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Current IBD therapies ‘fall short of patient needs’

By Christian Duffin

A review has highlighted the best treatments for bowel disease – but concluded that new therapies are generally failing to have sufficient impact.

French researchers reviewed thirteen randomised controlled trials of current medical treatments for IBD.

Induction of remission was reported in 32%, 26% and 20%of Crohn's disease patients on infliximab, adalimumab or certolizumab pegol respectively.

But the figures for ulcerative colitis patients on infliximab or adalimumab were only 33% and 18.5% respectively. About a fifth of patients with both conditions treated with biologicals needed surgery for intestinal resection after 2-5 years.

Maintenance of remission was reported in 71% of Crohn's disease patients on azathioprine over a 6-month to 2-year period and in 60% of ulcerative colitis patients at one year or longer.

Research team member Professor Laurent Peyrin Biroulet, a professor of gastroenterology at University Hospital of Nancy in France, said: ‘Steroid-free remission is the only really convincing endpoint for IBD therapies and, when judged by this endpoint, current therapies are seen still to fall some way short of what patients need.'

Aliment Pharmacol Ther, online February 15 2011

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