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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 06:10 GMT 07:10 UK
MS woman pins hope on stem cells
Sue Mills
Even the simplest chores are a big effort for Sue Mills
A mother fighting against multiple sclerosis (MS) has spent 13,000 having stem cell treatment in Holland which is not available in Britain.

Sue Mills, 44, of Southend, Essex, said the two injections were her last hope. She has been told it could take three months before she feels any benefit.

But experts say there is no scientific evidence the treatment, which used stem cells from umbilical cords, works.

The treatment was carried out at a private clinic in Eindhoven.

Mrs Mills said she hoped the injections, one in her neck and the other in her lower spine, would halt her physical decline.

Publicity has raised people's hopes but there's no data to verify the treatments that are on sale
Multiple Sclerosis Society

"This really was the last grab, hoping that I could get back to a normal life if my consultant says 'I'm sorry, there is nothing more we can do for you'," she said

Her MS was diagnosed eight years ago. Now even simple things, like emptying the washing machine, are a big struggle.

She said she thought long on hard not only about the costs of the treatment but also about the ethics.

"I don't think there is anything really controversial about the treatment because it uses stem cells taken from the umbilical cords of born babies - and those parents are asked," she said.

But in statement the Multiple Sclerosis Society said there was no scientific evidence to support stem cell treatment helped to repair MS damage.

"Publicity has raised people's hopes but there's no data to verify the treatments that are on sale," the society said.




SEE ALSO:
Q&A: Stem cells
19 May 05 |  Health
MS sufferer in stem cell gamble
11 Jan 06 |  Southern Counties


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