Stem Cells from Fat Tissue Help in the Treatment of Crohn’s Disease

Study confirms the effectiveness and safety of the treatment of fistulas with stem cells from fat

Vienna (2016-11-22) — An increasing number of people are suffering from Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. The intestinal distress is especially onerous for those affected who are plagued by watery diarrhea, fever, painful abscesses, and fistulas on the buttocks. Now a study published in the renowned English journal The Lancet has proven that stem cells from body fat can play an important role in the reduction of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

Previously it was often necessary to surgically remove the bowel segments affected by Crohn’s disease. This surgical procedure, which takes place under general anesthesia and partially requires a long hospital stay, carries substantial risks and adverse consequences that can reduce the quality of life. Treatment with stem cells from fat can provide faster and gentler amelioration. At the same time, according to the results of the present study, it is safe.

“Regenerative medicine allows patients to benefit from the remarkable healing power of their own bodies through individualized, minimally-invasive procedures,” says DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich, physician from Vienna who is working in the field of regenerative medicine and aesthetic surgery. In his Clinic DDr. Heinrich® the patient’s own stem cells are used in the treatment of degenerative diseases, autoimmune disorders, circulatory diseases, nervous disorders, joint problems, and for skin regeneration.

The randomized, controlled, double-blind phase 3 study on 212 Crohn’s disease patients from 49 different hospitals showed that the injection of stem cells from fat significantly accelerated the healing of perianal fistulas, which frequently occur in patients with Crohn’s disease. The regenerative abilities of the stem cells led to an earlier occlusion of the inflamed excretory ducts and could save the sufferers pain as well as improve their quality of life.

The stem cell therapy of Crohn’s disease is carried out on an outpatient basis and requires liposuction in order to harvest a small amount of the patient’s body fat. In the course of the procedure “Stromal Vascular Fraction” (SVF) is isolated therefrom, which has a high content of mesenchymal fat stem cells (“Adipose-Derived Stem Cells”, ADSCs). The SVF is then injected into the affected tissue. Generally the regenerative effect occurs after some weeks. Depending on the initial situation repetitions of the treatment may be appropriate. The procedure with fat stem cells can be combined with other therapeutic methods if necessary.

“Similarly good results as such in the treatment of fistulas in Crohn’s disease could already be achieved in a number of additional illnesses with inflammatory or autoimmunological components,” DDr. Heinrich explains about the versatility of the therapeutic potential of fat tissue regarding patients’ health. Therefore the use of autologous stem cells from the patient’s own fat, e.g., for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, suggests itself.

Further information:

Clinic DDr. Heinrich®
Contact: Herfried Wagner
Phone: +43 1 532 18 01

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