A new stem cell transplantation therapy appears to hold the promise of curing Crohn's disease in a large percentage of patients. And the researcher in charge of a tiny clinical trial says he's confident that the breakthrough approach can either lead to a cure or long-term remission for half of the patients treated.
Prof. Chris Hawkey, a gastroenterologist at Nottingham University, has led a team that is eradicating the cells that attack the immune system--which triggers the chronic inflammatory bowel disease. A stem cell transplant kills the old bone marrow and creates a new one that produces healthy cells.
"Three months down the line I felt much better and I'm back to my normal energy levels," said Laura Hancock, one of three patients in the study. "My recent colonoscopy showed that the Crohn's disease seems to be quite under control."
"I'm hopeful that half or more of the patients that undergo stem cell transplantation may either be cured or have a long-term remission," Hawkey told reporters. "We think it's likely that about 50 percent of people [in the trial] will be cured. We are encouraged. We have a lot of patients that seem to be very well."
- check out the report from The Guardian