A new drug, based on a discovery first made when a cancer patient made a surprising recovery, uses a component of E. coli to force the body’s immune system into a beneficial response. The concept is similar to a vaccine.
Doctors at a Vancouver lab are developing a treatment for Crohn’s disease that they say could lead to a permanent cure — and it all began when a pancreatic cancer patient made a mysterious recovery.
The second phase of trials are currently underway in B.C. and Ontario.
Seven of the 12 patients went into remission after treatment was stopped, and three are still in remission — evidence of the possibility of a cure, he said.
“We believe it has the potential to be transformative in Crohn’s disease,” Gunn said.
“We have the potential here to create sustained remission or even a cure, for patients who have gone off the medication.”
Affecting one in 150 Canadians, Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and bloating and can be debilitating to some patients.
The disease is caused by an immune disorder, and many patients must take immune-suppressing medications for life in order to control the disease, sometimes leading to negative side effects.
|Read on: Vancouver lab hopes E. coli treatment could help cure Crohn’s disease|