According to a story from Healio, Dr. Adam Cheifetz recently spoke about treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) at GUILD Conference 2020. He says that it is time for each patient to be treated according to an algorithm that has been optimized and personalized to their individual case. With a wide variety of therapies now available for these diseases and a steady stream of new ones being developed, choosing the drug that works best on a case by case basis is critical for optimal control.
About Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of diseases that cause inflammation affecting the small intestine and colon. It primarily refers to Crohn’s disease, which is not considered rare, and ulcerative colitis, which is. The cause of these diseases isn’t well understood, but factors could include diet, breach of the intestinal barrier, and abnormalities of the gut microbiome. Symptoms include diarrhea (sometimes with blood), anemia, rectal bleeding, weight loss, and severe cramps/muscle spasms. There is no cure for these diseases, but a diverse array of treatment approaches are available. Treatments include a variety of medications, changes to diet, and surgery. Most patients are able to manage their disease somewhat effectively, leading to periods of remission and period of relapse. To learn more about inflammatory bowel disease, click here.
The Future of Treatment
Focuses of treatment should be addressing symptoms early on and healing the mucosa, which can help reduce the risk of worsening symptoms or complications. Dr. Cheifetz also says that therapeutic drug monitoring can be useful to determine the best dose level for each patient. He also avoids the use of steroids in his treatment of inflammatory bowel disease because of they have the potential to increase risk of complications such as infection.
Understanding an individual disease course is also important because it can help predict which patients could have more aggressive symptoms that are more challenging to treat. Treating patients more “smartly” will help improve outcomes and quality of life for inflammatory bowel syndrome patients.