HSCT – A Cure for Autoimmune Disease?

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant, a 28-day procedure I will travel to Mexico to undergo.
Read all about it below!

Because of this, my office will be closed for the second half of July and all of August. But I will be available for phone consultations by mid-August and will be back in the office in September.
Another note! The office is moving in September! Just a few blocks away but to a larger space with better parking. More info to follow!
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) is a treatment that has been used for over 50 years in the treatment of cancers and has been used successfully to cure several types of autoimmune disorders since the early 1990’s (such as MS, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, CIDP and others). It involves chemotherapy as a short-term, intensive immune-suppressant followed by a stem cell “rescue” using the patient’s own stem cells to speed up recovery. Because the treatment uses chemotherapy, it is both uncomfortable and expensive. But this procedure is currently the ONLY treatment that has been scientifically verified to stop progression of MS, restore the immune system back to normal, and produce lasting symptom improvements for the majority of MS patients.

The reason you probably have not previously heard of this treatment is because it is still a rather uncommon procedure for treatment of autoimmune disorders. But that is changing. As of 2012, there were 2000 autoimmune patients that had received HSCT. The success rate for stopping progression varies from 75-95% depending on patient status at time of treatment. Once the phase III trials are completed here in the United States, I am sure this will become a standard treatment option. This will undoubtedly be true for MS where the arsenal of current medications are ineffective for halting disease progression and can only slow it down (yet, most MS drugs cost upward of $60,000/year!).

HSCT is like rebooting your computer. By dismantling the faulty immune system and building it back up from scratch, the immune system cells that have mistakenly been attacking the body go quiet. “Self-tolerance” is restored, allowing the damaged tissues to begin to repair.

I know many of you are saying, “But Dr. GoldbergCHEMOTHERAPY? Doesn’t that go against everything we believe about natural and holistic health?”

I know, and that is why I had to read a multitude of studies before I came to believe that this might be a viable answer for myself and millions of others with severe autoimmune disease. Because the truth is, I have tried virtually every “natural” treatment out there. I have done the Wahls Paleo diet (no grains, no sugar, no dairy), the Swank MS diet (no fat), and the Fasting Mimicking Diet (no protein). I have taken every supplement I could find any research supporting in the treatment of MS. I have done Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. I have taken Low Dose Naltrexone. I have done heavy metal detoxification. I have done an array of holistic therapies. I have even flown to California for a Mesenchymal Stem Cell transplant (stem cells without the chemo). Unfortunately, while many of these things did help somewhat, I believe that at this point the B-cells and T-cells in my immune system have been triggered to a dangerous level. Suppressing them with four days of chemo and then doing everything I can naturally to support recovery seems to me a much better solution than letting my disease progress further.

Keep an eye out for more studies being done looking at the effectiveness of HSCT for MS and other autoimmune diseases including:

– Rheumatoid arthritis
– Scleroderma (Systemic Sclerosis)
– Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Chrohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis)
– Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
– Polymyositis – Dermatomyositis – Evans syndrome
– Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
– Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)
– Graves’ disease
– Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
– Autoimmune blistering diseases
– Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome
– Myasthenia gravis
– Psoriatic arthritis
– Wegener’s granulomatosis
– Sjögren’s syndrome (Mikulicz disease, Sicca syndrome)
– Churg-Strauss syndrome
– Microscopic polyangiitis
– Relapsing polychondritis
– Pemphigus vulgaris
– Sarcoidosis
– Ankylosing spondylitis
– Stiff Persons Syndrome (SPS)
– Diabetes mellitus type 1 (but only if HSCT is performed within several months following disease onset)

So, on July 18th 2016 I will be in Mexico to start my HSCT journey! I will be blogging about my experience so please feel free to follow along. I will continue seeing patients until I leave mid-July and hope to see many of you before I go!
All the best,
Dr. G