Sunday, February 17, 2013

Potential New Drug Therapy for Crohn's Disease

According to researchers at the University of California San Diego, School of Medicine, Ustekinumab, an antibody proven to treat the skin condition psoriasis, has now shown positive results in decreasing the debilitating effects of Crohn's Disease. The study will appear today, October 18, 2012 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Results from the clinical trial showed ustekinumab increased clinical response and remission in patients suffering from moderate-to-severe Crohn's Disease - a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can lead to a variety of distressing symptoms, including diarrhea, intestinal bleeding and weight loss. Serious complications such as bowel obstruction and abscesses can also occur.

The biggest challenge in treating patients with Crohn's Disease is managing patients with resistant to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) such as Remicade, Humira and Cimzia. One third of patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn's Disease do not respond to current treatment with TNF inhibitors , which regulates the body's immune system and inflammation. Another one third of patients only have a temporary response.
In this research patients were treated for 36 weeks in the placebo-controlled study. They were given an intravenous dose of ustekinumab at the beginning of the study and a subcutaneous dose every eight weeks. Benefits could be seen as early as six weeks of therapy.
Among patients treated, serious infection was reported in five patients and a basal-cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, was reported in one patient.
"These promising initial results are now being followed up and confirmed", "Our goal is to increase clinical response and put the disease in remission to improve the patient's quality of life, said "William J. Sandborn, director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at UC San Diego Health System.
Crohn's Disease affects approximately 700,000 Americans. There is no cure for the disease, and severe flare ups can result in surgery where the large intestine is removed.

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