Story transcripts

Russian Roulette: The radical procedure that could save lives

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Reporter: Tara Brown
Producer: Stephen Rice

35-year-old mother of two Kristy Cruise is slowly dying.

A radical procedure could save her life but Australian doctors are refusing to treat her.

So Kristy is going to Russia to be blasted with chemotherapy for days before being re-injected with her own stem cells.

She hopes the treatment will stop her slow decline from multiple sclerosis.

Already she's confined to a wheelchair with no feeling down her left side, suffering severe exhaustion and facing cognitive decline.

The trip to Russia is physically, emotionally and financially taxing, but it's Kristy's last chance at salvaging some time with her husband and two young boys.

60 Minutes has been following Kristy on her journey and the results will send shockwaves through Australia's medical establishment.

Story contacts

To read statement one from Canberra Hospital click here. To read statement two click here.

To read our questions – still mostly unanswered or entirely ignored – here.

To watch Tara Brown’s response click here.

For more information on stem cell treatment for MS:

Kristy Cruise’s blog:

Kristy Cruise’s website:

Dr Denis Federenko’s program at the The A.A. Maximov centre in Moscow:

Dr Richard K. Burt, the pioneer of stem cell treatment for MS, Division of Immunotherapy and Autoimmune Diseases (DIAD) at Northwestern University, Chicago:

Here are links to some of the latest research:

Autologous non-myeloablative haemopoietic stem cell transplantation in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis; a phase 1/11 study
Burt, et al, The Lancet, 2009

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation as a treatment option for aggressive multiple sclerosis
Pfender et al, Current Treatment Options in Neurology, 2013

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation with reduced-intensity conditioning in multiple sclerosis
Shevchenko et al, Exp. Hematology, 2012

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