Polish researchers have adopted a novel approach to treating MS. They used a number of the proteins in myelin in a skin patch to induce immune system tolerance to the body's own myelin as a way of controlling the immune reaction to myelin in people with MS.
The patches were changed weekly initially, and then monthly. In comparison to a group applying placebo patches, the group with the myelin peptides showed a favourable anti-inflammatory immune response that would be expected to make a difference to the progress of MS.
Results of the actual clinical progress will be presented in forthcoming publications.
Download the editorial on the link below by experts from Stanford and University of California commenting on the article.
The authors note that only a few groups are adopting this approach to MS, but that it holds great promise.
Certainly, it is likely to have far fewer side effects than the current disease-modifying medications, which the authors describe as 'heavy weapons' in contrast to the 'magic bullet' represented by the skin patches.
Of course, injection would become a thing of the past if this approach works. Tailored immune therapy such as this may well become an important additional avenue for managing MS. We await the clinical results with interest.