Allogeneic Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Promote Healing of Refractory Perianal Fistulas in Patients With Crohn's Disease

I Molendijk, BA Bonsing, H Roelofs, KCMJ Peeters, MNJM Wasser, G Dijkstra, C.J. van der Woude, M Duijvestein, RA Veenendaal, JJ Zwaginga, HW Verspaget, WE Fibbe, AE de Jong, DW Hommes

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Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Patients with perianal fistulizing Crohn's disease have a poor prognosis because these lesions do not heal well. We evaluated the effects of local administration of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) to these patients from healthy donors in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. METHODS: Twenty-one patients with refractory perianal fistulizing Crohn's disease were randomly assigned to groups given injections of 1 x 10(7) (n = 5, group 1), 3 x 10(7) (n = 5, group 2), or 9 x 10(7) (n = 5, group 3) MSCs, or placebo (solution with no cells, n = 6), into the wall of curettaged fistula, around the trimmed and closed internal opening. The primary outcome, fistula healing, was determined by physical examination 6, 12, and 24 weeks later; healing was defined as absence of discharge and <2 cm of fluid collection-the latter determined by magnetic resonance imaging at week 12. All procedures were performed at Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands, from June 2012 through July 2014. RESULTS: No adverse events were associated with local injection of any dose of MSCs. Healing at week 6 was observed in 3 patients in group 1 (60.0%), 4 patients in group 2 (80.0%), and 1 patient in group 3 (20.0%), vs 1 patient in the placebo group (16.7%) (P =.08 for group 2 vs placebo). At week 12, healing was observed in 2 patients in group 1 (40.0%), 4 patients in group 2 (80.0%), and 1 patient in group 3 (20.0%), vs 2 patients in the placebo group (33.3%); these effects were maintained until week 24 and even increased to 4 (80.0%) in group 1. At week six, 4 of 9 individual fistulas had healed in group 1 (44.4%), 6 of 7 had healed in group 2 (85.7%), and 2 of 7 had healed in group 3 (28.6%) vs 2 of 9 (22.2%) in the placebo group (P =.04 for group 2 vs placebo). At week twelve, 3 of 9 individual fistulas had healed in group 1 (33.3%), 6 of 7 had healed in group 2 (85.7%), 2 of 7 had healed in group 3 (28.6%), and 3 of 9 had healed in the placebo group (33.3%). These effects were stable through week 24 and even increased to 6 of 9 (66.7%) in group 1 (P =.06 group 2 vs placebo, weeks 12 and 24). CONCLUSIONS: Local administration of allogeneic MSCs was not associated with severe adverse events in patients with perianal fistulizing Crohn's disease. Injection of 3 x 107 MSCs appeared to promote healing of perianal fistulas.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)918-U612
Number of pages16
JournalGastroenterology
Volume149
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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