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Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cell Therapy Is More Cost-Effective Than Fecal Diversion for Treatment of Perianal Crohn’s Disease Fistulas


Crohn's disease (CD) is an inflammatory bowel disease with increasing incidence and prevalence worldwide. Perianal fistulas are seen in up to 26% of CD patients and are often refractory to medical therapy. Current treatments for CD perianal fistulas (pCD) include antibiotics, biologics, and for refractory cases, fecal diversion (FD) with ileostomy or colostomy. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cell therapy (MSCs) is a new modality that have shown efficacy in treating pCD. MSCs locally injected into pCD can lead to healing, and a phase III clinical trial (ADMIRE-CD) showed 66% clinical response, leading to approval of MSCs (Alofisel, Takeda) in the European Union. It is unclear if MSCs would be more cost-effective than the current standard of FD. We therefore developed a decision tree model to determine the cost-effectiveness of MSCs compared to FD for pCD. Our study showed that both autologous and allogeneic MSCs are more cost-effective than FD in an academic medical center and even in a worst-case scenario with 100% chance of all complications for MSCs treatment and 0% chance of complications for FD, both allogeneic and autologous MSCs are still cost saving compared to FD.

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