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Medical News and Perspectives
July 7, 2004

Monoclonal Antibodies Target Inflammatory Bowel Disease

JAMA. 2004;292(1):29-30. doi:10.1001/jama.292.1.29

Current therapies for Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis—including anti-inflammatory agents, aminosalicylates, and corticosteroids—lack specificity and effectiveness. But promising results are coming out of clinical trials of targeted biological therapies for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as monoclonal antibodies, that inhibit key immune and inflammatory mediators.

Research by basic scientists is beginning to make it possible to "to tease apart how the inflammatory cascade works in the intestines and other parts of the body," said James Lewis, MD, who moderated a press briefing on results of clinical trials presented at the Digestive Disease Week, in New Orleans in May. The translation of that basic science into patient trials has "potentially great prospects for the future of diagnosing, treating, and potentially preventing IBD," added Lewis, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.