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).
STEM CELL TRANSPLANTATION TESTED FOR CROHN DISEASE 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 transplant.
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
STUDY USING ROUNDWORMS SUPPLIED BY A GERMAN COMPANY 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.