A cure for Crohn’s Disease could be found with the use of stem cells. Scientists are evaluating the efficacy of stem cell treatment on Crohn’s Disease when they are used to ‘re-boot’ the immune system.
The possibility of long-term remission for tens of thousands of people in the UK, and many more worldwide, is being investigated in a major clinical trial by University of Nottingham researchers. The experiments will involve taking stem cells from a patient’s own body and using them as a form of treatment.
The first of it’s kind to treat Crohn’s, the study is currently recruiting patients for its Europe-wide trial. Most commonly affecting the colon and small intestines, the condition is a chronic ongoing disease. The main symptoms are weight loss, fatigue, diarrhea, and pain in the abdomen. These are caused by inflammation, deep ulcers and scarring to the wall of the intestine.
About 3,000 to 6,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and currently, about 60,000 people in the UK suffer from the condition. Immune suppressant drugs, and steroids which can only be administered in the short term are current treatments. There is no cure for the disease.
But a cure for up to 50 percent of sufferers could be in the making according to Professor Chris Hawkey and colleagues Dr. Paul Fortun and Dr. Tony Shonde who are together, conducting the Nottingham-led stem cell therapy.
Professor Hawkey said: