Regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy offer a promising new treatment option for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Crohn’s Disease. IBD is a chronic condition characterized by inflammation of the intestines. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue. IBD can be debilitating, and current non-regenerative medicine treatment options are often ineffective for all patients.
Stem cells are a type of cell that can differentiate into other types of cells. Through the targeted application of stem cells at the point of treatment, the stem cells can differentiate into beneficial, regenerative cells. This means that they can be used to repair or replace damaged tissue. Stem cells also possess anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties, making them a potential IBD treatment.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that can lead to fistulas or abnormal connections between tissues. Stem cells have been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and helping to repair tissue damage in animal studies. In human clinical trials, stem cells have been shown to be safe and effective in treating Crohn’s disease. Some studies have shown that stem cells are more effective than conventional treatments. Regenerative medicine and stem cells offer hope for a new and effective treatment for Crohn’s disease.
Dozens of phase I to III trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of stem cells in Crohn’s disease. For the severe form that causes fistulas in the colon, stem cells are more effective than conventional treatment (4-10).
In 2010, a controlled clinical trial in patients with ulcerative colitis found that stem cells reduced the activity of autoimmune inflammation and stimulated a reparative process in the intestinal mucosa, increasing the duration of remissions and reducing the frequency of hospitalization (11). Since then, more than 20 phase I-III trials and several meta-analyses, with hundreds of patients and follow-ups for up to 5 years, have found lower remission rates than those provided by conventional treatment (12-15).
Interestingly, combining glucocorticoids with stem cells potentiates the benefits of ulcerative colitis (16).
1. Larabi A, Barnich N, Nguyen HTT. New insights into the interplay between autophagy, gut microbiota, and inflammatory responses in IBD. Autophagy. 2020;16(1):38-51. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2019.1635384.
2. Binienda A, Ziolkowska S, Ingvild HH, Salaga M. The Role of Immune and Epithelial Stem Cells in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Therapy. Curr Drug Targets. 2020. doi: 10.2174/1389450121666200504074922.
3. Lightner AL, Wang Z, Zubair AC, Dozois EJ. A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Mesenchymal Stem Cell Injections for the Treatment of Perianal Crohn’s Disease: Progress Made and Future Directions. Dis Colon Rectum. 2018;61(5):629-640. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000001093.
4. Garcia-Arranz M, Garcia-Olmo D, Herreros MD, Gracia-Solana J, Guadalajara H, De la Portilla F, et al. Autologous adipose-derived stem cells for the treatment of complex cryptoglandular perianal fistula: A randomized clinical trial with long-term follow-up. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2019. doi: 10.1002/sctm.19-0271.
5. Lightner AL. Stem Cell Therapies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2019;21(4):16. doi: 10.1007/s11894-019-0672-y.
6. Cheng F, Huang Z, Li Z. Mesenchymal stem-cell therapy for perianal fistulas in Crohn’s disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Tech Coloproctol. 2019. doi: 10.1007/s10151-019-02024-8.
7. Guadalajara H, García-Arranz M, Herreros MD, Borycka-Kiciak K, Lightner AL, García-Olmo D. Mesenchymal stem cells in perianal Crohn’s disease. Tech Coloproctol. 2020;24(8):883-889. doi: 10.1007/s10151-020-02250-5.
8. Meng ZW, Baumgart DC. Darvadstrocel for the treatment of perianal fistulas in Crohn’s disease. Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020;14(6):405-410. doi: 10.1080/17474124.2020.1764349.
9. Cassinotti A, Passamonti F, Segato S. Cell therapy in inflammatory bowel disease. Pharmacol Res. 2020:105247. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2020.105247.
10. Cabalzar D, Turina M, Biedermann L, Rogler G, Schreiner P. Allogeneic expanded adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell therapy for perianal fistulas in Crohn’s disease: A case series. Colorectal Dis. 2021. doi: 10.1111/codi.15587.
11. Lazebnik LB, Kniazev OV, Konopliannikov AG, Parfenov AI, Ruchkina IN, Mikhaĭlova ZF, et al. Allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cells in patients with ulcerative colitis: two years of observation. Eksp Klin Gastroenterol. 2010;(11):3-15.
12. Turse EP, Dailey FE, Naseer M, Partyka EK, Bragg JD, Tahan V. Stem cells for luminal, fistulizing, and perianal inflammatory bowel disease: a comprehensive updated review of the literature. Stem Cells Cloning. 2018 Nov 27;11:95-113. doi: 10.2147/SCCAA.S135414.
13. Shi X, Chen Q, Wang F. Mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of ulcerative colitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of experimental and clinical studies. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2019;10(1):266. doi: 10.1186/s13287-019-1336-4.
14. Zhang X, Wang S, Ding X, Guo J, Tian Z. Potential methods for improving the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases. Scand J Immunol. 2020;92(3):e12897. doi: 10.1111/sji.12897.
15. Grim C, Noble R, Uribe G, Khanipov K, Johnson P, Koltun WA, et al. Impairment of tissue resident mesenchymal stem cells in chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. J Crohns Colitis. 2021:jjab001. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjab001.
16. Ko JZ, Johnson S, Dave M. Efficacy and Safety of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cell Therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: An Up-to-Date Systematic Review. Biomolecules. 2021;11(1):82. doi: 10.3390/biom11010082.
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Stem cell therapy does not provide a guarantee and is not advertised as a treatment for any cures. This is similar to many other traditional medical treatments. A patient history review is required to determine eligibility and approval for stem cell therapy as an aid to the patient’s body towards supporting the body’s own healing process, if and when possible. All personal information provided is for internal and medical use only by our healthcare providers. Headquartered in Deleware, USA, REJUV, INC. is a resource company and network supplier for REJUVSTEM in Guadalajara and Cancun, Mexico. Rejuv, Inc. is not a stem cell therapy facility or surgical center. These advanced treatments have not yet been approved by the FDA, so they are not available in our office or in the United States. All cell therapies are carried out in Mexico, as regulated by the Ministry of Health, COFERPIS, and other local governments. All treatments are carried out within the legal and regulatory framework of the country in which the particular healthcare provider operates.