CALL (954) 404-4239

Table of Contents

Stem Cells for Colitis

Stem Cells for Colitis. When medications fail and surgery is not feasible, transplanting stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow presents an effective alternative for treating this chronic disease.

Cellular therapy with stem cells is revolutionizing the treatment approach for many serious pathologies. Replacing damaged tissue cells with new ones from the same patient is already a reality. It forms the basis of cellular therapy and regenerative medicine, the latest breakthrough in biomedicine.

The procedure is based on autologous bone marrow transplantation. Patients receive their own stem cells. It represents a treatment option to cure an intestinal disease. Sometimes, it doesn’t respond successfully to drugs. It requires complex surgeries that are not curative.

Cellular therapy as a strategy to combat Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease, along with ulcerative colitis, falls under the category of inflammatory bowel disease. It is a chronic condition with a genetic basis. It occurs when the immune system loses tolerance to the patient’s own intestinal flora. This leads to an abnormal and sustained inflammatory response over time. The consequences include inflammation and ulceration in various areas of the digestive tract, causing symptoms.

The disease progresses in unpredictable and varying flare-ups throughout life, and the severity of symptoms varies depending on the extent of intestinal involvement and the response to assigned treatments.

Diagnosing it is often difficult because it presents symptoms similar to other gastrointestinal diseases: abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, general discomfort, etc.

The degree of disease involvement determines the quality of life for patients. In severe cases, it prevents them from leading a normal life. This results in high levels of suffering due to the intensity and frequency of intestinal symptoms.

Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Spain

For example, the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona in Spain has initiated cellular therapy through autologous stem cell transplantation.
In the United States, researchers have already tested it on 12 patients with severe Crohn’s disease, of which 11 have achieved excellent results. In Italy, doctors have applied the therapy to 4 individuals, and 3 of them are also showing excellent progress after the transplant.

At the Clínic, the process already includes 6 Crohn’s patients. Following international examples.
We expect that more people will have the opportunity to find a solution for this previously untreatable condition.

Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom

Researchers in the United Kingdom have initiated a clinical trial. The trial will use stem cell transplants to develop a new immune system in people with untreatable Crohn’s disease. Its goal is to determine if the treatment can cure the disease. Alternatively, it aims to allow some patients to respond to previously ineffective medications finally.

The study is led by Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust. It will recruit patients from centers in Cambridge, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Nottingham, Oxford, and Sheffield.

Recently, researchers have discovered the successful use of stem cell transplants to eliminate and replace the patients’ immune system. This treatment approach has shown promise in treating multiple sclerosis.

This new trial will investigate whether a similar treatment could reduce intestinal inflammation and offer hope to people with Crohn’s disease.

In the trial, doctors will administer chemotherapy and hormonal treatment to patients to mobilize their stem cells, which they will then collect from their blood. Doctors will use additional chemotherapy to eliminate the patient’s faulty immune system.

When doctors reintroduce the stem cells into the body, the cells will transform into new immune cells. This process gives the patient a new immune system.

Stem Cells for Colitis

Faculty of Pharmacy, UPV/EHU

Since 2017, the Faculty of Pharmacy at UPV/EHU has been working on a project aimed at developing an effective medication based on mesenchymal stem cells to treat this disease.

This ambitious and collaborative research, funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, involves not only the participation of the UPV/EHU group but also experts in medicine, biochemistry, pharmacy, and biology. Additionally, it includes professionals from renowned universities such as Harvard (USA) and the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), as well as medical centers like the pathology department of the University Hospital of Alava.

Autologous stem cell transplantation: Procedure stages (Clínic de Barcelona)

Once we identify the case (with no response to drugs or surgery), we proceed with autologous stem cell transplantation for the patient. Which is a bone marrow transplant that induces the re-establishment of the immune system to prevent it from attacking intestinal germs. The process takes approximately two months and consists of 6 phases:

  1. First Chemotherapy (Cyclophosphamide + G-CSF). In this initial phase, the patient undergoes chemotherapy to induce leukopenia, a reduction in the number of leukocytes (immune system cells) in the blood.
  2. Migration of Stem Cells to the Blood. After the previous immunosuppression, the body responds by releasing stem cells from the bone marrow into the blood, and doctors will later use these cells for the transplant.
  3. Collection of Stem Cells through Apheresis. Apheresis is a technique used to separate components of the blood. Stem cells that have previously migrated from the bone marrow are separated during this process.
  4. Cryopreservation of Stem Cells. Once collected through apheresis, the stem cells are preserved at a low temperature until they are ready for transplantation.
  5. Second Chemotherapy. In this phase, total leukopenia is induced, meaning the immune system is reduced to zero leukocytes, ready to be restored with the stem cell transplant.
  6. Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation: The patient is transplanted through transfusion with their stem cells. The immune system is restored, leading to the remission or reduction of the abnormal inflammatory process of Crohn’s disease.

I invite you to learn more about the fascinating world of stem cells by reading our article, “What Are Stem Cells?“.

Spanish Version

We specialize in treatments with human stem cells, led by Dr. Juan Antonio Garza Quintanilla, a specialist in stem cells. With over 36 years of research and clinical experience, we have proven the effectiveness of regenerative medicine and its incredible benefits for people who decide to recover their health.

Related post

Stem Cells for Colitis

Stem Cells for Colitis. When medications fail and surgery is not feasible, transplanting stem cells from the patient’s bone marrow presents an effective alternative for

Read More »