Adult Stem Cell Treatment Leaves College Student Free of Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Edwin McClure, a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate student, and one of the participants in clinical trials involving adult stem cells, says that he is completely cured of the multiple sclerosis symptoms that began to afflict him in high school.

"It’s a blessing," the young student told Bloomburg News. "My disease has been halted."

A team of researchers at Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago, including Dr. Richard Burt, the team leader and the hospital’s Division Chief of Immunotherapy, developed the treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) using stem cells taken from the patient’s own bone marrow. (See: )

"For the first time ever in the history of treating MS we have reversed disability," Dr. Burt said of the results of clinical trials using adult stem cells.

"All therapies to date … have focused on slowing the progression of disease," he said. But with the new treatment, he said, "This is the first time we have turned the tide on this disease."

McClure first showed symptoms of MS in 2000 when he was a senior in high school. "I couldn’t deal with heat. I had really bad balance," he said. He also said that his vision began to be seriously distorted.

"It threw me for a loop," McClure said. "This is a disease that typically hits 40-year-old white women and I’m like, ‘I’m an 18-year-old black male.’ Somebody didn’t get the memo."

Hearing about the Northwestern University clinical trial from Dr. Katarina Bilikova, McClure flew to Evanston, Ill., to participate.

During the course of the treatment, which researchers described as a "re-setting" of the body’s immune system, doctors took out McClure’s own stem cells from his bone marrow. He then was given a course of chemotherapy to destroy all existing immune cells in his body. The stem cells were then re-injected and developed into "naïve" immune cells that regenerated his immune system.

Three years after undergoing the procedure, McClure said his symptoms have disappeared.

"It opened up the fence that MS had me locked into," Edwin said in a Fox News report. He added that he and his mother Bernice also attribute the success of the treatment to their faith.

"Without having God in our lives, I don’t think any one of us would have made it through," Bernice McClure said.

Read previous LSN coverage and related articles:

New Adult Stem Cell Treatment "Turns the Tide" on MS Symptoms

Amid Media Excitement, Embryonic Stem Cell Trial Far Behind Adult Stem Cells, Says Expert

Adult Stem Cell Therapy may Treat AIDS

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