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Infliximab for ulcerative colitis.

Infliximab significantly reduced the rate of colectomy in patients who had severe or moderately severe ulcerative colitis that was refractory to conventional treatment, reported Gunnar Jarnerot, M.D., of Orebro (Sweden) University Hospital, and associates.

In an interim analysis of a randomized, double-blind trial that was ended early because of slow enrollment and ethical issues, significantly fewer patients (7 of 24) who received an infusion of infliximab had a colectomy within 90 days than did patients who received placebo (14 of 21). Treatment with infliximab was associated with a significant, nearly fivefold higher likelihood of remaining free of colectomy than was placebo. Two additional patients in each group had a colectomy after 6 months of follow-up (Gastroenterology 2005;128:1805-11).

Maintenance treatment with repeated infliximab infusions will probably be needed for patients with ulcerative colitis, just as it has been for patients with Crohn's disease, especially "in patients who escape a colectomy to avoid further hospitalizations and risk of later surgery," Geert D'Haens, M.D., of the Imelda GI Clinical Research Center, Bonheiden, Belgium, said in an editorial (Gastroenterology 2005;128:2161-4). Centocor, the maker of infliximab (Remicade), did not sponsor the trial.
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Author:Evans, Jeff
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Jul 15, 2005
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