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Singer Yoon Jong-sin Has Crohn's Disease

2012/02/14 | 684 views |  | Permalink | Source

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The popular entertainer Yoon Jong-sin suffers from Crohn's disease, a rare illness that leaves him helpless against his body's attacks on his own digestive system. Yoon appeared on a TV talk show on SBS called "Healing Camp" on Monday and admitted he was suffering from the disease.

Patients with Crohn's disease develop small sores next to the anus, which spread to the intestines, stomach, duodenum and other digestive organs. The cause of the illness remains a mystery, and no cure has been found. Yoon said, "My health problems, which I told people were haemorrhoids, were actually due to this disease".

Recently a stem cell treatment for the sores has been developed in Korea and received the approval from the Korea Food and Drug Administration on Jan. 19. The treatment, called Cupistem and developed by pharmaceutical company Anterogen, is manufactured using stem cells extracted from a patient's fatty tissue.

An Anterogen spokesman claimed clinical tests on 33 patients showed that the sores healed completely in 27 of them. "If you include patients whose sores were more than half healed and whose inflammations decreased, the number rises to 32".

Cupistem is currently classified as a treatment for rare diseases and in the process of receiving the green light for state medical insurance coverage. It costs W3-5 million (US$1=W1,123) per bottle.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 14, 2012 11:00 KST

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