Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Multiple Sclerosis in India


Worldwide, there are millions of people, who are being affected by a huge array of Neurological Diseases. Much to the surprise, there are more than 600 types of Neurological Ailments, which affects the Central Nervous System – ailments like Parkinson’s Disease, Brain Tumours, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis and many others. These ailments needvery specialized forms of treatment to ensure an enhanced quality of life for the patients. Among the many treatment methods, Stem Cell Transplant is one of the most exceptional and cutting edge one.

haematopoietic stem cell transplantation for multiple sclerosis in india

One of the diseases for which HSCT has proved immensely rewarding is Multiple Sclerosis (MS). It has emerged out to be very promising treatment for this ailment.

Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) is an intense Chemotherapy treatment option for patients with MS. This treatment works by stopping the damage that the ailment causes. The treatment wipes out and then helps by boosting the regrowth of the damaged immune system, with the help of the patient’s stem cells.

Basically, HSCT resets the immune system so that it doesn’t attack the Central Nervous System. Further, the treatment reconstructs the immune system by using a kind of stem cell present in the Bone Marrow. These stem cells are known as Haematopoietic Stem Cells. These stem cells are beneficial as these can produce the various cells in the blood, including immune cells.

Best Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Multiple Sclerosis in India

What is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune ailment, which affects people while they are in their most productive years. The diseasecauses irreversible damage and the level of disability keeps accumulating. It is long-lasting disorder that affects the Spinal Cord, Brain, and the optic nerve. It attacks the overall Central Nervous System (CNS). An immune-mediated ailment, in this the system that is designed to protect and keep the body healthy, attacks some parts of the body that are extremely crucial in our everyday lives.


The exact cause of MS is still unknown. It is an autoimmune disease and in this the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. In MS, this immune system malfunction attacks and destroys Myelin, which is the fatty matter that coats and prevents the nerve fibres in the Spinal Cord and the Brain. Myelin is like the insulation coating om the electric wires. When this covering is damaged, the nerve fibre gets exposed because of which the messages that travelling through these nerves can slow down or get blocked.

It is not really clear why MS affects some people and not others, but a combination of environmental and genetic factors can play a significant role. The causes include:

Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis can bring different types of symptoms affecting various areas of the body. At the same time, the symptoms may vary intensity. Some patients may experience fatigue and numbness, whereas, severe cases of Multiple Sclerosis can cause loss of vision, paralysis, and degenerated Brain function.

But there are some common and early signs of Multiple Sclerosis, which include:

Additional to these, there can be uncontrollable shaking, slurred speech, trouble in swallowing, seizures, loss of hearing. Furthermore, the patient also faces difficulty in coping up with relationships, which makes it further challenging.

How is Multiple Sclerosis diagnosed?

Usually, a Neurologist is someone who handle the cases of this ailment. The diagnosis of this disorder is done by ruling out other health conditions that might show similar symptoms like in Multiple Sclerosis. First, a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical history is done a then the doctor may recommend the following tests to reach the final conclusion:

For most patients, detecting MS is not so difficult and is quite straightforward owing to the pattern of symptoms shown that are consistent with the ailments. Diagnosis MS is more challenging in patients displaying unusual symptoms or progressive disorder. For such patients, additional imaging tests, evoked potential tests, spinal fluid analysis are recommended.

Possible Treatment Options

There is no exact cure for MS. Whatever medications and treatment options are there, they are primarily focused on boosting the recovery from attacks, delaying the progression of the ailment, and managing the symptoms. There are many patients, who do not show very mild symptoms and so no treatment is needed. Such patients benefit from family support and lifestyle changes.

However, there are patients, who have a highly active relapsing MS, which means that despite taking all the possible disease modifying therapies, they are still facing relapses. HSCT can be extremely fruitful for such patients.

Evaluation Tests before HSCT

Evaluation Tests before HSCT

During the pre-transplant evaluation phase, there are a lot of medical tests that are done so that the doctor can find out all aspects of the patient’s overall health condition. With these tests, the surgeon and his/her team can find out about the potential issues that may crop before or after the procedure.

How is Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation done?

How is Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation done?

A patient for whom this method of treatment has been finalized, will be thoroughly evaluated like mentioned above. The process begins by giving medication to patient that will encourage the Haematopoietic Stem Cells to move out of the Bone Marrow into the blood. This is a trying time for the patient because the symptoms of MS worsen during this phase. After about 10 days, when there is sufficient quantity of stem cells in the patient’s blood, they are taken and stored for using later during the treatment process.

After this, Chemotherapy is given as an infusion to wipe out the patient’s immune system. This phase can take many days. Chemotherapy can be either Myeloablative, which totally wipes out the immune system), or it can be Non-myeloablative that is wiping out the immune system partially.

Once this is done, the stored stem cells are transplanted back in the patient’s body via a drip. Once these cells are in the body, they start working on rebuilding the immune system. This can take a couple of days post-chemotherapy, till the drugs have cleared the patient’s system.

Within a span of 10-30 days, the stem cells start creating new blood and immune cells. Since the patient’s immune system is not functioning at this time, he or she can be very prone to getting infections. Owing to this reason, the patient is given appropriate medications and put on transfusion to help.

While the patient is experiencing this phase, he or she to spend approximately a month in isolation to avoid getting kind of infection as their immune system is under construction. This phase of treatment can be very lonely and challenging for the patient.

Benefits of HSCT

An extensive amount of research has and is being done on this treatment technique and the results have been very encouraging. This treatment is considered a very safe and remarkably advantageous procedure for patients with MS.

Any Risks?

Undoubtedly, HSCT is a massively rewarding treatment technique, but at the same time, it is quite aggressive too. It comes with some short-term as well as long-term risks and complications. These can be:

Then there is Chemotherapy, which has its own set of risks, including:

Despite these associated risks, the final outcome is definitely making it worth for the patients, which is more and more patients MS are being recommended this form of treatment. HSCT has given a huge ray of hope countless patients with MS, across the globe.

While at Home

For a Neurological disorder like MS, the symptoms are the most burdening factor. Although, medications and other forms of treatment are there to help the patient cope up with the symptoms, but there is a lot that can be done at the home front to, such as:

Why India can be the Best Destination for HSCT?

Each and every sector in India is extremely established for India is appreciated across the world. It is more specifically, the field of healthcare, for which, with every passing year, India is becoming more and more popular and is respected. The all-embracing treatment facilities that India offers are drawing the attention of countless patients from different corners of the globe. Further, with the advent of Medical Tourism it has further easy for these patients to visit India avail the required treatment.

So, what exactly are the features that attract these medical tourists? First and foremost is the welcoming ambience of India, where patients belonging to any race, any culture, or any economic class and irrespective of any language differences. The patients feel at home despite being outside the boundaries of their countries.

Next are the hospitals, which are setting the standards higher with passing time. The hospitals in India are giving a tough fight to the hospitals in other leading countries. With a very safe and hygienic atmosphere, the patients can be assured that they are totally away from any infections and complications. Every kind of latest treatment is available here – latest treatment amenities, surgical approaches, highly efficient and trained nursing staff and much more. Some of the hospitals that can be perfect for HSCT, are:

These and many more such hospitals have become highly preferred treatment destinations owing to the doctors and surgeons working here. Even the most intricate procedures are handled very fluently by these surgeons. When it comes to HSCT, these surgeons are extremely knowledgeable and proficient. With extensive learning and experience in this, these Stem Cell Transplantation specialists are taking the success rates of this procedure higher and higher. The patients are in extremely safe hands, when choosing to get treatment done by these renowned HSCT experts. Some of these experts are:

The patients might assume that availing the progressive treatment services as well the services of these above mentioned surgeons can be very burdening. However, as compared to other countries, India offers huge cost benefits, even if its as progressive a treatment like HSCT.Overall, getting treatment in India becomes a very happy and wholesome experience for the patients. Finally, to get all these commendable healthcare services, the patients can choose to plan their visit to India with the outstanding medical tour planner in India.