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Can Stem Cell Therapies Treat Crohn's Disease?

Posted by Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES on 23 October 2017
Can Stem Cell Therapies Treat Crohn's Disease?

Crohn's disease is chronic, inflammatory disease that affects a person's digestive tract. In extreme cases, the bouts of diarrhea synonymous with Crohn's can send sufferers to the washroom over a dozen times daily.

One's quality of life becomes so hampered that maintaining a social life or even employment can start to feel like distant pipedreams.

Fortunately, it appears that stem cell treatments might be able neutralize symptoms of Crohn's disease more effectively than cures in the past.

What is Crohn's Disease?

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease causing breaking in the linings, known as ulcerations, of the small and large intestines. The most common areas affected by Crohn's are the last part of the small intestine and the colon. The symptoms are abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, weight loss, reddish skin nodules, and inflammation of the joint, spines, eyes, and liver.

An Unpleasant Side Effect

About 33% of people with Crohn's will also have perianal disease, leading to anorectal fistulas - the result of an infection near the anus causing an abscess in the nearby tissue. When the pus drains away, it leaves a small channel behind leading to further discomfort, skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Surgeries such as a fistulotomy, ligation therapy, and anal fistulectomy are usually required to treat fistulas.

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Infusion a Possible Therapy for Crohn's Fistulas

While treatments for Crohn's and fistulas have proven largely ineffective, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have shown great potential in managing Crohn's and its accompanying fistulas.

Stem cell therapy for Crohn's helps reset and repair the immune system using lab-enhanced Hematopoietic mesenchymal stem cells. The enhanced cells are 100% histocompatible to the recipient, meaning the different tissues are compatible and will graft with each other without having an immunity reaction.

The infused stem cells promote change in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines into beneficial anti-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are secreted proteins effecting the interactions and communications between cells.

MSCs restore most patients' red blood cell count and hemoglobin levels, acting like a patch that covers any ulcer regions in the intestines, allowing them time to properly heal.

Different Stem Cells Therapies Have a Prior History in Treating Crohn's Disease

Rob McConnell is a Saskatchewan man whose Crohn's disease was so debilitating, that he was going to the washroom at least a dozen times a day. At six feet tall, the condition had left him at an emaciated 95 pounds.

He tried every drug and treatment available to him under the caveat of side-effects like hair loss, sore joints, and brittle bones. These treatments would help McConnell's Crohn's for a period of time, but the symptoms would always resurface.

In 2014, with little hope and facing major surgery to remove large parts of his bowels, Rob learned he was eligible for a hematopoietic stem cell bone marrow transplant to rebuild his immune system.

A year and a half after undergoing the transplant and the requisite chemotherapy, Rob weighed a robust 161 lbs., with no more cramps, weight loss, or frequent trips to the toilet.

Injecting Some Sense into the System

There are currently 129,000 documented Canadians suffering from Crohn's disease, and a laundry list of ineffective treatments leaving sufferers in constant pain and discomfort. Stem cell treatments for Crohn's have yet to receive FDA approval, and while results are promising, they are only in the early stages of becoming an accepted treatment for the chronic condition.

Those who suffer are desperate, often wasting tens of thousands on pharmaceuticals and surgeries.

With more positive results, stem cell therapies may offer those with Crohn's disease a better quality of life without invasive surgeries or risky drugs.


Crohn's isn't on our treatment spectrum, but we support all advancements in this stem cell therapy.

RegenerVate does offer various stem cell and PRP injection treatments to treat chronic conditions, such as degenerative disc disorder, tendonitis, and osteoarthritis, expediting the recovery process with your body's own healing properties.

Call us at 1-855-712-9901 to schedule an appointment, or drop by one of our RegenerVate locations today!

Author: Douglas W. Stoddard MD, M Sp Med, Dip Sport Med, ES
About: Dr. Stoddard is a sport medicine and injection physician in Toronto and is the Medical Director of RegenerVate. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Toronto, he trained in Australia at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, obtaining his Master Degree in Sport Medicine. His injection training, including ultrasound, PRP and Prolotherapy, was primarily done in the USA. He is a diplomat of the Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine (CASEM), is married and a proud father of two boys. He is an avid triathlete and occasional guitar player.
Tags: Treatment Options Stem Cell Research

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