Cause for controversy? Infliximab in the treatment of ulcerative colitis: an update
Garrett Lawlor, Alan C Moss
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Abstract: Infliximab is a monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor (TNF) which has become an established therapy for Crohn’s disease over the last 10 years. Given the similarities between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC), it is no surprise that gastroenterologists have used infliximab in patients with UC who have failed other therapies. Although the initial controlled trials with infliximab in steroid-refractory disease were unimpressive, subsequent controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy of infliximab in both moderate to severe disease, and as rescue-therapy to avoid colectomy. The long-term remission rates, colectomy-sparing effects, and the impact of concomitant immunomodulator therapy, remain to be determined in these patients. Whether infliximab is a superior strategy to cyclosporine in patients with steroidrefractory disease is controversial. This review examines the data on the efficacy and safety of infliximab as an induction and maintenance agent for UC.
Keywords: ulcerative colitis, infliximab, biologics
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