"Results of this study will provide practitioners and their patients with more clinical data on how to use these drugs most appropriately to most effectively treat Crohn's disease," study author Dr. William J. Sandborn, vice chair of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, said in the news release. "For the first time, we have longer-term outcome data on the advantages of combination therapy that will help guide our treatment of patients with Crohn's disease."
Monoclonal antibodies, such as infliximab, are increasingly used to treat several types of gastroenterological disorders.
"The use of monoclonal antibodies is rising for a number of gastroenterological disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease," said Dr. Nicholas J. Shaheen, of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, in the news release. "New indications for these treatments are continuing to be developed and the safety profile is better understood, making them good treatment options for patients with recurrent or chronic gastrointestinal diseases."
This study is the first to provide longer term data on the benefits of combination infliximab-azathioprine and infliximab therapy. In the study, patients were started on the drugs earlier in the course of the disease than typically occurs, Sanborn noted.
For more on Crohn's disease, visit the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.
-- Jennifer Thomas
SOURCE: Digestive Disease Week, news release, June 2, 2009
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