Posted by: Thixia | April 8, 2009

Stem Cell Research Clinical Trial Information

High-Dose Immunosuppression and Autologous Transplantation for Multiple Sclerosis (HALT MS) Study

This study is currently recruiting participants.

Verified by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), January 2009

First Received: February 7, 2006   Last Updated: March 3, 2009

History of Changes

Sponsors and Collaborators:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Immune Tolerance Network

Information provided by:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Identifier:



The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of a new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS), a serious disease in which the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord. MS can be progressive and severe and lead to significant disability. The study treatment involves the use of high-dose chemotherapeutic drugs to suppress the immune system. The participant’s own (autologous) blood-forming (hematopoietic, CD34+) stem cells are collected before the chemotherapy is given, and then transplanted back into the body following treatment. Transplantation of autologous hematopoietic stem cells is required to prevent very prolonged periods of low blood cell counts after the high-dose chemotherapy.




Multiple Sclerosis

Drug: Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and prednisone
Drug: Carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan (BEAM)
Procedure: Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant

Phase II

MedlinePlus related topics: Multiple Sclerosis

Drug Information available for: Prednisone Cytarabine hydrochloride Etoposide Etoposide phosphate Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor Cytarabine Melphalan Carmustine Sarcolysin Melphalan hydrochloride

U.S. FDA Resources

Study Type:


Study Design:

Treatment, Non-Randomized, Open Label, Uncontrolled, Single Group Assignment, Safety/Efficacy Study

Official Title:

A Phase II Study of High-Dose Immunosuppressive Therapy (HDIT) Using Carmustine, Etoposide, Cytarabine, and Melphalan (BEAM) and Thymoglobulin, and Autologous CD34+ Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HCT) for the Treatment of Poor Prognosis Multiple Sclerosis

Further study details as provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):

Primary Outcome Measures:

· Time to treatment failure [ Time Frame: During the 5 years after transplant ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Estimated Enrollment:


Study Start Date:

July 2006, still recruiting

Estimated Study Completion Date:

January 2015

Estimated Primary Completion Date:

September 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)


Assigned Interventions

1: Experimental

Drug: Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) and prednisone

Growth factor regimen; occurs at study entry

Drug: Carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan (BEAM)

High-dose chemotherapy; occurs seven or more days following collection of autologous graft

Procedure: Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant

Occurs after growth factor regimen and collection of autologous graft

Detailed Description:

MS is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system in which myelin, the protective coat that surrounds nerve cells, is damaged or destroyed by autoimmune T cells and macrophages, leading to an eventual loss of neurologic function. In a pilot study in Europe using high-dose chemotherapy, it was observed that 18 of 19 MS patients stabilized or improved clinically, and only one patient showed a new lesion on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain at 4.5 years after treatment. Improvement was seen in quality-of-life assessments.

In ITN033AI, high-dose chemotherapy with autologous CD34-selected hematopoietic cell transplantation will be given to confirm the results from the pilot study and to offer therapy to patients with early MS and a poor prognosis. Research studies will be performed in addition to clinical assessments to better understand the effect of the treatment on the activity of MS. High-dose chemotherapy will be used to deplete autoreactive immune cells. These regimens also deplete the bone marrow, the source of blood-forming CD34+ stem cells which causes very low blood counts. Therefore, the participant’s autologous CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells will be collected before high dose immunosuppressive therapy is given and then returned as a transplant post-chemotherapy. Patients will be followed closely after the autologous transplantation since they will be at risk for infections after treatment.

At the beginning of the study, participants will undergo a number of screening and baseline procedures, including a physical exam, blood collection, MS-confirming neurology exams and questionnaires, and MRI procedures. Participants will be given prednisone and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) to mobilize CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow into the peripheral blood. When the peripheral blood CD34+ cell count reaches 20,000 cells/ml or greater, these cells will be collected by leukapheresis. In this process, a catheter is placed into a large blood vessel, peripheral blood is withdrawn, and a high speed sedimentation (leukapheresis) device is used to separate and retain the cells required for autologous transplantation. Other blood cells are then returned to the participant’s body. In the laboratory, the CD34+ hematopoietic stem cell graft will be selected and prepared from the leukapheresis collection, and stored until needed for transplant. Seven or more days following the collection of their autologous graft, participants will be hospitalized and receive high-dose chemotherapy consisting of carmustine, etoposide, cytarabine, and melphalan (BEAM) and thymoglobulin. This is followed by transplantation of the autologous hematopoietic cell graft. Participants will remain in the hospital for observation during recovery of their peripheral blood cell counts, as described in the protocol. Participants will receive G-CSF and blood transfusions, if needed, and will be monitored for infections. Following discharge from the hospital, eight study visits will occur over sixty months (five years).

During these visits, participants will undergo blood and urine collection, MRI studies, leukapheresis, and MS neurology exams and will complete questionnaires.


Ages Eligible for Study:

18 Years to 60 Years

Genders Eligible for Study:


Accepts Healthy Volunteers:



Inclusion Criteria:

· Diagnosis of relapsing-remitting or progressive-relapsing multiple sclerosis for less than 15 years using McDonald Criteria. More information on this criterion can be found in the protocol.

· Score between 3.0 and 5.5 on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)

· T2 abnormalities on brain MRI consistent with MS

· Two or more relapses in 18 months time on interferon (IFN), glatiramer acetate (GA), natalizumab or cytotoxic therapy with EDSS increase of 1.0 or greater for participants with EDSS at screening of 3.0 to 3.5 (0.5 or greater for participants with EDSS at screening of 4.0 to 5.5) sustained at least 4 weeks after at least one of these relapses OR one relapse on IFN, GA, natalizumab or cytotoxic therapy with EDSS increase of 1.5 or greater (1.0 for subjects with EDSS at screening of 5.5) sustained at least 4 weeks, together with MRI changes consistent with poor prognosis. More information on this criterion can be found in the protocol.

· On IFN or GA for at least 6 months before the relapses occur that are counted to satisfy previous inclusion criterion OR have received adequate doses of natalizumab or cytotoxic therapy on a treatment schedule before the relapses occur that are counted to satisfy previous inclusion criterion.

· Approval by an MS Review Panel to participate in the study. More information on this criterion can be found in the protocol.

· In good clinical condition with adequate organ function and without coexisting medical problems that would increase the risk to the participant

· Willing to use acceptable methods of contraception

· Willing and able to comply with all study requirements

· Willing to accept and comprehend irreversible sterility as side effect of therapy

Exclusion Criteria:

· Primary progressive MS

· Secondary progressive MS without relapses (i.e., progression without exacerbations or relapses) for 12 or more months

· Neuromyelitis optica, a disease similar to MS

· Initiation of new immunosuppressant treatment after the participant becomes eligible for the protocol or continuance of immunosuppressant drugs after the participant is screened for the protocol. Treatment with IFN, GA, or corticosteroids is permitted after the participant becomes eligible for the protocol.

· Lapse of greater than 6 months between the time a participant is eligible for the protocol and initiation of protocol treatment except when judged acceptable by the MS Review Panel

· Prior treatment with investigational immunosuppressive agents within 3 months of study eligibility

· Positive baseline plasma and CSF testing for JC virus or a brain MRI that has changes consistent with a diagnosis of progressive multifocal encephalopathy (PML).

· History of cytopenia consistent with the diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)

· Active hepatitis B or C infection, cirrhosis, or HIV infection

· Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus

· Uncontrolled viral, fungal, or bacterial infection. Patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria are not excluded.

· Any illness that would jeopardize the ability to tolerate aggressive chemotherapy

· Prior history of malignancy, except localized basal cell or squamous skin cancer. Other malignancies for which the subject is judged cured by the administered therapy will be considered on an individual basis.

· Hypersensitivity to mouse, rabbit, or Escherichia coli-derived proteins or to iron compounds/medications

· Metallic objects implanted in the body that would affect MRI exams

· Psychiatric illness, mental deficiency, or cognitive dysfunction

· Pregnancy


Contacts and Locations

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00288626


United States, Ohio

Ohio State University School of Medicine


Columbus, Ohio, United States, 43210

Contact: Lisa Hafer     614-293-7877

Principal Investigator: Michael K. Racke, MD

Principal Investigator: Steven M. Devine, MD

United States, Texas

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Transplant site, please contact Baylor College of Medicine


Houston, Texas, United States, 77230-1402

Contact: Uday Popat, MD     713-745-3055

Principal Investigator: Uday Popat, MD

Baylor College of Medicine


Houston, Texas, United States, 77030

Contact: Semahat Eiswirth, RN     713-798-6059

Contact: George J. Hutton, MD     713-798-8170

Principal Investigator: George J. Hutton, MD

United States, Washington

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center


Seattle, Washington, United States, 98109-1024

Contact: Bernie McLaughlin, RN     206-667-4916

Principal Investigator: James Bowen, MD

Principal Investigator: Richard Nash, MD

Principal Investigator: George H. Kraft, MD

Sponsors and Collaborators

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Immune Tolerance Network


Study Chair:

Richard A. Nash, MD

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Clinical Research Division, University of Washington

Study Chair:

James D. Bowen, MD

Multiple Sclerosis Center, Swedish Neuroscience Institute, Seattle, Washington

Study Chair:

George H. Kraft, MD

Departments of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington

Study Chair:

George J. Hutton, MD

The Maxine Messinger Multiple Sclerosis Clinic, The Methodist Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine

Study Chair:

Uday Popat, MD

Department of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Study Chair:

Michael K. Racke, MD

Department of Neurology, Ohio State University Medical Center

Study Chair:

Steven M. Devine, MD

Department of Hematology and Oncology, Ohio State University Medical Center

More Information

Additional Information:

Click here for the Immune Tolerance Network Web site


Fassas A, Nash R. Stem cell transplantation for autoimmune disorders. Multiple sclerosis. Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2004 Jun;17(2):247-62. Review.

Muraro PA, Douek DC. Renewing the T cell repertoire to arrest autoimmune aggression. Trends Immunol. 2006 Jan 4; [Epub ahead of print]

Muraro PA, Douek DC, Packer A, Chung K, Guenaga FJ, Cassiani-Ingoni R, Campbell C, Memon S, Nagle JW, Hakim FT, Gress RE, McFarland HF, Burt RK, Martin R. Thymic output generates a new and diverse TCR repertoire after autologous stem cell transplantation in multiple sclerosis patients. J Exp Med. 2005 Mar 7;201(5):805-16. Epub 2005 Feb 28.

Saccardi R, Mancardi GL, Solari A, Bosi A, Bruzzi P, Di Bartolomeo P, Donelli A, Filippi M, Guerrasio A, Gualandi F, La Nasa G, Murialdo A, Pagliai F, Papineschi F, Scappini B, Marmont AM. Autologous HSCT for severe progressive multiple sclerosis in a multicenter trial: impact on disease activity and quality of life. Blood. 2005 Mar 15;105(6):2601-7. Epub 2004 Nov 16.

Tyndall A, Saccardi R. Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the treatment of severe autoimmune disease: results from phase I/II studies, prospective randomized trials and future directions. Clin Exp Immunol. 2005 Jul;141(1):1-9. Review.

Mancardi G, Saccardi R. Autologous haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation in multiple sclerosis. Lancet Neurol. 2008 Jul;7(7):626-36. Review.

Responsible Party:

DAIT/NIAID ( Associate Director, Clinical Research Program )

Study ID Numbers:


Study First Received:

February 7, 2006

Last Updated:

March 3, 2009 Identifier:

NCT00288626 History of Changes

Health Authority:

United States: Food and Drug Administration

Keywords provided by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID):

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Immunosuppressive Agents

Study placed in the following topic categories:

Autoimmune Diseases
Demyelinating Diseases
Antiviral Agents
Immunosuppressive Agents
Etoposide phosphate

Multiple Sclerosis
Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS
Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
Alkylating Agents
Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System

Additional relevant MeSH terms:

Anti-Infective Agents
Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Immunologic Factors
Antineoplastic Agents
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Pathologic Processes
Multiple Sclerosis
Therapeutic Uses
Alkylating Agents

Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases
Demyelinating Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Immunosuppressive Agents
Antiviral Agents
Pharmacologic Actions
Myeloablative Agonists
Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS
Antineoplastic Agents, Alkylating
Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic processed this record on April 06, 2009



  1. My name is Karen I’ve had ms for almost 4 years I’ve been on copaxone, rebiff Tysarbi and now they were thinkng of chemo but my doc decided on rebiff again, I’ve had terrible results on my skin from the shots and i’m continually getting worse, I really would be intereted in stem cell or the new one I heard about where they use the patients fat cells, Oh yes forgot to add I’ve had diabetes for 44 years Please help my phone number is 9899640717 Thank you in advance Karen


  3. Please except me for stem cell research MS. Please. 10 year diagnoise, still walking. but bad spascity weak legs. I stay the same no difference in 10 years. Thank you 903-396-7168

  4. I only report when other are doing research. I don’t do the research. I am an MS patient myself.

  5. Hi…I am interested in more information about the research trails and procedures that are available for patients with MS. It a dream to be able to fight and ride ourselves from this type of disease. I want everyone to know, that I believe, that together as one we can acheive and accomplish what some or many may think is impossible. It is never to late nor is it ever to early to find a cure for this and if ever it will improve the lives of many many people. The idea and future of this promise is in our hands.

  6. I am an unfortunate recipiant of multiple sclerosis. I am desperately trying to beat this dibillitating disease. Can you please include me in your trial. Thank you in advance for considering me.

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