Next generation medicine: Individualized treatment

What if IBD treatment weren’t a guessing game? What if instead of trying out medicine after medicine, hoping to predict the next turn that the disease might take, doctors had a map of how it would progress in a single patient?

Treating IBD would be an entirely different ballgame.

Across the field of medicine, doctors and researchers are gaining a better understanding of how various factors affect the path of diseases – putting individualized treatment within reach.

When it comes to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, CCFA is leading the way with a multi-year collaborative study that charts the course of disease in recently diagnosed children. The project, called "Risk Stratification and Identification of Immunogenetic and Microbial Markers of Complicated Disease Course in Pediatric Crohn's Disease", is currently working with 29 centers and has enrolled over 650 patients to look for genetic, clinical and immunologic markers in the group of patients. This project is the first study to be done under the PRO-KIIDS Research Network umbrella and several new projects are currently in the planning stages.

The goal is to use the data collected to be able to predict in individual patients whether the disease will be aggressive or mild or moderate in severity and how well the patient would respond to a particular therapy. This will help doctors make better treatment choices early in the course of disease.

It's especially important that the study is focused on children, since pediatric-specific data is currently extremely limited and pediatric treatments are largely driven by research done on adult patients. While the PRO-KIIDS Research Network stands to make great strides in the understanding and treatment of IBD in children, the results would have broad implications for diagnosing and treating adults as well.

The bottom line? CCFA's study could make the diagnosis of IBD increasingly sophisticated, enabling physicians to tailor their treatments and producing more effective therapies for happier, healthier lives.

For further information, call Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's IBD Help Center: 888.MY.GUT.PAIN (888.694.8872).

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation provides information for educational purposes only. We encourage you to review this educational material with your health care professional. The Foundation does not provide medical or other health care opinions or services. The inclusion of another organization's resources or referral to another organization does not represent an endorsement of a particular individual, group, company or product.

About this resource

Published: May 1, 2012

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