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ECTRIMS 2022 | Challenges with stem cell therapy in MS

João José Cerqueira, MD, PhD, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, describes the current challenges with stem cell therapy in multiple sclerosis and potential pathways to address them. Stem cell therapy is a highly effective way of treating MS, and it is known that this treatment has a significant effect in controlling disease activity, but there is particular uncertainty regarding its impact on long-term progression. Additionally, safety continues to be an additional concern, even with low-intensity conditioning regimens. Therefore, this strategy is only an option for some patients, and the risk/benefit ratio needs to be considered. Better conditioning regimens with fewer risks and perhaps the combination of stem cell therapy with agents that target progression could address the current challenges. This interview took place at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress 2022 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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JC has received consultancy fees from Biogen, Roche, Novartis, Almirall, Janssen, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Merck and Zambon; and research grants from Biogen, Roche, Merck and Novartis, as well as the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and Clinical Academic Centre Braga.