CCFA Conference Notes (Part 1): Preemptive Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Not That Helpful

This blog entry has abbreviated/summarized this terrific presentation; most of the material has been covered in this blog in prior entries but still this was a useful review. Though not intentional, some important material is likely to have been omitted; in addition, transcription errors are possible as well.

Optimizing Therapeutic Drug Monitoring –Dr. Hans Herfarth

  • Trough levels have been recognized to correlate with remission rates. Good data from SONIC (2010) for infliximab. Ultra2 trial (2013) showed similar data for adalimumab.

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  • Low albumin predicts higher rates of failure, possibly due to loss of infliximab in stool.

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  • Reviewed algorithm for loss of response to infliximab based on trough levels. If low infliximab and no antibodies, increase dosing of infliximab has high likelihood of clinical response.
  • If high infliximab and not responding, evaluate for other reasons including irritable bowel, and strictures.

Scenarios that create confusion with therapeutic drug monitoring:

  • If clinically-well patient has antibodies and adequate drug level, could observe or possibly add immunosuppressive agent. ~3% of patients have simultaneous ATI and IFX detection.
  • If clinically-well with low infliximab level, could increase dose or observe.

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  • In TAXIT study, however, lowering dose (panel B above) to get in target range was associated with a lower rate of response. No clear difference between clinically-based changes compared with proactive monitoring. Proactive adaption of trough levels may help prevent relapse in ~10% but not shown to alter long-term outcomes

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 11.25.43 AM

  • TAILORIX study looked at tailoring dose at week 14. ‘Week 14 adaption did not make a significant difference at 1 year.’  Limitation: 122 patients.

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Hard to see Group C (clinically-based group) in this slide

Hard to see Group C (clinically-based group) in this slide

Drug monitoring has become popular but its importance as a preemptive measure is unclear.  Dr. Herfarth’s practice is to monitor when loss of response but not to monitor if doing well. His view: if someone is doing well, therapeutic drug monitoring can be confusing. It is not proven that optimizing drug levels will improve long-term outcomes. (In children, especially due to growth, drug monitoring may be more important.)

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One other recommendation from Dr. Herfarth: he recommends combination therapy in his patients are started on a 2nd anti-TNFs.

1 thought on “CCFA Conference Notes (Part 1): Preemptive Therapeutic Drug Monitoring Not That Helpful

  1. Pingback: Disease extent and need for higher infliximab dosing | gutsandgrowth

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