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Ulcerative Colitis Treatment Reduces Need for Surgery by Almost Half
Date:9/30/2009

ROCHESTER, Minn., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study led by Mayo Clinic researchers has found that ulcerative colitis patients had a 41 percent reduction in colectomy after a year when treated with infliximab, according to a study published in the October 2009 issue of Gastroenterology.

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Ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic inflammation of the colon, is characterized by abdominal pain and diarrhea. Like Crohn's disease, another common IBD, ulcerative colitis can be debilitating and often lead to colectomy or surgical removal of the colon.

"Our purpose in this study was to see if the use of infliximab for ulcerative colitis would reduce the need for surgery," says William Sandborn, M.D., a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and lead author of the study. "We found that treatment with infliximab reduced the need for colectomy by 41 percent compared to patients treated with placebo."

In this multi-center, international study, 728 patients received placebo or infliximab (5 or 10 mg/kg) for 46 weeks and were monitored for hospitalization or surgical outcomes. Eighty-seven percent (630 of 728) had complete follow-up for the endpoint of whether or not they had colectomy, while the remaining 13 percent (98 of 728) of patients had follow-up for less then a year, with a median follow-up of 6.2 months in these patients. The research showed that treatment with infliximab at 0, 2 and 6 and then every 8 weeks reduced the incidence of colectomy through 54 weeks by 41 percent in outpatients with moderately-to-severe active ulcerative colitis.

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