Sunday, December 22, 2013

Weekend Links: Capsule Endoscopy in Crohn's (Japan), Pig-Worm Treatment for Autism?, Stem Cell Trial for Crohn's

This recent study (to be published in Jan 2014) shows that capsule endoscopy can be useful in evaluating small bowel mucosal injuries. However, patients with intestinal strictures should be careful (capsule could get blocked which would lead could lead to an emergency trip to try to remove the capsule. In this related paper it only takes about 10 cases of capsule endoscopy images for a doctor to become proficient in it.

So Coroando Biosciences this year has had an interesting year. First the stock seem to run up after excitement about the trial they were doing with TSO-pigworms for Crohn's (however the data later came out showing there was no benefit). Now we learn that the same company seems some good results for patients with autism (there were only 10 patients in the study). It is believed that autism is autoimmune (this is controversial). If the FDA approves TSO pigworms for autism it could allow more patients to experiment with it for Crohn's (since once a drug is approved by the FDA the FDA can't ban what a drug is used for).

Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia is conducting a trial using mensenchymal stromal stem cells from patients. So the cells are taken from the Crohn's patient and then processed (I have usually seen this done via centrifuge) and then the cells are placed back into the patient. Taking stem cells from a stranger isn't as effective since you don't have their immune system which results in a live-long course of drugs that suppress the immune system. For more information you can call (404)-727-7049. 

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