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Clinical trial seeks to cure advanced Crohn's disease using bone marrow transplant
Date:7/23/2012

se down but the Crohn's tends to come back," McDonald said.

More information about CATS can be found on the website www.cats-fhcrc.org, which includes a patient-eligibility questionnaire. In general, patients must be 18 to 60 years of age and have failed all existing conventional treatments but be healthy enough to undergo a bone marrow transplant. A matched donor of bone marrow must be found from either a sibling or an unrelated person who has volunteered to donate marrow. Private insurance must cover the cost of the transplant and related medical expenses.

Crohn's disease is usually discovered in adolescents and young adults but can occur from early childhood to older age. The incidence of Crohn's disease varies in different parts of the world with rates of four to nine persons per 100,000 people in North America. According to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, a leading advocacy organization, Crohn's may affect more than 700,000 Americans. Of those affected by Crohn's, about 10 percent suffer from the most severe form for which no treatment is completely effective.

Symptoms of Crohn's may include pain, fever, diarrhea and weight loss. Substantial progress has been made in medical treatment of Crohn's disease over the last 15 years. However, even with the best immunosuppressive therapy, less than half of patients with moderate to severe Crohn's achieve long-term relief. When patients stop taking their medicines, their intestinal inflammation returns. Some severe infections have been seen in patients who took prolonged courses of medicines that suppress the immune system.

"The burden of this disease lays heavily on those who don't respond to any therapy," McDonald said.

The CATS investigator team includes transplant physicians, gastroenterologists, pathologists and nurses from the Hutchinson Center, University of Washington, Seattle Children's and the Benaroya Research Institute. The bone mar
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Contact: Dean Forbes
dforbes@fhcrc.org
206-667-2896
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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