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Adalimumab for the treatment of Crohn’s disease

Authors Cassinotti A, Ardizzone S, Bianchi-Porro G

Published 5 December 2008 Volume 2008:2(4) Pages 763—777


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Andrea Cassinotti, Sandro Ardizzone, Gabriele Bianchi Porro

Department of Clinical Sciences, Chair of Gastroenterology, “Luigi Sacco” University Hospital, Milan, Italy

Introduction: Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease characterized by a relapsing-remitting course with trans-mural inflammation of potentially any section of the digestive tract. Adalimumab (ADA) is a subcutaneously administered, recombinant, fully human, IgG1 monoclonal antibody that binds with high affinity and specificity to human TNF-alpha, thus modulating its biologic functions and its proinflammatory effects.

Aims: To review the available data on ADA in CD for biological properties, efficacy, and safety.

Methods: Electronic searches were conducted using the Pubmed and SCOPUS databases from the earliest records to April 2008. The search terms used were “adalimumab”, “anti-TNF”, “TNF-alpha”, “biologicals”, “inflammatory bowel disease”, and “Crohn’s disease”. Reference lists of all relevant articles were searched for further studies.

Results: Available studies suggest that ADA has the potential to induce and maintain clinical response and remission in moderate-severe CD, both in anti-TNF-naïve patients and in subjects who lost their response and/or became intolerant to infliximab (IFX). ADA seems also effective in maintaining corticosteroid-free remission and obtaining complete fistula closure (although no specific randomized trials are available). No concomitant immunosuppressors seem to be necessary. Side effects appear similar to IFX, while site-injection reactions are frequent and specific. Data on immunogenicity and its clinical impact are uncertain.

Conclusions: ADA appears to be effective in inducing and maintain clinical remission in CD, including patients not manageable with IFX. Successive clinical practice and further on going trials will confirm a positive role for ADA as a new anti-TNF treatment in CD. The impact on clinical management or on resources should be more studied.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease, adalimumab, anti-TNF, treatment, biologics

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