Crohn’s disease:

Crohn's disease is a form of
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It
usually affects the intestines, but may
occur anywhere from the mouth to the
end of the rectum (anus).

Since 2006 the European Group for
Blood and Marrow Transplantation has
been conducting a trial for patients
with relapsing Crohn's disease who
demonstrate a clear intolerance  to
conventional treatment.

The purpose of this study is to
determine whether there is a potential
clinical benefit of hematopoietic stem
cell mobilisation followed by high dose
immuno-ablation and autologous stem
cell transplantation versus
hematopoietic stem cell mobilisation
only followed by best clinical practice.

The treatment costs around USD
37,000 in  the UK and is only available
as part of the autologous stem cell
transplant international  Crohn's
disease trial.

Dr Chris Hawkey, professor of
gastroenterology at Nottingham
University Hospital is lead investigator.

First, chemotherapy is used to partially
destroy the immune system. Then
stem cells are harvested from the
patient's blood. The blood is placed
into a stem cell treatment  by Celgene
Corp centrifuge, which spins the blood
around and separates out the stem
cells from the fluid. The blood then
returned into the body through the
other tube.
A month later the patient has much
more powerful chemo and drugs to
destroy the rest of the damaged
immune system in anticipation of the

Eventually the harvested stem cells
are transplanted back. The patient
feels better almost immediately, since
the damaged immune system had
been destroyed and replaced with
healthy new cells.
Trial no.: NCT00297193

In an open-label pilot study, four
patients with Crohn’s disease and
three with ulcerative colitis ingested T.
suis ova. Symptoms improved in all
seven patients. In a larger trial in 2005,
nearly 80 percent of 29 patients
suffering from Crohn’s disease
reported significant alleviation of their
symptoms after 24 weeks of treatment.
The team reported more modest but
still promising results in a study testing
the treatment on patients with
ulcerative colitis.