Crohn’s disease study reveals huge potential for personalised treatment to help more patients

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Crohn’s disease study reveals huge potential for personalised treatment to help more patients

The largest study ever to look at why an expensive and commonly used group of drugs fails patients with Crohn’s disease has concluded that standardised drug doses are often too low.

The largest study ever to look at why an expensive and commonly used group of drugs fails patients with Crohn’s disease has concluded that standardised drug doses are often too low.

A UK wide collaboration led by the University of Exeter and the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, part-funded by Crohn’s & Colitis UK and Guts UK, and supported by the NIHR has concluded that trials are needed to investigate whether early personalised dosing, guided by blood level monitoring, might help reduce the rate of treatment failure.

Published in the The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, the Personalised anti-TNF therapy in Crohn’s disease study (PANTS) followed 1610 patients with Crohn’s disease starting anti-TNF treatment at 120 UK hospitals – the largest cohort of its kind.

The anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) drugs, infliximab and adalimumab are used to treat patients with moderate to severe Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis when other treatments have not worked. Also known as biological medicines, these drugs work by blocking TNF, a protein which drives persistent gut inflammation.

Although anti-TNF drugs have given new hope for people with Crohn’s and Colitis, and provided an important treatment option, they do not work in some patients. The research looked at the factors involved in why treatment fails many people with Crohn’s disease. The PANTS study showed that about a quarter of patients had no response to the drugs and in one third of initial responders, the drug stopped working within the first year of treatment. Nearly ten per cent of people experienced harmful side effects that resulted in the treatment being stopped. Overall 37 per cent of patients starting anti-TNF drugs were well and still on treatment at the end of the first year.

Read on: Crohn's disease study reveals huge potential for personalised treatment to help more patients

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