Thursday, 30 April 2009

Chrones Disease and Perianal Fistulas

So what is a Fistula?

Fistulas are pretty common in people who have Chrones Disease and the basic definition is that they are abnormal connections or passageways between organs or vessels that should not normally connect to each other.

What Are Perianal Fistulas?

A perianal fistula is a abnormal connection between the anus and rectum with another organ or vessel such as the skin or the vagina.

According to research about 12 percent of people with chrones disease have Perianal fistulas, this is a huge amount as there are said to be at least half a million people with Crohn's disease in the US alone. Anal fistulas can lead to a big drop in the quality of life for anyone who has them as they can cause anal incontinence and infections.

How are Fistulas treated?

Surgery is currently the main form of treatment, which is invasive as well as having a fairly poor success rate.

Anti TNF-alpha and drugs like Remicade (Infliximab) are also now used. The success rate of this treatment varies from patient to patient.

(Still in development)
Cx401 is an non-embryonic (autologous) stem cell product developed by Cellerix from human adipose tissue. This autologous source offers clear advantages over other alternatives such as bone-marrow, including easier access to the stem cells and higher yield (100 to 1,000 times). Using a minimal amount of fat drawn from the patient, it is possible to obtain stem cells that have an extraordinary capacity to facilitate the healing process of fistulas.

How will the CX401 treatment work?

The treatment consists of the extraction, expansion and re-administration of the patient's own cells into the area that has fistulas. The natural healing of the fistula tract is achieved through the anti-inflammatory properties of Cx401.

So far there have been excellent clinical results obtained to date with the product. In a study to evaluate feasibility and safety of Cx401, it was confirmed that it has the potential to treat fistulas in Chrones Disease patients and showed a 75% response rate only 8 weeks after the initial treatment.

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