Christopher R Lindholm and Corey A Siegel*
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by episodic periods of flares and remission. Treatment is aimed at healing the bowel, to ultimately decrease hospitalization rates, need for surgeries and overall disability. In more recent years, treatment has transitioned from a reactive approach to a more proactive approach focusing on treating disease earlier and preventing complications. The challenge lies in identifying patients who need more intensive treatment early and trying to determine who will respond to which medications. Biomarkers and clinical activity scoring systems can be used to help guide treatment decisions. However, IBDs are very heterogeneous and the significance of these biomarkers can be difficult to discern on an individual basis. Recently, prognostic tools have been developed to aid in determining a patient’s prognosis as well as their likelihood to respond to different therapies. Despite this progress, clinical trials have not routinely adopted this approach in their study design. Tools for stratification of disease severity and to personalize treatment choices have the potential to improve our studies both by enriching the patient population and further guiding clinical decision making in practice. This review aims to discuss biomarkers, current prognosticating tools, and tools that determine response to therapy and how incorporating these into clinical trials will be beneficial.
inflammatory bowel disease
Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Department of Medicine, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology