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Mesenchymal Stem Cells are Proving Effective Against Crohn’s Disease


Clinical evidence is building in stature that transplanting a patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could be the answer to prevent recurrence of Crohn’s disease-related fistula in addition to surgery.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, lifelong condition which is part of a group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (gut). It most commonly affects the end of the small bowel (the ileum) and the beginning of the colon.

Fistulas are a common complication of Crohn’s disease (approximately one-third of people with Crohn’s disease will develop a fistula) and co-authors Xiao-mei Zhang, Yu-jing Zhang, Wei Wang, Yu-Quan Wei, and Hong-xin Deng, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, discuss the clinical research supporting the potential for MSC transplantation to improve surgical outcomes and ultimately lower the risk of fistula recurrence thus improving the quality of a patient’s life.

In the article entitled ‘Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Treat Crohn’s Disease with Fistula’ the authors examine the unique advantages of MSCs, including ease of collection, low immunogenicity when using a patient’s own cells for transplant, and the immunoregulatory activity of MSCs.

“This paper demonstrates promising results with mesenchymal stem cells as a novel regenerative medicine approach to this complication. The work could ultimately result in major benefits to many individuals suffering from this disease,” says Editor-in-Chief Terence R. Flotte, MD, Executive Deputy Chancellor, Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine and provost and executive deputy chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS).

Human Gene Therapy published a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers which is available for free here until October 14, 2017.