CSU enrolling cats for stem cell study targeting inflammatory bowel disease

Veterinarians treating cats with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) might want to take note of a new Colorado State University stem cell therapy clinical trial focused on helping cats that are suffering from the disease.

During the trial, researchers will try to treat IBD with mesencymal stromal cells, according to a news release from the university. So far, the cells have shown a promising ability to fight the inflammation that causes chronic diarrhea, said Dr. Craig Webb, one of the CSU veterinarians conducting the trial.

“Once administered to a patient, these cells appear to migrate to areas of inflammation and begin producing and directing anti-inflammatory defenses,” Webb said.

Webb went on to say that the stem cell therapy, if successful, could provide a beneficial alternative to owners who face the prospect of giving cats multiple IBD medications daily for the pets' entire lives.

Enrollment details

Researchers are looking for cats exhibiting clinical signs consistent with IBD, which include diarrhea and/or vomiting for more than two weeks, the news release said. The cats would also ideally have received a histopathologic diagnosis of IBD.

The study will take approximately six weeks to complete, and enrolled cats will undergo a fasted blood sample of the Texas A&M GI panel before and after the stem cell therapy, which will be paid for by the study. The study schedule includes:

  • Two weeks on standard therapy of diet with or without steroids, followed by the first stem cell/placebo injection.
  • Second injection two weeks later.
  • Final blood draw and questionnaire at about the six-week mark.

According to the university, owners can enroll their pets through CSU or at their regular veterinary clinic. CSU will reimburse veterinarians for the exam, blood draw, Texas A&M panels, and shipping of the samples.

Veterinarians who have clients who are interested in the study can contact Dr. Craig Webb.

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