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Medicineworld.org: Options For Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Options For Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease




Options For Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The use of biologic agents for the therapy of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may benefit patients, but doctors need to consider the potential associated side effects in determining therapy course, as per a consensus paper published in this months issue of Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. IBD includes Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, both frequently disabling diseases that affect approximately one million people both in the U.S. and Europe.

The conference examined the literature on monoclonal antibodies or antibody fragments currently approved by the FDA or likely to be approved in the near future. The participants of the Consensus Development Conference, medical experts in IBD convened by the AGA Institute, sought to answer a series of questions about the therapy of IBD with these biologics based on expert presentations of current scientific knowledge about IBD and subsequent discussion. Co-chairs of the conference were Stephen B. Hanauer, MD, professor of medicine and clinical pharmacology at the University of Chicago, and Paul Rutgeerts, MD, AGAF, professor of medicine, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Belgium.

The management of inflammatory bowel disease has been significantly affected by the development of biologic therapies, as per Dr. Hanauer. Biologic therapies provide new options and hope for a number of patients, however they may be accompanied by serious side effects, both when used alone or in combination with other therapys. Gastroenterologists need to review and consider the side effects and significant costs when determining the best therapy course for their patients.

The therapy goal for IBD patients has been to alleviate symptoms linked to these diseases and a number of gastroenterologists rely on a step up or sequential therapy approach in treating their patients depending on the severity of their disease. Research on biologics has shown that for patients in whom traditional therapies may not work, biologics may be appropriate as a first line therapy. However, IBD is a heterogeneous disease and some patients may not respond to biologics, so the appropriate role of these agents in the therapy paradigm is the subject of much discussion. In determining the appropriate course of therapy for their patients, gastroenterologists need to balance the potential complications of drug therapy (including increased risk for infections and cancer) against the consequences of potential under-treatment of their patients disease (including poor quality-of-life, complications of disease, and the costs linked to active disease and the therapy of complications). The decision of how to treat patients requires extensive knowledge of therapy options and the patient, including whether intense treatment is needed and who may respond to biologic agents. But a number of factors remain unknown and a number of important outcomes remained undefined or poorly quantifiable, such as reliable evidence of disease modification and reduction in disability.

The role of biologics for the therapy of patients with IBD continues to evolve and is dependant on scientists determining the answers to many outstanding questions about appropriate markers of prognosis and response, the use of biologics as limited or bridge treatment and its duration, the applicability of biologics early in disease, and the potential of disease modification. In order to determine the answers to these and other potentially important questions, more studies are needed about the natural history of IBD and its complications, as well as the complications biologic treatment. Additionally, long-term data about the effects of biologic treatment on hospitalizations, surgeries and other outcomes must be gathered and the relationship between disease improvement and these outcomes must be studied.

As per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, biologic therapies are agents that in contrast to drugs that are chemically synthesized, are derived from living sources (such as humans, animals, and microorganisms). Most biologics are complex mixtures that are not easily identified or characterized, and a number of biologics are manufactured using biotechnology. Biological products often represent the cutting-edge of biomedical research and, in time, may offer the most effective means to treat a variety of medical illnesses and conditions that presently have no other therapys available.


Posted by: Sue    Source




Did you know?
The use of biologic agents for the therapy of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may benefit patients, but doctors need to consider the potential associated side effects in determining therapy course, as per a consensus paper published in this months issue of Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. IBD includes Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis, both frequently disabling diseases that affect approximately one million people both in the U.S. and Europe.

Medicineworld.org: Options For Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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