Researchers in a new study analyzed the outcomes of a clinical trial comparing standard therapy with hematopoietic (blood) stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in Crohn’s disease patients and found that HSCT did not result in a statistically significant improvement over conventional therapy. The study, titled “Autologous Hematopoetic Stem Cell Transplantation for Refractory Crohn Disease: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Crohn’s disease (CD), an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is an autoimmune disorder characterized by an exacerbated inflammation that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There are several treatment options for CD, including medication, diet and nutrition modifications, and surgery to repair or remove affected parts of the GI tract. Standard care usually involves immunosuppressive drugs designed to halt the immune system’s abnormal inflammatory response. However, select patients do not respond or develop resistance to this treatment. Previous studies have suggested that hematopoietic stem cell transplantation may be a beneficial therapy for some CD patients. To test this premise, researchers conducted a clinical trial to assess the effect of HSCT on relapsing CD. The Phase 3 study (NCT00297193), conducted in 11 European transplant units from July 2007 to September 2011, with follow-up through March 2013, enrolled 45 patients (ages 18 to 50) with refractory CD and not amenable to surgery, despite treatment with several immunosuppressive agents and corticosteroids. All patients underwent stem cell mobilization and were randomized to immunoablation and HSCT (23 patients) or to control treatment, where 22 patients had the HSCT deferred for a year.