IBD Updates: Probability of Needing a Stoma with Crohn’s Disease, “CEASE” anti-TNF study, Extending Tofacitinib Response Time

AH Everhov et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2022; 28: 1160-1168. Open Access! Probability of Stoma in Incident Patients With Crohn’s Disease in Sweden 2003-2019: A Population-based Study

In a nationwide Swedish cohort of 18,815 incident patients with a minimum 5 years of follow-up, 652 (3.5%) underwent formation of a stoma. The 5-year cumulative incidence of stoma formation was 2.5%, with no differences between calendar periods  (2003–2006, 2007–2010, and 2011–2014).

RWM Pauweis et al. Clin Gastroentol Hepatol 2022; 20: 1671-1686. Open Access! Prediction of Relapse After Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor Cessation in Crohn’s Disease: Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis of 1317 Patients From 14 Studies

C Ma. Clin Gastroentol Hepatol 2022; 20: 1668-1670. Associated editorial. Open Access! To Stop or Not to Stop? Predicting Relapse After Anti-TNF Cessation in Patients With Crohn’s Disease

This study captured data from 1317 patients (including 927 patients stopping infliximab and 390 patients stopping adalimumab) to develop risk prediction models.  “The authors confirm many of the high risk, albeit rather intuitive, factors that are associated with the risk of relapse, including younger age, younger age at diagnosis, smoking, upper gastrointestinal tract involvement, longer disease duration, absence of concomitant immunosuppressant use, previous anti-TNF failure, and absence of clinical remission.”

The editorial notes that even in the lowest risk group, more than 20% had risk of relapse within 1 year; in addition, stopping therapy increases risk of not recapturing remission with restart of treatment. “Stopping anti-TNF therapy is a highly personalized treatment decision and is one that carries considerable risks…therapeutic discontinuation of TNF antagonists should be reserved for the very small minority of patients who are in deep remission, have a strong desire to stop treatment, have no (or very few) characteristics of high-risk CD, can tolerate a substantial disease flare, and are fully informed of the risks of therapeutic withdrawal.”

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WJ Sandborn et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022; 20: 1821-1830. Open Access! Efficacy and Safety of Extended Induction With Tofacitinib for the Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis

Graphical abstract below shows that 52.2% of patients who did not achieve clinical response to 8 weeks’ treatment with tofacitinib 10 mg BID in the induction studies achieved a clinical response following extended induction (delayed responders). At Month 12 of OCTAVE Open, 70.3%, 56.8%, and 44.6% of delayed responders maintained clinical response and achieved endoscopic improvement and remission, respectively. Corresponding values at Month 36 were 56.1%, 52.0%, and 44.6%.

My take: By extending the treatment induction to 16 weeks to determine response (rather than 8 weeks), the authors showed that 75% of patients with ulcerative colitis in the initial cohort respond to tofacitinib.

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IBD Updates: SC Vedolizumab, PRODUCE study: Specific Carbohydrate Diet, Racial Epidemiology of IBD, and Microbiome in UC

Briefly noted –all of these articles are open access:

A Volkers et al. AP&T 2022; https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.17153 Open access: Real-world experience of switching from intravenous to subcutaneous vedolizumab maintenance treatment for inflammatory bowel disease. In this prospective cohort study, patients (n=135) with IBD who had ≥4 months IV vedolizumab were switched to SC vedolizumab. 

Key findings:

  • 4 patients with Crohn’s disease had loss of response.
  • 9% of patients were switched back to IV vedolizumab due to adverse events or fear of needles.
  • Median clinical and biochemical disease activity remained stable after the switch. Median vedolizumab serum concentrations increased from 19 μg/ml at the time of the switch to 31 μg/ml 12 weeks after the switch (p < 0.005).

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HC Kaplan et al. Am J Gastroenterol 2022 Jun 1;117(6):902-917. Open access: Personalized Research on Diet in Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease: A Series of N-of-1 Diet Trials. In this study, 21 patients (completed trial) were randomized to 1 of 2 sequences of 4 alternating 8-week SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) and MSCD (modified specific carbohydrate diet) periods.

Key findings: “SCD and MSCD did not consistently improve symptoms or inflammation.” “Some individuals had improvement in symptoms and fecal calprotectin compared with their UD, whereas others did not.” The authors note that it took 18 months to recruit 54 patients for this study across 19 research sites.

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EL Barnes et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2022; 28: 983-987. Open access: Racial and Ethnic Distribution of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the United States The authors electronic health records from 337 centers from January 2013 to December 2018 with nearly 40 million patients in U.S.

Key findings:

  • Black adult patients were significantly less likely than White patients to have a diagnosis of CD (odds ratio [OR], 0.53) or UC (OR, 0.41). Pediatric Black patients were also less likely to have a diagnosis of CD (OR, 0.41) or UC (OR, 0.38)
  • Adult Hispanic patients were less likely to have a diagnosis of CD (OR, 0.33) or UC (OR, 0.45) compared with non-Hispanic patients. Similarly, pediatric Hispanic patients were less likely to have a diagnosis of CD (OR, 0.34) or UC (OR, 0.50).
  • Thus, these data suggest that CD and UC are modestly less prevalent among patients of non-White races and Hispanic ethnicity

M Frioirksmork et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2022; 28: 1081-1089. Open access: Similar Gut Bacterial Composition Between Patients With Ulcerative Colitis and Healthy Controls in a High Incidence Population: A Cross-sectional Study of the Faroe Islands IBD Cohort. This cross-sectional study from the Faroe Islands (which has very high incidence of IBD) consisted of 41 patients with established ulcerative colitis and 144 age- and sex-matched healthy controls.

Key findings: There was a similarity in bacterial community composition and absence of the beneficial Akkermansia genus in both groups.

What Happens When Infliximab is Stopped in Patients in Deep Remission Plus One

S Buhl et al. NEJM 2022; DOI:https://doi.org/10.1056/EVIDoa2200061. Discontinuation of Infliximab Therapy in Patients with Crohn’s Disease

Design: This was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled withdrawal study of infliximab in patients (n=115) with Crohn’s disease who were in clinical, biochemical, and endoscopic remission after standard infliximab maintenance therapy for at least 1 year. Patients were randomly assigned 1:1 to continue infliximab therapy or to receive matching placebo for 48 weeks.

Key finding:

  • At the end of the trial at week 48, relapse-free survival was 100% in the infliximab-continuation group and 51% in the infliximab-discontinuation group

My take (borrowed from authors): Discontinuation of infliximab for patients with Crohn’s disease receiving long-term infliximab therapy and in clinical, biochemical, and endoscopic remission leads to a considerable risk of relapse

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Figure from NEJM Evidence Twitter Feed

S Sassine et al. AJG 2022; Volume 117 – Issue 4 – p 637-646. doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000001650. Risk Factors of Clinical Relapses in Pediatric Luminal Crohn’s Disease: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Key findings–The following variables were associated with clinical relapse:

  • female sex (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] = 1.52, P = 0.0007)
  • exposure to oral 5-ASA (aHR = 1.44, P = 0.04),
  • use of immunomodulatory agents compared with tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors (methotrexate aHR = 1.73, P = 0.003; thiopurines aHR = 1.63, P = 0.002)
  • presence of granulomas (aHR = 1.34, P = 0.02)
  • increased eosinophils on intestinal biopsies (aHR = 1.36, P = 0.02)
  • high levels of C-reactive protein (aHR = 1.01, P < 0.0001)
  • fecal calprotectin (aHR = 1.08, P < 0.0001)
  • low serum infliximab levels (<7 mcg/mL) (aHR = 2.32P = 0.001).

Head-to-Head (Sort of): Infliximab vs Ustekinumab for Crohn’s Disease

N Narula et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022; 20: 1579-1587. Comparative Efficacy and Rapidity of Action for Infliximab vs Ustekinumab in Biologic Naïve Crohn’s Disease

Using a post hoc analysis of 2 large Crohn’s disease (CD) trial with 420 biologic-naive adult patients, the authors found the following Key Findings:

  • At week 6, a comparable number of patients achieved clinical remission with infliximab compared with patients treated with ustekinumab (44.9% vs 37.9%; adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.22)
  • At week 6 the clinical response rates were not significantly different (58.4% infliximab vs 54.9% ustekinumab; aOR, 1.25)
  • At week 6, 42.3% infliximab vs 34.7% ustekinumab had fecal calprotectin level less than 250 mcg/L in those with increased values at baseline

My take: A true head-to-head trial, rather than a post-hoc analysis, would more definitively determine relative efficacy and relative time to response. This study indicates that both agents have similar efficacy by week 6.

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Fountain at Forsyth Park in Savannah

Biologics in Children with Very Early Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease

B Kerur et al. JPGN 2022; 75: 64-69. Utilization of Antitumor Necrosis Factor Biologics in Very Early Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Multicenter Retrospective Cohort Study From North America

In this retrospective study, 120 of 294 children with VEO-IBD (diagnosed 2008 and 2013, PRO-KIDS network) received anti-TNF therapy (96% infliximab). 101 of these 120 had adequate data recorded. It is noted that additional data on this cohort has been previously published (IBD Updates: Outcomes of VEO-IBD, PIANO Study Update, and Insurance-Disparity Relationship). Key findings:

  • Anti-TNF durability was 90% at 1 year, 75% at 3 years, and 55% at 5 years
  • Patients with Crohn’s disease had better durability than those with UC/IBD-U (Hazard ratio 0.17)
  • The most common reason for discontinuation of anti-TNF were loss of response in 24 (57%) children
  • 67 (66%) received combined therapy with an immunomodulator and this was associated with improved anti-TNF durability (Hazard ratio 0.30). However, authors note this was in era preceding widespread therapeutic drug monitoring.
  • The majority of children in the current study did not undergo testing for monogenic mutations

My take: Data for use of anti-TNF agents in this age group (< 6 yrs) has been limited. This study suggests similar effectiveness of anti-TNF agents in VEO-IBD compared to older groups. Given this groups increased risk for monogenic mutations, it is still a good idea, if feasible, to test for these disorders.

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Outcomes with Enteral Nutrition

Notice: At this time, gutsandgrowth intends to post blogs 2-3 times per week rather than daily.


N Davidson et al. JPGN 2022; 75: 70-75. 6- and 12-Month Outcomes after 90:10 Enteral Nutrition Induction Therapy in Pediatric Crohn’s Disease

In this retrospective study (2013-2018), the authors examined outcomes in 105 children treated with a 90:10 enteral feeds (90% formula).

Key findings:

  • 44/105 (42%) patients completed 8–12 weeks
  • After induction, 18 continued EN maintenance with a 80:20 then 70:30 protocol; however, only 10 remained on EN at 6 months and 4 remained on EN at 12 months

The associated editorial (pg: 1-2) make several points:

  1. While EEN is effective and safe, this study and others have shown poor adherence
  2. It is unclear how exclusive enteral nutrition needs to be in order to be effective. And, many patients instructed to receive 90% of their calories as formula are likely consuming higher amounts of table foods
  3. We still are working out which foods need to be excluded

My take: This study shows that EEN is NOT a practical option for most patients beyond induction. Only 4 patients remained on EEN at 12 months.

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Ustekinumab Efficacy in Crohn’s Disease With Concurrent Autoimmune Skin Disease

E Fradkov et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2022; 28: 895-904. Efficacy of Ustekinumab in Crohn’s Disease With and Without Concurrent Autoimmune Skin Disease

This retrospective study reviewed 395 CD patients received ustekinumab therapy (79 CD-ASD (autoimmune skin disease), 316 CD-none). ASD included atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis/psoriaform dermatitis and alopecia. The skin disease group also included those with cutaneous manifestations of Crohn’s disease: erythema nodosum, pyoderma gangrenosum, pyostomatitis vegetans, Sweet’s syndrome, granulomatous vasculitis, and leukocytoclastic vasculitis. 55 of the 79 with CD-ASD had psoriatic disease, 20 had eczema, 11 had erythema nodosum, 8 had pyoderma gangrenosum.

Key findings:

  • Ustekinumab had greater efficacy in CD-ASD when evaluated by fecal calprotectin (P = .0337) and CRP (P = .078). For calprotectin, the values decreased by 61% after at least 5 months of therapy (394 to 164) in the CD-ASD group compared to 11% in the group without skin disease (365 to 265)
  • The CD-ASD group also showed better outcomes in Likert scores of endoscopy (P = .016), histopathology (P = .074), and imaging (P = .094). 

My take: Ustekinumab appears to be particularly effective in patients with concurrent skin disease.

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Chattahoochee River near Morgan Falls

Risankizumab Receives FDA Approval for Crohn’s Disease

Abbvie Press Release: SKYRIZI® (risankizumab-rzaa) Receives FDA Approval as the First and Only Specific Interleukin-23 (IL-23) to Treat Moderately to Severely Active Crohn’s Disease in Adults

– Third approved indication for SKYRIZI (risankizumab-rzaa) is supported by safety and efficacy data from two induction and one maintenance clinical trials evaluating SKYRIZI in moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease, ADVANCE, MOTIVATE and FORTIFY1-4

– As early as week 4 in the induction studies, clinical response and clinical remission were achieved by significantly more subjects treated with SKYRIZI versus placebo, as were co-primary endpoints of endoscopic response and clinical remission at week 12 and week 521-4

About SKYRIZI® (risankizumab-rzaa)
SKYRIZI is an interleukin-23 (IL-23) inhibitor that selectively blocks IL-23 by binding to its p19 subunit.9,10 IL-23, a cytokine involved in inflammatory processes, is thought to be linked to a number of chronic immune-mediated diseases, including Crohn’s disease.10 The approved dose to treat adults with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease is 600 mg administered by intravenous infusion over at least one hour at week 0, week 4, and week 8, followed by 360 mg administered by subcutaneous injection at week 12, and every 8 weeks thereafter.4 SKYRIZI is also approved in the U.S. to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adults who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy, as well as to treat active psoriatic arthritis in adults, and the recommended dosage is 150 mg administered by subcutaneous injection at week 0, week 4, and every 12 weeks thereafter.4 Phase 3 trials of SKYRIZI in psoriasis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and psoriatic arthritis are ongoing

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The Curtain or The Box: Therapeutic Dilemmas

X Roblin et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2022; 28: 720-727. Swapping Versus Dose Optimization in Patients Losing Response to Adalimumab With Adequate Drug Levels

Many times, treatment decisions are like on “Let’s Make a Deal.” That is, should I stick with what I’ve got or should I try for something better & sometimes wind up with a goat. In this referenced article, patients were under maintenance therapy with adalimumab (ADA) monotherapy (40 mg every 14 days) and had experienced a secondary loss of response (LOR) despite trough levels > 4.9 μg/mL. In this nonrandomized prospective study, patients were either swapped to vedolizumab (VDZ) or optimized on adalimumab (ADA) treatment.

Key findings:

  • At 24 months, 11 out of 70 patients (16%) in the swap group discontinued treatment compared with 36 out of 61 (59%) patients in the optimization group (P < 0.001)
  • In the optimization group, treatment discontinuation was positively associated with baseline fecal calprotectin >500 μg/g (HR, 3.5)
  • In patients selected for optimization, 56% (34/61) remained on ADA at 1 year and 41% (25/61) at 2 years

In their discussion, the authors state “current guidelines recommend switching to another class of biologics in case of LOR to ADA with therapeutic drug levels.” However, the authors note that their therapeutic level cut-off of >4.9 mcg/mL is lower than the latest recommendations. In addition, in their conclusion, they note that due to limited biologic options, “ADA optimization strategy might be considered” in a subgroup.

My take: Despite better results in the patients that swapped to VDZ in this study, I think it is important to assure adequate drug levels before choosing a new drug class. For ADA, expert recommendations have suggested a level of 8-12 as therapeutic and to avoid discontinuation if ADA level is less than 10. In this study, more than 40% remained on ADA two years after LOR in those with dosing optimization.

Related blog post:

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Panoramic View -Sandia Mountain, NM

IBD -Briefly Noted: Intestinal U/S and Anxiety/Depression Not Worsening Pediatric IBD Activity

EA van Wassenaer et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2022; 28: 783-787. Open Access PDF: Intestinal Ultrasound in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Promising, but Work in Progress

Key points from this review:

  • Research has shown that IUS has the potential to be a valuable additional point-of-care tool to guide treatment choice and to monitor and predict treatment response, although evidence of its accuracy and value in clinical practice is still limited
  • The utility may be operator-dependent as well

My take: Due to low upfront costs, IUS would be appealing adjunct to current monitoring. However, one could envision IUS leading to more downstream studies (& costs), especially if its sensitivity and specificity are not very high.

EJ Brenner et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2022; 28: 728-733. Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms Are Not Associated With Future Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity

In this internet-based cohort of 9-17 yr olds (n=159, 96% white), the authors found no association between baseline PROMIS Pediatric anxiety score and subsequent sCDAI (change in sCDAI for 3-point change in PROMIS Pediatric −0.89; 95% CI −4.81 to 3.03). This study is in contrast to studies in adults which have shown a bidirectional relationship between anxiety/depression and IBD activity.

My take: It is difficult to know with certainty whether anxiety/depression may trigger IBD activity; more studies are needed. Treatment of mental health is important regardless of its effects on IBD activity.

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