Of course, any episode that has to do with HSCT (hematopoietic stem cell transplant) is super important to me. For the last 10 years, I’ve been a vocal advocate for HSCT. Screaming about it from the top of my lungs through social media, blogging, and to anyone who would listen or inquired. As you may or may not know, my co-host, Jodi, and I have both received HSCT for our MS. I had mine in Russia 10 years ago, and Jodi in Mexico in 2018. So when Dr. Richard Burt’s team reached out to us to discuss all things HSCT, as well as his recently released book, Everyday Miracles, that puts forth, in lay terms, his long road to accomplishing his goals, we were beyond open to having the opportunity to ask all the questions we ever wanted to know. Those questions include the reasoning behind his choices for inclusion and exclusion of certain patients for this treatment…in particular, MS patients. Questions like…Which MS patients does this treatment work for? Who doesn’t it work for? and why?
So who is Dr Richard Burt? He’s the determined and innovative physician who pioneered the use of HSCT in the US. Within the HSCT community, he’s considered the Godfather of HSCT, and yes, in case you’re wondering, he IS the Dr. who treated actress Selma Blair.
For the last 35 years, with laser focus and blinders on to block out any peripheral static from naysayers, Dr. Burt has been quietly and methodically raging against the machine that is today’s medical system.
Armed with the knowledge he gained while treating patients with leukemia with HSCT, he felt certain it could potentially halt the progression of certain autoimmune diseases and in many cases, reverse symptoms. So he plowed forward with a mission to prove his hypothesis. But it wouldn’t happen overnight. There were randomized trials, hundreds of patients, many diseases and, in the end, life-changing success stories.
Dr. Burt was the first doctor in the US to give hope to patients with MS, Lupus, Crohn’s, Stiff Person Syndrome and CIDP, when in the past they’d grappled with a life filled with a long list of ineffective drugs and certain disease progression.
To be clear, just because he was butting up against systemic red tape here in the US, doesn’t mean he wasn’t becoming a highly decorated peer by the international medical community and beyond. His list of awards granted by esteemed medical organizations is lengthy and impressive. I mean seriously, how many doctors do you know who’ve been presented with the “keys to the Vatican” in Vatican City, Rome? He was even recognized by Science illustrated for accomplishing one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs for the next 10 years. And, the forward for his book was written by the Dalai Lama!
Yes! Dr. Burt has got the juice! So much so that we had to squeeze it out in two full episodes. Both of which are packed with answers from pointed questions that you won’t find anywhere else. Asked by HSCT veterans who, for over a decade, have been privy to all the insider speculation regarding Dr. Burt’s methodology. Like why he will or won’t treat certain MS patients, why he uses certain drugs in his protocol, and what he considers a successful HSCT.
It’s time to dig in and peel back the curtain on HSCT with Dr. Richard Burt.
– Dr. Burt’s book, Everyday Miracles
– Making HSCT easy to understand
– 54 patient stories
– Being a patient-oriented physician
– Insurance coverage
– How HSCT works
– The mistake of thinking that the stem cells are what resets your immune system
– Whose stem cells are used?
– Myeloablative or non-myeloablative HSCT…which one does Dr. Burt prefer for AI disease
– HSCT for cancer vs. an AI disease
– Stronger protocols don’t always mean better
– A one-time treatment
– How long will it last?
– The important role of measuring brain atrophy in MS progression
– The colonialistic attitude of doctors toward patients
– The risks associated with a myeloablative protocol
– What is the definition of a successful HSCT
– The difference between active and non-active SPMS
– Neurodegeneration…it’s tricky
– Ocrevus, neurodegeneration and progression to SPMS
– Your immune system is your ally
– MS drugs are toxins
– Why he used ATG as part of his HSCT protocol
– His thoughts on PPMS and why he doesn’t treat it
– How disease labels can evolve over time
– How HSCT drug protocols vary per AI disease
– What can trigger a relapse post HSCT
– IPS stem cells and neuroregeneration
– Starting a new biotech company
– The future of HSCT in Chicago
– How IPS could help patients with SPMS and PPMS
– Where patients can receive non-myeloablative HSCT in the US now
– Neurodegenerative treatment for non-active SPMS and PPMS
– Pseudo flares post HSCT and what can cause them…don’t panic!
– Tweaking the healthcare system to make the patient first
– Medicine is a profession, healthcare is a business
Episode 1 on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ezjhqHtYA8Y
Episode 1 on YouTube: https://youtu.be/40dqLdIeZlc
Dr. Burt’s book, EVERYDAY MIRACLES: https://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Miracles-Scleroderma-Autoimmune-Hematopoietic/dp/1637631251
Dr. Burt’s website: https://astemcelljourney.com/about/drrichardburt/
Email to apply for HSCT with Dr. Burt: BURTRRMSTrial@scrippshealth.org