Adalberto Gonzalez, MD: The Safety of Biologics for IBD

In data presented at DDW, there was no evidence found showing biologics result in an increased risk of developing malignancies for patients with IBD and PSC.

The only way to gain long-term data on the safety of a treatment is by observing over time, sometimes for decades.

And with the explosion biologics for the treatment of diseases like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), investigators are always looking at the safety of these treatments.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Adalberto J. Gonzalez, MD, a gastroenterologist with the Cleveland Clinic Florida explained how so far, all the data on biologics for IBD is pointing toward the treatments being incredibly safe for patients.

“As physicians, one of the main things we don’t want to do is cause harm,” Gonzalez said. “Safety is of the utmost importance and sometimes you don’t have an answer until enough time has passed.”

Gonzalez presented new data during the 2022 Digestive Disease Week Annual Meeting in San Diego showing biologics for the treatment of IBD and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).

In general, patients with either of these diseases do have a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. However, the retrospective study of 453 patients with IBD and PSC, 181 of which had prior exposure to biologics, showed only 26 patients developed malignancy during the course of the study.

However, the only factors predictive of cancer development were age and extent of disease and not actually exposure to biologics.