Recent advances: personalised use of current Crohn's disease therapeutic options
- Correspondence to Dr Séverine Vermeire, Department of Gastroenterology, University Hospitals Leuven, Herestraat 49, Leuven 3000, Belgium;
- Received 6 February 2013
- Revised 19 March 2013
- Accepted 20 March 2013
Several aspects of the management of Crohn's disease (CD) are shared between patients. The goal of all therapies should be to achieve clinical and endoscopic remission in a timely manner to avoid disease progression and abdominal resections. The way this goal is achieved may differ and predicting how the disease will evolve, what the most appropriate therapy with the highest chance of success will be, how long a therapy needs to be continued, and what the intensity of follow-up should be are more difficult questions and require an individualised approach. Clinical parameters have been suggested to aid in the therapeutic decision process but lack specificity. Although much promise has been put in molecular markers, these have not yet found their way to the clinic. More recently, clinicians have started to gain interest in drug level monitoring to adapt doses of immunomodulators and/or anti-tumour necrosis factor antibodies in an individualised manner. An increasing number of studies show that therapeutic drug monitoring can help physicians to improve and personalise the management of their patients. What is needed now are pharmaco-economic studies showing that personalised management of CD is cost effective.