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Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic, disabling, progressive inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).1 The condition is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer and other serious structural and functional consequences in the long term,1 which include the development of colonic strictures, dysmotility, anorectal dysfunction and impaired permeability.1 In this context, mucosal healing has emerged as a new therapeutic goal in the prevention of the long-term complications of IBD.2 ,3 Indeed, a growing body of evidence indicates that mucosal healing improves the natural course of the disease by lowering the need for colectomy and thus reducing hospitalisation rates in these patients.3 Histological healing is considered as the ultimate marker of quiescent disease activity in UC4 and thus an improvement in the patient's quality of life. However, it is not yet known whether persistent gene expression changes in intestinal tissues are related to incomplete histological healing in asymptomatic UC.
Planell et al5 have attempted to identify a transcriptional signature associated with the involved mucosa in active/remitting UC patients (when …
Contributors All authors were involved in preparing and editing the final manuscript and writing the commentary.
Funding MC is supported, in part, by grants from FEDER, Région Nord/Pas-de-Calais, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (Biopanex), Institut Nationale du Cancer (INCa_6000) and Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.