Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation and other cellular therapy in multiple sclerosis and immune-mediated neurological diseases: updated guidelines and recommendations from the EBMT Autoimmune Diseases Working Party (ADWP) and the Joint Accreditation Committee of EBMT and ISCT (JACIE)

Bone Marrow Transplant. 2020 Feb;55(2):283-306. doi: 10.1038/s41409-019-0684-0. Epub 2019 Sep 26.


These updated EBMT guidelines review the clinical evidence, registry activity and mechanisms of action of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in multiple sclerosis (MS) and other immune-mediated neurological diseases and provide recommendations for patient selection, transplant technique, follow-up and future development. The major focus is on autologous HSCT (aHSCT), used in MS for over two decades and currently the fastest growing indication for this treatment in Europe, with increasing evidence to support its use in highly active relapsing remitting MS failing to respond to disease modifying therapies. aHSCT may have a potential role in the treatment of the progressive forms of MS with a significant inflammatory component and other immune-mediated neurological diseases, including chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, neuromyelitis optica, myasthenia gravis and stiff person syndrome. Allogeneic HSCT should only be considered where potential risks are justified. Compared with other immunomodulatory treatments, HSCT is associated with greater short-term risks and requires close interspeciality collaboration between transplant physicians and neurologists with a special interest in these neurological conditions before, during and after treatment in accredited HSCT centres. Other experimental cell therapies are developmental for these diseases and patients should only be treated on clinical trials.

MeSH terms

  • Accreditation
  • Autoimmune Diseases*
  • Europe
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / therapy
  • Transplantation, Autologous