not only can Melissa walk just fine, she can operate a trash can...demonstrated by her ability to throw away her prostheses. “I brought them here to show you they did help me at one time but I don’t need them anymore,” she says.