Is There Good Evidence for Proactive Drug Monitoring of Anti-TNF Therapy?

A recent clinical review (X Roblin et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2018; 24: 1904-9) examines the utility of proactive drug monitoring of anti-TNF therapy in inflammatory bowel disease.

The authors note that several observational trials suggested that proactive drug monitoring would help optimize the effect of anti-TNF therapy, especially infliximab. However, two randomized controlled clinical trials, TAXIT (n=273) and TAILORIX (n=122), were not able to show long-term benefit from proactive therapeutic monitoring.

At the same time, the authors note that a recent trial (Ungar B et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2016; 14: 550-7, e2) has shown that infliximab trough levels >5 mcg/mL and adalimumab levels >7.2 mcg/mL identified mucosal healing with 85% specificity. Higher cutoffs showed only minimal further increase in mucosal healing rates.

My take: To this point, controlled trials have not shown that proactive drug monitoring of anti-TNF therapy is beneficial; this review explains the design and limitations of these studies.  My personal view is that more studies are needed to know if proactive drug monitoring is worthwhile.  Proactive drug monitoring may be more useful in children/adolescents than adults due to much greater variation in size and dosing.

A recent commentary on therapeutic drug monitoring (from KT Park Twitter Feed): Therapeutic Targets in IBD

Related blog posts:


Moraine Lake, Banff


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