Thursday, May 18, 2006
- This month sees the beginning of a trial of a personalised vaccine for MS, designed to rein in and destroy the renegade white blood cells that attack myelin cells lining the brain and nerves of patients.
To make the vaccine, PharmaFrontiers of Woodlands, Texas, takes blood from an MS patient and extracts a sample of these renegade cells. The cells are then multiplied and weakened with radiation before being re-injected into the patient, whose immune system will then recognise them as damaged and attack them, sometimes wiping them out completely, according to the results of earlier trials. The immune system will also attack healthy renegade cells, which have the same markers on their surface. In one trial of 15 people with MS the rate of new flare-ups was reduced by 92 per cent.