Ulcerative Colitis Treatment with Stem Cells
With stem cell therapy, the progression of ULCERATIVE COLITIS disease can be slowed down and regressed, and even stopped completely. The success rate of the treatment is proportional to the patient's age, the duration of the disease and the patient's condition.
- The treatment of ULCERATIVE COLITIS with stem cells is recognized as a new method that scientists are working on.
- Stem cells are mainly obtained from bone marrow, adipose tissue and fetal (the structure that occurs when the sperm and egg are fertilized). Under operating room conditions, a small amount of sample from adipose tissue of the patient is taken by liposuction method and necessary stem cells are separated in laboratories approved by the Ministry of Health.
- Stem cells derived from a person's own tissues are delivered either systemically through vascular access or more targetedly, by direct injection into the tissue or the organ. A success rate of more than 90% can be achieved with an appropriate treatment method administered to an eligible patient after s/he undergoes a good testing and analysis stage.
What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative Colitis which is an inflammatory bowel disease is a long-term, chronic disease of the digestive tract. During the course of this disease, some changes occur in the layer covering the inner surface of the digestive tract depending on the severity of the disease. The cause of these changes is the inflammatory reaction (inflammation). This inflammatory reaction mostly occurs on the inner surface of the intestine and is characterized by ulceration, swelling, injury, bleeding and irritation in the layer (mucosa) that covers the inner surface of the intestine.
In the area of inflammatory changes, ulcers occur in the mucosa, which is the coating layer covering the inner surface of the intestine and for this reason, the disease is called ulcerative colitis, which means disease characterized by ulcers.
In the large intestine (bowel), rectum and left colon (the last part of the large intestine) are affected the most. Other parts (for example, the stomach, small intestine) of the digestive tract (the intestinal tract) are not affected.
There are two different types of inflammatory bowel disease: Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease. Apart from these, there is another type of this disease which is not similar to both types, which is in between.
What are the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a disease that affects only the large intestine. Different names are assigned to the site involved by the disease. Therefore, various names referring to the intestinal part involved by the disease, which means the same as inflammatory bowel disease, are used.
Large intestine involvement is shortly called colitis. In addition, involvement of the entire colon is called pancolitis; involvement of only the descending colon is called left colitis, and involvement of the last part of rectum, which is the last part of large intestine, is called proctitis. Complaints of a patient vary according to the location involved by the disease.
During the course of ulcerative colitis disease, a patient may develop problems only related to the digestive tract as a result of the disease as well as problems involving organs outside the digestive tract.
Ulcerative colitis disease is also classified according to the region affected by the disease. If it is only related to digestive - intestinal tract, it is called local (regional); if it is related to other organs in the body, other than the intestinal tract, or the whole body, it is called systemic (extraintestinal) involvement.
- Severe bleeding from deep ulcers, intestinal perforation, dilation of the intestine and stopping of bowel movements (toxic megacolon, toxic dilatation) are the most prominent complications of the disease. The most serious of these local complications is toxic megacolon.
- Sudden onset of severe swelling of the abdomen, fever, constipation and general impaired condition are predictors of this complication. The inflammation involves the entire large intestinal wall and as a result, the large intestine gets thinner and dilated and may even be punctured.
Systemic (extra-intestinal) effects
Substances secreted due to the disease affect the distant organs too. Fever, weight loss, weakness and decreased appetite are some of the primary symptoms. Some patients develop joint, skin, eye and liver disorders, though to a lesser extent.
Ulcerative Colitis Joint Findings:
It causes inflammation (joint inflammation) in distal (end) joints. In some patients, the lower part of the spine and pelvic joints (the sacroiliac joint) are affected. Small joints in the fingers, hands, feet, wrists and knees are affected the most. The more severe type that affects joint spaces of the spine is called ankylosing spondylitis.
Ulcerative Colitis Skin Findings:
Red swelling under the skin may develop. These are nodules sensitive to depression on the skin.
There are purulent skin wounds that develop with deep ulcers. This also settles in the same areas. The third skin manifestation is painful surface ulcers, called aphthous stomatitis, located in the mouth. It is often localized between the lower lip and gums, on both sides of the tongue and in tongue base and all three problems heal when the disease in the intestine resolves.
Ulcerative Colitis Eye Findings:
Some patients suffer from uveitis, a painful inflammation in the eye. This improves when the bowel symptoms improve.
Ulcerative Colitis Liver Findings:
Inflammatory changes (inflammation) may develop in the liver and biliary tract. Inflammation in the liver improves with resolution of intestinal inflammation, whereas sclerosing cholangitis affecting bile ducts does not improve. Rarely, biliary tract cancer may occur.
Causes of Ulcerative Colitis
The exact cause of ulcerative colitis is not known, but in recent years there have been theories suggesting that it is an immune system disease. The disease may be hereditary. For example, the likelihood of a child with ulcerative colitis in his/her family to develop this disease is higher than that of children of healthy families.
It is not a contagious disease. Smoking and alcohol consumption among environmental factors are thought to be very effective. Aspirin, antibiotics, contraception pills can lead to further aggravation of the disease. According to other theories, a virus or bacterium (microbe) is suggested to induce immune system-related events (immunological) in the intestinal wall.
Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis
There is no treatment that completely eliminates the disease. In the treatment, oral pills, or enema or suppositories administered into the intestine from the anus are preferred. Early discontinuation of treatment may exacerbate the disease. Therefore, the treatment should be considered as a long time (lifetime) treatment. In this way, the recurrence of the disease will be prevented. The complete elimination of the disease is only possible by surgical removal of the intestine.
Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis with Stem Cells
Although it is not certain that the disease is of genetic origin, the patient can be administered with genetically intact stem cells obtained from fetus. Stem cell therapy slows the progression of the disease because it strengthens the body's defense system. With the strengthening of the body's defense system, inflammation begins to dry up. In this way, they may slow the progression of the disease, completely stop it and make it regress.
The success rate of the treatment is proportional to the patient's age, the duration of the disease and the patient's condition. If the disease has severely progressed, treatment may need to be applied more than once.
Stem cells are delivered either systemically through vascular access or more targetedly, by direct injection into the tissue or the organ.
This treatment can be administered at our GenCell Stem Cell Treatment Center in Kiev, Ukraine.
Success Rate in Treatment:
A success rate of more than 90% can be achieved with an appropriate treatment method administered to an eligible patient after s/he undergoes a good testing and analysis stage.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is ULCERATIVE COLITIS a Genetic (Hereditary) disease?
It is known to be more common in some families. First-degree relatives are also affected by the disease in about 20% of patients. However, there is no absolute genetic transition that has been identified to date but it would be fair to say that there is predisposition. For example, the risk in children with inflammatory bowel disease in both of their parents may increase up to 36%.
How is Ulcerative Colitis diagnosed?
The most important diagnostic method is evaluation and examination of the patient by the doctor. In addition to the foregoing, some tests are required for a definitive diagnosis.
- In particular, a fecal test for certain bacteria and amoeba (parasite) should be performed. Because some bacteria such as shigella and some parasites such as Entamoeba histolityca may show a presentation similar to that of ulcerative colitis.
- Anemia, elevated levels of white blood cells height and elevated sedimentation can be seen. Anemia (low level of hemoglobin) is caused by bleeding. Elevated levels of white blood cells and sedimentation reflect the severity of inflammation.
- If a patient's symptoms suggest ulcerative colitis, the layer (mucosa) covering the inside of the large intestine should be examined. With a special device placed through the anus, the doctor can directly see the layer covering the large intestine and rectum, and can take a sample (biopsy) at the site of the disease to examine under the microscope. With this examination, other factors with signs and symptoms similar to those of inflammatory bowel disease can be identified.
- The study of the large intestine using a medicinal agent (double contrast colon radiography, barium enema) can be used to get an insight about the type and spread of the disease. Blood count and amoeba examination in feces can be performed to make differential diagnosis of other diseases with similar symptoms.
How Does Ulcerative Colitis Differ From CROHN'S disease?
Although sometimes confused with one another, there are important symptoms that distinguish these two diseases:
Diarrhea and bloody stools are the primary symptoms of ulcerative colitis, whereas in Crohn's disease, there are symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, weight loss and weakness, development of fistula between the skin, and obstruction of small or large intestines.
Ulcerative colitis only involves the large intestine, while Crohn's disease may occur in every region from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis disease involves only the superficial layer (mucosa and submucosa) covering the large intestine, whereas Crohn's disease involves not only the superficial layer but also entire layers of the intestine.
- Ismail, A. E., Maher, M. M., Ibrahim, W. A., ASaleh, S., & Makboul, K. (2015). Role of Autologous Bone Marrow Stem Cell Transplantation in the Treatment of Active Ulcerative Colitis. J Stem Cell Res Ther, 5(313), 2.
- Flores, A. I., Gómez-Gómez, G. J., Masedo-González, Á., & Martínez-Montiel, M. P. (2015). Stem cell therapy in inflammatory bowel disease: A promising therapeutic strategy?. World journal of stem cells, 7(2), 343.
- GREGOIRE, C., Louis, E., BRIQUET, A., LECHANTEUR, C., BAUDOUX, E., GIET, O., … & BARON, F. (2017). The role of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The Biology and Therapeutic Application of Mesenchymal Cells, 730-753.