Antonio Scalfari, MD, PhD, Imperial College London, London, UK, emphasizes the notable improvements in the safety profile of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for treating multiple sclerosis (MS). Currently positioned as a rescue therapy for patients who have significantly failed other treatments, HSCT’s evolving safety and effectiveness suggest a potential shift higher up the therapeutic algorithm. Dr Scalfari underscores that HSCT might have its utmost efficacy if administered early in the disease course when inflammatory activity is robust and patients have lesser disability. Younger patients with early-stage MS reportedly have better outcomes and reduced treatment-related mortality from HSCT. Highlighting this, two pivotal Phase III trials, STAR-MS in the UK and BEAT-MS (NCT04047628) in the US, are actively exploring HSCT’s potential as an early intervention. This interview took place at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress 2023 in Milan, Italy.
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I received honorarium for advisory board and expenses cover for attending conferences from Sanofi, Novartis, Biogen, Roche.