The Journal of Bucharest College of Physicians and the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences

Roxana Sadagurschi

Roxana Sadagurschi

Clinical Predictive Factors of Response to Biologics in IBD

Background: Growing insights into complex molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) have led to advent of new treatment options. Currently, there are three classes of biological agents approved for the treatment of IBD: anti-tumor necrosis factor agents (anti-TNFs), vedolizumab (VDZ) and ustekinumab. Each of these molecules have different targets in the inflammatory process, inhibiting specific mediators. Since the therapeutic options tend to increase and become more and more variate, it would be important to establish predictive markers of response to choose the best therapeutic option for the most suitable patient. Nowadays, the concept of „personalized medicine” which means selecting the right drug for the right person at the right time based on the characterization of an individual’s phenotype and genotype seems to be more reasonable and tends to replace the strategy “one drug suits all” that we used for many years.

Aim: To present the currently available data regarding the clinical predictors of response not only to anti-TNFs, but also to VDZ and ustekinumab.

Methods: A literature search was performed in PubMed to identify publications reporting on predictive factors of response to biologic therapy in patients with IBD, using pre-defined keywords. We selected RCTs, observational studies, reviews and meta-analyses.

Results: For anti-TNF agents most of the evaluated factors have not proved to be accurate enough as to enter daily clinical practice as a decisive tool to enable an individualized therapeutic approach. Factors identified as potential predictors include disease behavior/ phenotype, disease severity, CRP, prior anti-TNF exposure, but the results were variable and sometimes conflicting. For VDZ, even more discouraging results were obtained, with only few factors (disease severity and prior anti-TNF exposure) showing limited value. Regarding ustekinumab, no predicting factor has been reported yet to be helpful in clinical practice.

Conclusion: Current scientific results cannot establish a single biomarker that fulfills all criteria for being an appropriate prognostic indicator for response to any biological treatment in IBD. Further research is needed to identify new and more reliable predictors or to better evaluate the existing ones.

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Endoscopic Procedures In Patients Taking Novel Oral Anticoagulants

The use of direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and prevention of strokes is encouraged by their superior properties compared to vitamin K antagonists: predictable anticoagulant effect, greater patient compliance, few drug interactions, low risk of intracranial hemorrhages. Although practicing gastroenterologists may never prescribe a DOAC, they are likely to encounter DOAC-related GI adverse events (gastrointestinal bleeding), and they will need to manage DOACs around the time of endoscopy. The present paper aims to present the management possibilities of the patient treated with DOAC undergoing endoscopy, most studies performed so far focusing on the risk of spontaneous bleeding in this category of subjects. The current guidelines provided by the British Society of Gastroenterology and the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy orientate us, but endoscopic maneuvers should be preceded by a detailed analysis of the risks of secondary bleeding and thrombosis associated with DOAC users.

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