ASTIMS results have finally been published. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25672923
High dose chemotherapy followed by autologous HSCT is more effective than mitoxantrone in MS.
The study was the first one in Europe trying to answer if the HSCT could be more effective than standard treatment in MS. The study end points were not so well defined and the pool of patients was not really optimal for transplantation (only 22% percent of patients had RRMS (the one where HSCT generally works) and 78% had Primary Progressive MS where HSCT generally does not work that well or is not optimal). Despite this – HSCT worked. The study brings first randomized data showing that patients who have MS and are at the stage when they get mitoxantrone should be qualified for the HSCT. Even if they have PP MS. The glass is half full as the advantage of HSCT (measured as new lesions after treatment) in this patient population could not be measured with halt of disability progression as this study was not designed in a way that made it possible. Still ground breaking work. Congratulations to all authors.
Here excellent perspective of prof Saccardi on ASTIMS results.