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Last Updated: Monday, 15 May 2006, 20:41 GMT 21:41 UK
Stem cells offer hope to MS man
Ken Fishlock
Mr Fishlock does not know if he will seek further treatment
A man from Kent suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) has said his condition has improved 11 days after having stem cell treatment in the Netherlands.

Ken Fishlock, 57, from High Halden, was diagnosed with progressive MS in 1995 and has had to use a wheelchair.

He spent 9,000 on a single course of three injections, which are unavailable in Britain and clinically unproven.

The former teacher said he could now shake hands and eat more easily and had more strength in his arms.

"I'd lost hope. Now I've got some back, and it makes a fundamental difference to your outlook," he said.

I had more strength in my arms to push myself up
Ken Fishlock

MS attacks the nervous system, causing loss of balance, reduced vision and localised paralysis.

Mr Fishlock said before receiving the stem cell treatment he had begun to "lose the will to live".

But he received new hope when one of his relatives came across a newspaper article about the treatment being offered in the Netherlands.

'Significant improvement'

He received the stem cell treatment at the PMC clinic in Rotterdam under the care of Dutch physician, Dr Robert Trossel.

Mr Fishlock said the clinic had made clear that it could offer no guarantee of what could be expected, but 80% of its patients showed "significant improvement" following the treatment.

He said he began to notice changes in his condition within two hours of receiving the injections.

"I had more strength in my arms to push myself up," he said.

Mr Fishlock still uses a wheelchair and is unable to do many things for himself, but he has said the treatment has already made a big difference to his life.

What concerns me is the companies who are offering stem cell treatment commercially are not conducting proper trials
Professor of Neurobiology, Jack Price

Speaking on Monday, he said it was too early to make a decision as to whether he would return to the clinic for further treatment.

"I am relishing the way things are progressing, and continuing to improve," he told the BBC news website.

But the professor of Neurobiology at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London, Jack Price, said: "What concerns me is the companies who are offering stem cell treatment commercially are not conducting proper trials."

Mr Price said many people feel better periodically following stem cell treatment and then get worse.

He added: "You can't judge this kind of therapy by this kind of anecdote even if there were 10 or 20 or 100 people who said they felt better.

"A company that takes anyone who can afford the treatment is simply never going to tell us the proper answer."


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Find out more about Mr Fishlock's stem cell treatment



SEE ALSO:
MS woman pins hopes on stem cells
24 Feb 06 |  Southern Counties
MS sufferer in stem cell gamble
11 Jan 06 |  Southern Counties


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