After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1995, Barry Goudy experienced the slow deterioration of his central nervous system with symptoms that included failing vision, a loss of muscular control and an absence of sensory perception in his limbs. Then in 2003 he enrolled in a clinical trial in which his own adult stem cells were used to rebuild his immune system. As he now states, “I have no symptoms of MS. I do no treatment for MS, I do no shots.”
Dr. Richard Burt and colleagues at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine conducted the clinical trial on 2,500 patients who underwent the stem cell transplants. The results have indicated not only that many patients with autoimmune diseases are now in remission, but also many patients who had suffered heart attacks were found to have improved significantly after receiving the adult stem cell therapy.
As Dr. Burt says, “It’s a whole new approach to these diseases.” In an interview conducted this year, Mr. Goudy adds, “I’ve had 5 years of a good life. Five years. If I didn’t do the transplant I would probably be in a wheelchair today.” Among other activities, Mr. Goudy’s active lifestyle now includes playing and coaching hockey. Similar clinical trials are currently underway in the U.S. for the use of adult stem cells in the treatment of numerous other diseases which typically have been unresponsive to conventional medical therapies.