Non-Surgical Treatment for Crohn’s Disease

A recent clinical trial focused on treatment strategies for Crohn’s disease. The trial explored the effectiveness of early advanced therapy, especially with the drug Infliximab. The study included 386 patients newly diagnosed with active Crohn’s disease and revealed a tenfold reduction in the need for urgent abdominal surgery with immediate Infliximab treatment.

Conducted by researchers from Cambridge, the study explored the drug infliximab, known for its ability to block the inflammatory cytokine TNF-alpha. Previously, concerns about its cost and side effects limited its use to patients with recurrent flare-ups unresponsive to milder treatments.

The trial compared two groups: one following the standard UK treatment plan and another receiving immediate infliximab after diagnosis. Published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the results demonstrated that 80% of those receiving immediate infliximab therapy maintained control of their symptom and inflammatory marker throughout the year, compared to only 15% in the standard treatment group.

Patients in the infliximab group also experienced a higher quality of life, reduced steroid medication use, and fewer hospitalizations. Notably, urgent abdominal surgery was required by only one in 193 patients in the immediate infliximab group, compared to one in 20 in the conventional treatment group.

This breakthrough challenges the conventional approach of reserving advanced therapies for severe flare-ups, providing a potential new treatment avenue for Crohn’s patients. While there are more affordable anti-TNF drugs, like adalimumab, further research is needed to determine their clinical effectiveness. The researchers anticipate that this marks the beginning of a transformative treatment journey for individuals battling Crohn’s disease.

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