Could stem cells be used to cure Crohn's Disease?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 10/30/2007 5:55 PM (GMT -6)

An article about autologous stem cell transplants being standard treatment in the future.

Allogenic stem cell transplants are proven to provide a permanent cure for Crohn's since your body is taken over by the the donor's immune system, while autologous is safer yet less effective since it's your own stem cells. There are clinical trials for mixed chimerism (some donor and some of your own cells) stem cell transplants happening right now for RA (;jsessionid=AE6E2ECDB583D6748A9D19EBCD5C7C69?order=38 ). This is more effective than autologous with less side effects than allogenic.

So there IS a cure already for Crohn's. It's just that most of us aren't sick enough to get it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 106
   Posted 10/30/2007 8:25 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks for the info, its made my day!! Hopefully it will be available really soon! We are sick enough they just dont know it lol!
DX: Crohns in March 2007
Meds: Remicade

Sad Mom!
Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 10/31/2007 8:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Bump!!! just to see if anyone has something to say about this!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 10/31/2007 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   

I sure hope this works...

My question will this be for only severe cd patients? My colonoscopy tests list me as Moderate but my Dr sometimes calls me severe.... I hope they consider treating others as well because in the future even mild CD patients can turn into more severe CD.



Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & ENTOCORT

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma

Also have Arthritis, and feel like I am falling apart sometimes...

Glad Bag
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 699
   Posted 10/31/2007 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I wouldn't characterize the treatment as a "cure" just yet, but it does seem hopeful. I have tried to get people excited about some other stem cell trials ongoing now.

Try looking up prochymal.....

That treatment is basically the process of taking stem cells from blood marrow of other healthy donors and giving them to Crohn's patient's intravenously. The stem cells seek out damaged tissues and begin to rebuild them with healthy tissue. When i think about getting the medicine, I visualize myself growing a new healthy, colon...ahhh. wouldn't that be miraculous?
"All we need is is all we need"

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 10/31/2007 1:53 PM (GMT -6)   
As I said before, autologous transplants are not always cures. Sometimes they are, but almost always provide years of remission at least. Allogenic transplants ARE cures though. This is because you take on another person's immune system which lacks the defective genes. There's many article on Pub-Med about them.

karendee, at the moment stem cell transplants for Crohn's are for the most severe cases. However that should change in the near future. For MS, they're using them early before permanent damage has occurred. I believe they'll do the same with Crohn's to stop the progression before too much bowel is lost. The transplants are becoming safer and quicker to recover from as technology and medical knowledge advance.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 10/31/2007 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Here's an abstract about 5 Crohn's patients who underwent allogenic transplant. 1 relapsed after 1.5 years because their transplant was mixed chimerism. The others have had no symptoms of cancer of Crohn's for years after the transplant.

Kasper, the immune system is destroyed by high doses of chemotherapy. Then the donor's stem cells are infused into the patient. Since stem cells go to the area in the body where there's damage, in this case, they detect the lack of immune system, and basically grow a new one.
There's obviously a risk to getting someone else's immune system. That's why the donor is usually a brother or sister who is healthy. However, you never know what diseases they're predisposed to.
I read one article about a person who had a transplant for leukemia. The donor had Crohn's and so the Leukemia patient eventually developed Crohn's as well. This is why people with autoimmune diseases are not allowed to donate bone marrow.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 10/31/2007 3:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Well it will work. But it's very risky with the high doses of chemo and the chance of Graft vs. Host disease. But, as I said, they've already started for RA, and autologous transplants are already being performed for Crohn's. They are becoming more and more common as a treatment for autoimmunity.

There's a product called Revimmune in Phase 3 trials for MS which is basically an autologous transplant without the need for the stem cell infusion.

"Revimmune works by temporarily eliminating peripheral immune cells, including the immune cells causing the autoimmunity, while selectively sparing the stem cells in the bone marrow. Investigators at Hopkins discovered that stem cells uniquely have high levels of a particular protective enzyme that can be measured in advance of therapy, which makes them impervious to Revimmune, and allows the surviving stem cells to give rise to the new immune system over 2 to 3 weeks. The newly reconstituted peripheral immune system typically lacks the misdirected immunity to self-antigens, which is characteristic of autoimmune diseases.

In the article, it says it only takes a couple of weeks for your immune system to recover. The company who owns the rights to it already has licensed it for all autoimmune diseases, including Crohn's. So trials for that should start soon.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2004
Total Posts : 152
   Posted 11/1/2007 9:04 AM (GMT -6)   
I have a sister who is involved in stem cell research (parkinson's disease to be exact) and what she says is that with her experience that there will be no cures with stem cells. She stated to me that they might be used to see why diseases happen btthey are too unstable or should I say unpredictable. These things are sooooo hard to keep alive none the less using them for a treatment.
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