By CAROL M. OSTROM
The Seattle Times
In a bold experiment, Seattle researchers are seeking to cure severe Crohn's disease by giving patients a new immune system.
The clinical trial, which just received final approval, will look at a side effect of bone-marrow transplantation that researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center noticed years ago: A handful of leukemia patients given donor marrow cells were also cured of their Crohn's disease, a chronic intestinal inflammation.
Essentially, the idea behind the new study is simple: "It's swapping out an old, diseased immune system for a new immune system, which we hope -- and our research would support -- will take care of the Crohn's disease," said Dr. George McDonald, the study's principal investigator.
McDonald said until recently, it was unthinkable to offer a bone-marrow transplant for a non-life-threatening disease.
Read more from Seattle Times.