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REACT clinical trial supports new approach of accelerated treatment for Crohn's disease
Date:2/19/2014

The final results from an international clinical trial involving nearly 2,000 patients with Crohn's disease support the use of a new management strategy referred to as accelerated step-care as a best practice for the care of active Crohn's disease. The REACT (Randomized Evaluation of an Algorithm for Crohn's Treatment) study, led by Robarts Clinical Trials at Western University (London, Canada) provides valuable new insights for community gastroenterologists which should benefit patients. The results of the study will be presented at the European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) annual congress taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark on February 20-22, 2014.

Crohn's disease is a chronic, potentially debilitating, condition of the gastrointestinal tract which can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss among other symptoms. Well over five million people globally are affected by Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Dr. Brian Feagan, CEO and Senior Scientific Director of Robarts Clinical Trials and a professor in the Division of Gastroenterology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, says the medical management of Crohn's disease has undergone important changes over the past two decades with the introduction of TNF antagonists such as adalimumab and infliximab. The current treatment approach features sequential and incremental treatment intensification based on symptoms. In contrast, an accelerated step-care approach involves the early introduction of combined immunosuppression in high risk patients, which has been shown to induce and maintain remission, reduce the use of corticosteroids, and heal intestinal ulceration in those who fail conventional treatment.

Subsequent research, performed in both Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis, indicated that TNF antagonists work best when: 1) used in combination with antimetabolites (e.g., azathioprine, methotrexate) and 2) introduced early in the
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Contact: Kathy Wallis
kwallis3@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x81136
University of Western Ontario
Source:Eurekalert  

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