Countering Crohn’s Disease

Patients treated in the GM-CSF pilot study showed a decrease in inflammation: an inflamed colon before treatment (top) and after, showing no pathologic abnormality.Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis continue to make progress in finding a potential treatment for Crohn’s disease, a chronic and serious inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract that affects about half a million people in the United States. Later this month, the research team of Joshua Korzenik, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, and Brian Dieckgraefe, M.D., Ph.D., also an assistant professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology, will present preliminary data from patients with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease who were treated at 33 centers around the United States. Patients who received daily injections of a drug called GM-CSF (granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor), which stimulates the activity of certain cells in the immune system, tended improve. And although the data have not yet been presented, the results from the placebo-controlled phase II treatment study were positive.