BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The long-term safety and efficacy of allogeneic bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cell [bmMSC] therapy in perianal Crohn's disease [CD] fistulas is unknown. We aimed to provide a 4-year clinical evaluation of allogeneic bmMSC treatment of perianal CD fistulas. METHODS: A double-blind dose-finding study for local bmMSC therapy in 21 patients with refractory perianal fistulising Crohn's disease was performed at the Leiden University Medical Center in 2012-2014. All patients treated with bmMSCs [1 x 107 bmMSCs cohort 1, n = 5; 3 × 107 bmMSCs cohort 2, n = 5; 9 × 107 bmMSCs cohort 3, n = 5] were invited for a 4-year evaluation. Clinical events were registered, fistula closure was evaluated, and anti-human leukocyte antigen [HLA] antibodies were assessed. Patients were also asked to undergo a pelvic magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] and rectoscopy. RESULTS: Thirteen out of 15 patients [87%] treated with bmMSCs were available for long-term follow-up. Two non-MSC related malignancies were observed. No serious adverse events thought to be related to bmMSC therapy were found. In cohort 2 [n = 4], all fistulas were closed 4 years after bmMSC therapy. In cohort 1 [n = 4] 63%, and in cohort 3 [n = 5] 43%, of the fistulas were closed, respectively. In none of the patients anti-HLA antibodies could be detected 24 weeks and 4 years after therapy. Pelvic MRI showed significantly smaller fistula tracts after 4 years. CONCLUSIONS: Allogeneic bmMSC therapy for CD-associated perianal fistulas is also in the long-term a safe therapy. In bmMSC-treated patients, fistulas with closure at Week 24 were still closed after 4 years.

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Keywords Crohn’s disease, Mesenchymal stromal cells, perianal fistulas
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Journal Journal of Crohn's and Colitis
Barnhoorn, M.C. (Marieke C.), Wasser, M.N.J.M, Roelofs, H, Maljaars, P.W.J. (P W Jeroen), Molendijk, I, Bonsing, B.A, … van der Meulen-de Jong, A.E. (2020). Long-term Evaluation of Allogeneic Bone Marrow-derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cell Therapy for Crohn's Disease Perianal Fistulas. Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, 14(1), 64–70. doi:10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjz116