2014 Shows Progress in Treatment of Gastrointestinal Issues


From inflammatory bowel disease to Crohn's disease and everywhere in the gastrointestinal system in between 2014 was a big year for medical breakthroughs and potential future treatments. Here is a look at the top 10 stories.

From inflammatory bowel disease to Crohn’s disease and everywhere in the gastrointestinal system in between 2014 was a big year for medical breakthroughs and potential future treatments. Here is a look at the top 10 stories.

Researchers Find Potential Link Between Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Cervical Neoplasia

After conducting a population-based, nationwide cohort study, researchers reported a relationship between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), especially Crohn’s disease (CD), and cervical neoplasia.

Published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the study evaluated a cohort of approximately 4 million women in Denmark who had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) between 1979 and 2011, along with a matched cohort of women without IBD from the general population, and assessed the risk of cervical neoplasia in women with IBD. Only patients with a first diagnosis of IBD after January 1, 1979 were included to ensure minimal impact of prevalent cases.


Long-Term Vedolizumab Therapy in Patients with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Results from the GEMINI 2 study showed that treatment with vedolizumab, a selective anti-alpha-4-beta-7 monoclonal antibody, was safe and effective as induction and maintenance therapy in patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The follow-up study GEMINI LTS is an ongoing open-label extension study assessing the long-term safety and efficacy of vedolizumab 300 mg in patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.


FDA Approves Humira for the Treatment of Crohn’s Disease in Children

AbbVie announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Humira (adalimumab) to treat pediatric patients age 6 years and older afflicted with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease who have not responded adequately to prior treatment with corticosteroids or immunomodulators such as azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, or methotrexate.


Physicians Have a New Tool to Evaluate and Treat Crohn’s Disease

Advances in knowledge surrounding gastrointestinal conditions have paved the way for improvements in Crohn’s disease treatment. To aid clinicians in managing patients with CD, the American Gastroenterological Association created a clinical decision tool to effectively guide gastroenterologists throughout their decision-making process.


Crohn’s Disease More Prevalent in States with High Smoking Rates

Although many studies have found Crohn’s disease patients are more likely to smoke than the general population, only a few have examined CD prevalence as it relates to regional smoking rates.


Promising Initial Results from Novel Treatment for Ulcerative Colitis

Selective inhibition of lymphocyte trafficking has been a promising treatment for ulcerative colitis, but most drug candidates being research are monoclonal antibodies.

Now, an investigational drug with the code name AJM300, an orally active, small molecule α4 integrin antagonist, has been shown to inhibit the binding of α4β1/α4β7 integrin-expressing cells to VCAM-1/MAdCAM-1, and has been evaluated in patients with moderately active ulcerative colitis.


FDA Approves New Indication for the Treatment of Distal Ulcerative Colitis

Salix Pharmaceuticals announced today the US Food and Drug Administration has extended final approval for Uceris (budesonide) rectal foam for the induction of remission in patients afflicted with active mild-to-moderate distal ulcerative colitis (UC) extending up to 40cm from the anal verge.


Immunomodulators as Part of Early Therapy in the Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease

The use of immunomodulators in ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease usually begins in the “mildest moderate” patient, said Maria T. Abreu, MD, professor of medicine and chair, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. This is usually when the symptoms of disease begin to affect the patient’s daily life.


Weighing the Benefits of Combination Therapy in Crohn’s Disease

Inflammatory bowel diseases comprising Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic immunologically mediated diseases that are associated with considerable morbidity. The therapeutic advances over the past decade have significantly improved our ability to achieve control of these diseases.


Eluxadoline Effectively Treats Diarrhea-predominant Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Eluxadoline, a locally active, mixed mu opioid receptor (µOR) agonist and delta opioid receptor (δOR) antagonist being developed to treat diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome IBS-D) has shown success in two phase 3 clinical trials.


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