Best Available Therapy Versus Autologous Hematopoetic Stem Cell Transplant for Multiple Sclerosis (BEAT-MS) (BEAT-MS)

  • End date
    Oct 13, 2029
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Updated on 13 May 2022
stem cell transplant
active treatment
disease or disorder
relapsing multiple sclerosis
dimethyl fumarate


This is a multi-center prospective rater-masked (blinded) randomized controlled trial of 156 participants, comparing the treatment strategy of Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (AHSCT) to the treatment strategy of Best Available Therapy (BAT) for treatment-resistant relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). Participants will be randomized at a 1 to 1 (1:1) ratio.

All participants will be followed for 72 months after randomization (Day 0, Visit 0).


Participant recruitment for this six-year research study focuses on multiple sclerosis (MS) that has remained active despite treatment. This study will compare high dose immunosuppression followed by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) to best available therapy (BAT) in the treatment of relapsing MS.

MS is a disease caused by one's own immune cells. Normally, immune cells fight infection. In MS, immune cells called T cells, or chemical products made by immune cells, react against the covering or coat (myelin) of nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. This leads to stripping the coat from certain nerve fibers (demyelination), and this causes neurologic problems. MS can cause loss of vision, weakness or incoordination, loss or changes in sensation, problems with thinking or memory, problems controlling urination, and other disabilities.

Most individuals with MS first have immune attacks (called relapses) followed by periods of stability. Over time, MS can have episodes of new and worsening symptoms, ranging from mild to disabling. This is called relapsing MS. Relapsing MS includes relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS). There are medicines (drugs) to decrease relapses, but these are neither considered to be curative nor, to induce prolonged remissions without continuing therapy.

More than a dozen medicines have been approved for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS. These medicines differ in how safe they are and how well they work. Despite availability of an increasing number of effective medicines, some individuals with relapsing MS do not respond to treatment. Research is being conducted to find other treatments.

High dose immunosuppression followed by autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) has been shown to help relapsing MS in cases where medicines did not work. AHSCT involves collecting stem cells, which are produced in the bone marrow. These stem cells are "mobilized" to leave the bone marrow and move into the blood where they can be collected and stored. Participants will then receive chemotherapy intended to kill immune cells. One's own stored (frozen) stem cells are then given back, through an infusion. This "transplant" of one's stem cells allows the body to form new immune cells in order to restore their immune system. New research suggest that MS might be better controlled with AHSCT than with medicines.

Condition Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis, Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis
Treatment autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, Best Available Therapy (BAT)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04047628
SponsorNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Last Modified on13 May 2022


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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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