Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015 Aug 12.
New insights into the mechanisms of action of anti-tumor necrosis factor-α monoclonal antibodies in inflammatory bowel disease.
Slevin SM, Egan LJ.

Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) has been widely accepted as a therapeutic target for inflammatory disorders including inflammatory bowel disease. Anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) including infliximab, adalimumab, golimumab, and certolizumab pegol have revolutionized therapy for these chronic inflammatory disorders. These agents are potent inhibitors of TNF-α, but significant evidence points to the fact that their actions extend beyond simple neutralization of the cytokine. Recent advances in understanding the mechanism of action of anti-TNF-α mAbs has discovered a number of previously unrecognized actions that are likely to be relevant in mediating their anti-inflammatory effects. Many of those actions are mediated by the binding of the antibodies to transmembrane TNF-α (tmTNF-α) and involve complex interactions with other molecular factors and cells. In this review, we have highlighted new information on the mechanism of actions of anti-TNF-α mAbs, from in vitro and in vivo studies. Despite obvious benefits in many patients, the clinical use of these antibodies are hampered by the fact that some patients do not respond to them, and among patients who do respond, many will develop recurrent disease despite continued dosing. Although pharmacokinetic factors explain some of the observed cases of partial or complete resistance to the effects of anti-TNF-α mAbs, other nonresponder patients may be resistant to those agents mechanism of action. A more thorough understanding of the mechanism of action of anti-TNF-α mAbs may allow the development of strategies to individualize therapy and to overcome resistance.


Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2015 Sep;107(9):527-533.
Frequency, predictors, and consequences of maintenance infliximab therapy intensification in ulcerative colitis.
Fernández-Salazar L, Barrio J, Muñoz F, et al.

INTRODUCTION: Infliximab (IFX) therapy intensification in ulcerative colitis (UC) is more common than established in pivotal studies.
OBJECTIVES: To establish the frequency and form of intensification for UC in clinical practice, as well as predictors, and to compare outcomes between intensified and non-intensified treatment.
METHODS: A retrospective study of 10 hospitals and 144 patients with response to infliximab (IFX) induction. Predictive variables for intensification were analyzed using a Cox regression analysis. Outcome, loss of response to IFX, and colectomy were compared between intensified and non-intensified therapy.
RESULTS: Follow-up time from induction to data collection: 38 months [interquartile range (IQR), 20-62]. Time on IFX therapy: 24 months (IQR, 10-44). In all, 37% of patients required intensification. Interval was shortened for 36 patients, dose was increased for 7, and 10 subjects received both. Concurrent thiopurine immunosuppressants (IMM) and IFX initiation was an independent predictor of intensification [Hazard ratio, 0.034; p, 0.006; CI, 0.003-0.371]. In patients on intensified therapy IFX discontinuation for loss of response (30.4% vs. 10.2%; p, 0.002), steroid reintroduction (35% vs. 18%; p, 0.018), and colectomy (22% vs. 6.4%; p, 0.011) were more common. Of patients on intensification, 17% returned to receiving 5 mg/kg every 8 weeks.
CONCLUSIONS: Intensification is common and occasionally reversible. IMM initiation at the time of induction with IFX predicts non-intensification. Intensification, while effective, is associated with poorer outcome.

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015 Oct;21(10):E25.
Is diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging for assessing Crohn's disease ready for prime time? Experience with the Nancy score.
Peyrin-Biroulet L, Laurent V.
No abstract available.

Gastroenterology. 2015 Sep 14.
Systematic review of effects of withdrawal of immunomodulators or biologic agents from patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
Torres J, Boyapati RK, Kennedy N, et al.

Little is known about the optimal duration of therapy with an anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agent and/or an immunomodulator for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We performed a systematic search of the literature to identify studies reporting after de-escalation (drug cessation or dose reduction) of anti-TNF agents and/or immunomodulators in patients in remission from IBD. Studies were reviewed according to the type of IBD and drug. Rates of relapse, factors associated with relapse, and response to re-treatment were determined. Our search yielded 6315 unique citations; we analyzed findings from 69 studies (18 on de-escalation (drug cessation or dose reduction) of immunomodulator monotherapy, 8 on immunomodulator de-escalation from combination therapy, and 43 on de-escalation of anti-TNF agents, including 3 during pregnancy) comprising 4672 patients. Stopping immunomodulator monotherapy after a period of remission was associated with high rates of relapse in patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis (around 75% relapse by 5 years after therapy was stopped). Most studies of patients with Crohn's disease who discontinued the immunomodulator after combination therapy found that rates of relapse did not differ from those of patients who continued taking the drug (55%-60% had disease relapse 24 months after they stopped taking the immunomodulator). The only study in patients with ulcerative colitis supported continued immunomodulator use. Approximately 50% of patients who discontinued anti-TNF agents after combination therapy maintained remission 24 months later, but the proportion in remission decreased with time. Markers of disease activity, poor prognostic factors, and complicated or relapsing disease course were associated with future relapse. In conclusion, based on a systematic review, 50% or more of patients with IBD who cease therapy have a disease relapse. Further studies are required to accurately identify subgroups of patients who are good candidates for discontinuation of treatment. The decision to withdraw a drug should be made for each individual based on patient preference, disease markers, consequences of relapse, safety, and cost.

Dig Dis. 2015 Sep 14;33 Suppl 1:95-104.
Targeting leukocyte trafficking in inflammatory bowel disease: what is the clinical evidence?
Khanna R, Mosli MH, Feagan BG.

Since the cause of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is unknown, therapy has traditionally been based on the empiric use of anti-inflammatory drugs. However, the recent identification of specific mechanisms that regulate cellular migration into inflamed intestinal tissue has provided novel targets for drug development. In this article, we discuss these mechanisms and review emerging safety and efficacy data regarding use of selective inhibitors of leukocyte trafficking for the treatment of IBD.

Gut. 2015 Sep 9.
IOIBD technical review on endoscopic indices for Crohn's disease clinical trials.
Vuitton L, Marteau P, Sandborn WJ, et al.

BACKGROUND: Crohn's disease (CD) is a chronic disabling and progressive IBD. Only strategies looking beyond symptoms and based on tight monitoring of objective signs of inflammation such as mucosal lesions may have the potential for disease modification. Endoscopic evaluation is currently the gold standard to assess mucosal lesions and has become a major therapeutic endpoint in clinical trials. Several endoscopic indices have been proposed to evaluate disease activity; unvalidated and arbitrary definitions have been used in clinical trials for defining endoscopic response and endoscopic remission in CD.

METHODS: In these recommendations from the International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, we first reviewed all technical aspects of available endoscopic scoring systems in the literature. Second, in order to achieve consensus on endoscopic definitions of remission and response in trials, a two-round vote based on a Delphi method was performed among 14 specialists in the field of IBDs.

RESULTS: At the end of the voting process, the investigators ranked first a >50% decrease in Simple Endoscopic Score for Crohn's Disease (SES-CD) or Crohn's Disease Endoscopic Index of Severity for the definition of endoscopic response, and an SES-CD 0-2 for the definition of endoscopic remission in CD. All experts agreed on a Rutgeerts' score i0-i1 for the definition of endoscopic remission after surgery. J Crohns Colitis. 2015 Sep 7.]

A matrix-based model predicts primary response to infliximab in Crohn's disease.
Billiet T, Papamichael K, de Bruyn M, et al.

BACKGROUND: Prediction of primary non-response [PNR] to anti-tumour necrosis factors [TNFs] in inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] is direly needed to select the optimal therapeutic class for a given patient. We developed a matrix-based prediction tool to predict response to infliximab [IFX] in Crohn's disease [CD] patients.

METHODS: This retrospective single-centre study included 201 anti-TNF naïve CD patients who started with IFX induction therapy. PNR occurred in 16 [8%] patients. Clinical, biological [including serum TNF and the IBD serology 6 panel and genetic [the 163 validated IBD risk loci] markers were collected before start. Based on the best fitted regression model, probabilities of primary response to IFX were calculated and arranged in a prediction matrix tool.

RESULTS: Multiple logistic regression withheld three final independent predictors [p < 0.05] for PNR: age at first IFX, {odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval [CI] of 1.1 (1.0-1.1)}, body mass index [BMI] (0.86 [0.7-1.0]), and previous surgery (4.4 [1.2-16.5]). The accuracy of this prediction model did not improve when the genetic markers were added (area under the curve [AUC] from 0.80 [0.67-0.93] to 0.78 [0.65-0.91]). The predicted probabilities for PNR to IFX increased from 1% to 53% depending on the combination of final predictors.

CONCLUSIONS: Readily available clinical factors [age at first IFX, BMI, and previous surgery] outperform serological and IBD risk loci in prediction of primary response to infliximab in this real-life cohort of CD patients. This matrix tool could be useful for guiding physicians and may avoid unnecessary or inappropriate exposure to IFX in IBD patients unlikely to benefit.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Sep 3.
Randomised clinical study: discrepancies between patient-reported outcomes and endoscopic appearance in moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.
Jharap B, Sandborn WJ, Reinisch W, et al.

BACKGROUND: Associations between patient-reported outcomes and mucosal healing have not been established in ulcerative colitis (UC).

AIM: To evaluate relationships of rectal bleeding and stool frequency with mucosal healing and quality of life (QoL) in patients with UC in two Phase 3 studies (ULTRA 1 and 2).

METHODS: Associations of patient-reported rectal bleeding and stool frequency subscores with mucosal healing (Mayo endoscopy subscore = 0 or 0/1) and QoL [inflammatory bowel disease questionnaire (IBDQ)] were assessed in adalimumab-randomised patients (160/80 mg at Weeks 0/2 followed by 40 mg biweekly or weekly) at Weeks 8 (n = 433) and 52 (n = 299), and in patients with mucosal healing [endoscopy subscore = 0 (n = 17); 0/1 (n = 52)] at Weeks 8 and 52.

RESULTS: At Week 8, the positive predictive values (PPVs) of rectal bleeding subscore = 0, stool frequency subscore = 0 or both scores = 0 for endoscopy subscore = 0/1 were 69%, 84% and 90% respectively; all proportions increased at Week 52. Equivalent PPVs for these subscores in patients with endoscopy subscore = 0 were 26%, 37% and 46% respectively. Among patients with endoscopy subscore = 0 at Week 8, 87% reported no rectal bleeding, while only 29% reported normal stool frequency; these proportions had increased to 94% and 41% respectively, at Week 52. Among patients with mucosal healing, IBDQ scores trended highest for patients with both rectal bleeding and stool frequency subscores = 0.

CONCLUSIONS: Absence of rectal bleeding and normal stool frequency are often predictive of mucosal healing and QoL, but complete normalisation of stool frequency is encountered rarely in patients with mucosal healing.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]
The outcome of infliximab dose doubling in 157 patients with ulcerative colitis after loss of response to infliximab.
Dumitrescu G, Amiot A, Seksik P, et al.

BACKGROUND: Optimising infliximab therapy is recommended in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients who lose response to infliximab; however, there are no data on the outcome of ulcerative colitis (UC) patients after doubling the dose.

AIM: To determine the efficacy and safety of infliximab dose doubling in UC patients with a loss of response to infliximab.

METHODS: From January 2006 to May 2013, we retrospectively reviewed the outcome of the consecutive UC patients who were treated with infliximab dose doubling (10 mg/kg) for loss of response in four French academic centres. The clinical response and remission were assessed. A composite event-free survival analysis was performed using the log-rank test and the Cox model.

RESULTS: One hundred and fifty-seven patients [84 males; median age 37. 6 (IQR 28.2-49.4) years] were included. The median follow-up after infliximab dose doubling was 1.8 (1.0-3.1) years. At weeks 8 and 24, 55% and 43% of the patients achieved a clinical response respectively. The probabilities of the event-free survival were 71%, 61% and 55% at 6 months, 1 year and 2 years respectively. In the multivariate analysis, the predictors of infliximab dose doubling failure were the absence of the introduction of an immunomodulator concomitantly to dose doubling, a partial Ulcerative Colitis Disease Activity Index >6, a C-reactive protein level >10 mg/L, a leucocyte count >8000/mm3 and a haemoglobin level <12.5 g="" dl="" adverse="" events="" were="" reported="" in="" 12="" patients="" 8="" p="">

CONCLUSIONS: Infliximab dose doubling led to short- and long-term event-free survival in UC patients, who had a loss of response to infliximab, in greater than 50% of the cases. The benefits of such a strategy were significantly improved by adding a concomitant immunomodulator.

J Crohns Colitis. 2015 Sep 7.
Evaluation of the risk of relapse in ulcerative colitis according to the degree of mucosal healing (Mayo 0 vs 1): a longitudinal cohort study.
Barreiro-de Acosta M, Vallejo N, de la Iglesia D, et al.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Mucosal healing in ulcerative colitis (UC) has become a common endpoint in most clinical trials and a relevant therapeutic goal in clinical practice. Despite important differences between endoscopic Mayo scores 0 and 1, both scores are considered as mucosal healing in most important trials. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the risk of relapse in UC patients according to the degree of mucosal healing (endoscopic Mayo scores of 0 and 1).

METHODS: A prospective longitudinal cohort study was designed. All UC patients who presented with mucosal healing at colonoscopy were consecutively included. Mucosal healing was defined as an endoscopic Mayo score of 0 or 1. Clinical relapse was defined as the need for therapy to induce remission, any treatment escalation, hospitalization or colectomy. All clinical relapses were evaluated at months 6 and 12 after study entry. Results were subjected to unconditional stepwise logistic and Kaplan-Meier regression analysis. RESULTS: One hundred and eighty-seven consecutive UC patients (126 [67.3%] with Mayo score 0 and 61 [32.7%] with Mayo score 1) were included. Of patients with Mayo scores 0 and 1, 9.4 and 36.6% respectively presented a relapse during the first 6 months of follow-up (p < 0.001). The only factor independently associated with UC relapses in the multivariate analysis was an endoscopic Mayo score of 1 (odds ratio6.27, 95% confidence interval 2.73-14.40, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with an endoscopic Mayo score of 1 have a higher risk of relapse than those with a score of 0. The concept of mucosal healing should be limited to patients with an endoscopic Mayo score of 0.

Ann Rheum Dis. 2015 Sep 22.
Opportunistic infections and biologic therapies in immune-mediated inflammatory diseases: consensus recommendations for infection reporting during clinical trials and postmarketing surveillance.
Winthrop KL, Novosad SA, Baddley JW, et al.

No consensus has previously been formed regarding the types and presentations of infectious pathogens to be considered as 'opportunistic infections' (OIs) within the setting of biologic therapy. We systematically reviewed published literature reporting OIs in the setting of biologic therapy for inflammatory diseases. The review sought to describe the OI definitions used within these studies and the types of OIs reported. These findings informed a consensus committee (infectious diseases and rheumatology specialists) in deliberations regarding the development of a candidate list of infections that should be considered as OIs in the setting of biologic therapy. We reviewed 368 clinical trials (randomised controlled/long-term extension), 195 observational studies and numerous case reports/series. Only 11 observational studies defined OIs within their methods; no consistent OI definition was identified across studies. Across all study formats, the most numerous OIs reported were granulomatous infections. The consensus group developed a working definition for OIs as 'indicator' infections, defined as specific pathogens or presentations of pathogens that 'indicate' the likelihood of an alteration in host immunity in the setting of biologic therapy. Using this framework, consensus was reached upon a list of OIs and case-definitions for their reporting during clinical trials and other studies. Prior studies of OIs in the setting of biologic therapy have used inconsistent definitions. The consensus committee reached agreement upon an OI definition, developed case definitions for reporting of each pathogen, and recommended these be used in future studies to facilitate comparison of infection risk between biologic therapies.

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015 Sep 9.
Mortality and causes of death in ulcerative colitis: results from 20 years of follow-up in the IBSEN study.
Hovde Ø, Småstuen MC, Høivik ML, et al.

BACKGROUND: The best way to obtain knowledge about the natural history, including mortality, of ulcerative colitis (UC) is to conduct a longitudinal, population-based, prospective study. The aims of this study were to calculate the mortality rates and causes of death in patients with UC. METHODS: A prospective, population-based, longitudinal cohort study was conducted in South-Eastern Norway. A total of 519 patients (51.4% men) with UC were included over a 4-year period. A gastroenterologist from a university hospital reviewed the clinical information of all of the patients. Mortality data were retrieved from the Cause of Death Registry and from Statistics Norway. RESULTS: No statistically significant increases in total mortality or cause-specific mortality between the patients with UC and the controls were found. CONCLUSIONS: The present 20-year population-based cohort study revealed a good prognosis regarding the mortality, which partially might be explained by the patients' coverage by a generally well-functioning health care system.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Sep 13. [Epub ahead of print]
Review article: pharmacological aspects of anti-TNF biosimilars in inflammatory bowel diseases.
Papamichael K, Van Stappen T, Jairath V, et al.

BACKGROUND: Anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) monoclonal antibodies have shown efficacy in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). As these therapies lose patent protection, biosimilar versions of the originator products are being developed, such as the infliximab biosimilar CT-P13; however, some uncertainty exists regarding their pharmacology in IBD.

AIM: To review the literature on anti-TNF biosimilars focusing on pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamic properties and comparative effectiveness, related to their use in IBD.

METHODS: A PubMed literature search was performed using the following terms individually or in combination: 'biosimilars,' 'CT-P13,' 'Crohn's disease,' 'inflammatory bowel disease,' 'ulcerative colitis,' 'anti-TNFα therapy,' 'infliximab,' 'adalimumab,' 'pharmacokinetics,' 'immunogenicity.'

RESULTS: Bioequivalence of CT-P13 and infliximab was shown in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and therapeutic equivalence in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Preliminary results of CT-P13 in IBD come from small post-marketing registries and case series with a relatively short-term follow-up period and suggest comparable efficacy and safety to infliximab. Inter- and intra-individual differences in exposure and response are well known for the original molecules but dosing regimens and concomitant medications are different for RA compared to IBD, limiting the ability to translate some of the pharmacology data in RA to IBD. Uncertainty exists about cross-reactivity of anti-drug antibodies and whether similar exposure-response relationships will be observed for biosimilars and efficacy thresholds for therapeutic drug monitoring can be used interchangeably.

CONCLUSIONS: It is likely that biosimilars will be widely used for the treatment of IBD due to their cost savings and comparable efficacy. Nevertheless, robust post-marketing studies and pharmacovigilance are warranted in the coming years.



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