Ulcerative colitis is a chronic disorder that is characterized by ulcers in the colon. Symptoms include bloody diarrhoea, abdominal pain and weight loss. Ulcerative colitis is often considered to be an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the colon as if it were a foreign body.
Stem cells are produced in the bone marrow. They are immature cells that have the potential to self-generate themselves into different cell types. Autologus stem cell therapy is when the patients own stem cells are used to treat the condition. Alternatively, embryonic stem cells are collected (the allongenic approach). When undergoing autologus therapy, the stem cells are collected from the patient’s bone marrow. The patient then receives extremely high doses of chemotherapy, this virtually destroys the immune system so that the body can re-learn how to defend itself. The stem cells are then implanted into the body with the aim to regenerate the immune system.