Durable Response in Patients With Refractory Fistulizing Perianal Crohn's Disease Using Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells on a Dissolvable Matrix: Results from the Phase I Stem Cell on Matrix Plug Trial

Eric J. Dozois, Amy L. Lightner, Allan B. Dietz, Joel G. Fletcher, Yong S. Lee, Jessica J. Friton, William A. Faubion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Refractory perianal Crohn's disease remains notoriously difficult to treat. We developed a novel technology using a commercially available bioabsorbable fistula plug to deliver autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess therapeutic safety and feasibility in the completed STOMP (stem cells on matrix plugs) phase 1 clinical trial. DESIGN: Prospective single-arm phase I clinical trial. SETTING: Tertiary academic medical center. PATIENTS: Adults (aged 18-65 y) with complex single-tract Crohn's disease perianal fistula who have failed conventional therapy were included in this study. INTERVENTION: Autologous adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells were isolated, ex vivo culture expanded, and seeded onto a commercially available bioabsorbable fistula plug. Six weeks later, patients returned to the operating room for removal of the seton and placement of the stem cell-loaded plug. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patients were followed up for a total of 8 visits through 12 months. Safety was the primary end point; clinical healing and MRI response were secondary end points. RESULTS: Twenty patients (12 females; mean age 36 y) were treated with the stem cell-loaded plug. Of the 20 patients enrolled, 3 were not included in the 12-month analysis because of study withdrawal. Through 12 months, no patient experienced a serious adverse event related to the stem cell-loaded plug. Four patients experienced 7 serious adverse events and 12 patients experienced 22 adverse events. Complete clinical healing occurred in 14 of 18 patients at 6 months and 13 of 17 patients at 12 months. MRI response was observed in 12 of 18 patients at 6 months. LIMITATIONS: The main limitations were the small sample size and restrictive inclusion criteria. CONCLUSIONS: A stem cell-loaded plug can safely and effectively deliver cell-based therapy for patients with single-tract fistulizing perianal Crohn's disease. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/C70.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-252
Number of pages10
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

Keywords

  • Crohn's disease
  • Matrix
  • Mesenchymal stem cell
  • Perianal fistula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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