If you or someone you know suffers from Crohn’s disease, then you know just how debilitating it can be. Crohn’s disease is a disease that chronically affects and inflames the lining of the digestive tract. As many as 780,000 Americans are currently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and the numbers keep climbing. People with Crohn’s disease often develop symptoms including diarrhea, weight loss, chronic abdominal pain and extreme tiredness. All of these symptoms can greatly decrease their quality of life. Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure to this disease, which can be devastating news for those who suffer from Crohn’s. However, stem cell transplants for treating Crohn’s disease has recently gone into a clinical trial. At the Michigan Center for Regenerative Medicine, we are always following closely on the latest advancements in stem cell research.
Why Stem Cells for Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is thought to be caused by an immune response in which the lining of the gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed. While there are current treatments that aim to suppress the immune reaction, those treatments don’t work for all patients and the risks to those treatments are daunting. If a stem cell transplant works, the risk becomes very minimal. The goal of a stem cell transplant would remove the patient’s current immune cells that are reacting poorly and replace them with fresh cells that are grown from their own stem cells. If those cells are replaced successfully, the reaction will no longer take place.
The Clinical Trial Details
In the past and within our own practice, stem cell transplants have successfully treated many other autoimmune diseases. This study is just taking off, launching in eight different sites across the UK. Those involved in the trial will come into clinics after a year of their transplant to complete a questionnaire about their symptoms and quality of life. They will have blood tests performed, along with MRI scans and a colonoscopy. This study will continue to observe these patients for four to seven years, studying the results and their own quality of life.
At the Michigan Center for Regenerative Medicine, we believe in evidence-based practices and we acknowledge that stem cell research is on the forefront for the future of medicine. We are proud to be a place that utilizes the latest evidence and incorporates it within our own practice to provide our patients with the best quality of life outcomes possible. For more information about the Michigan Center for Regenerative Medicine, or about stem cell treatments in particular, feel free to give us a call today at (268) 216-1008.