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Studies offer encouraging data on preventing Crohn's disease recurrence
Date:8/5/2010

Biological agents may play an important role in maintaining remission in Crohn's disease, according to two new studies in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute.

"Post-surgical recurrence of Crohn's disease occurs very frequently. Unfortunately, none of the traditional drugs used to treat the naturally occurring disease has really shown a clear-cut benefit in this situation," said Dario R. Sorrentino, MD, of the University of Udine School of Medicine, Italy, and lead author of one of the studies. "Our study results indicate great potential for infliximab, a monoclonal antibody, which has shown remarkable efficacy in preventing this type of recurrence." Watch Dr. Sorrentino discuss his study at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7-JSts-z40. Infliximab is known by the brand name Remicade.

Doctors performed a prospective cohort study in 12 consecutive patients treated immediately after surgery with standard maintenance infliximab (5 mg/kg body weight every eight weeks) who did not have evidence of disease recurrence after 36 months. Treatment with infliximab was then discontinued. Patients with disease recurrence (i.e., with intestinal inflammation) were then given lower doses of infliximab in an attempt to re-establish the integrity of the intestinal mucosa, which helps ensure an adequate supply of nutrients.

The study authors showed that infliximab administration immediately after surgery effectively prevents recurrence of the disease (no intestinal inflammation and no symptoms) at three years. However, upon suspension of the medication, intestinal inflammation appears after four months in the large majority of patients (83 percent), thus indicating the need for long-term uninterrupted maintenance therapy. Nevertheless, a 40 percent reduction from the standard dose of 5 mg/kg (
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Contact: Alissa J. Cruz
media@gastro.org
301-272-1603
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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