Significant Benefit to Crohn's Disease Without Adverse Effects

A human antibody, ustekinumab, presently in use to treat arthritis, has been shown to promote remission in patients with Crohn’s disease, according to results of a clinical trial conducted by researchers from University of California San Diego School of Medicine. The adverse impact of moderate to severe Crohn’s disease on patients’ quality of life makes the discovery of effective new treatment options particularly significant, according to the study team. William Sandborn, MD, professor of medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at UC San Diego Health, commented, “A high percentage of the patients in the study who had not responded to conventional therapies were in clinical remission after only a single dose of intravenous ustekinumab.” The study results are published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Crohn’s disease affects some 700,000 Americans, causing abdominal pain, ulcers, and appetite reduction, among other debilitating symptoms. Treatment options currently include glucocorticoids, immunosuppressants, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists or integrin inhibitors, but all have shown only limited efficacy, and are associated with increased risk for infection and cancer. In this trial, the rate of remission response was recorded at 6 weeks in patients randomized to receive intravenous ustekinumab at a dose of either 130 mg or approximately 6 mg per kilogram, or placebo. The remission response was found to be significantly higher in the former cohort, and could be maintained via subcutaneous ustekinumab injection every 8 to 12 weeks. 

Read more about the discovery here.

The journal abstract may be read here.

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