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New therapy with stem cells to treat Crohn's disease
Date:2/19/2009

  • When drugs don't work and surgery is not possible, transplanting stem cells from the patient's own bone marrow is an effective alternative for the treatment of this chronic disease.

  • The procedure has been tested successfully in the US and Italy, where total remission of the disease has been shown in 80% of cases, and considerable improvement in quality of life in the remaining 20% of cases. Since August 2008, Hospital Clnic has used this therapy in a total of 6 patients.

  • In Spain, this disease affects 1% of the population between 18 and 40 years of age and each year approximately 2000 new cases are diagnosed. This regenerative therapy constitutes a new focus on the use of stem cells in intestinal diseases.

Barcelona, February 19, 2009. Cellular therapy with stem cells is revolutionizing the focus of treatment of many serious diseases. Replacing the cells of damaged tissue with other new cells from the same patient is already a reality. This is the basis of cellular therapy and regenerative medicine, the latest great advance in biomedicine. In this line, Hospital Clnic, Barcelona is leading the world in the application of an innovative cellular therapy that uses stem cells to treat Crohn's disease, a chronic genetic disease that affects 1% of the population in Spain and which has considerable impact on the quality of life of the patients. The procedure is based on an autologous bone-marrow transplant (when patients receive a transplant of their own stem cells) and now constitutes a treatment option to cure an intestinal disease that sometimes does not successfully respond to drugs and requires highly complex surgery that does not provide a cure.

Hospital Clnic, Barcelona is one of the few hospitals in the world to apply this new therapeutic option for patients with Crohn's disease, and it does so with the guarantee of success experienced in the US and Italy, where the technique has been tested with excell
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Contact: Maria Trenzado
trenzado@clinic.ub.es
34-932-275-700
IDIBAPS - Institut d'Investigacions Biomdiques August Pi i Sunyer
Source:Eurekalert  

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