ECP may be effective in treating Crohn's disease

May 25, 2007

(Washington, DC - May 23, 2007) -- Results from an international multi-center Phase II clinical trial suggest that extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) may be effective in treating patients with clinically active (OR symptomatic) Crohn’s disease who cannot tolerate or are refractory to immunosuppressants and/or anti-TNF agents. A 50% response rate after 3 months of ECP treatment was noted in the study, using standard disease activity criteria, as presented this afternoon at a scientific research session of Digestive Disease Week (DDW). The majority of patients who responded to ECP therapy had a notable improvement in their disease symptoms and signs after only six weeks of treatment.

"We show in this pilot study that ECP is effective in patients with Crohn's disease (CD) that have previously failed the strongest therapies we currently have," explains Maria Abreu, MD, Associate Professor in The Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology and in the Center for Immunobiology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center. ECP is believed to bolster tolerance in the immune system, which may be important in immune-mediated diseases such as Crohn’s. In contrast, most patients with inflammatory bowel disease are currently treated with medicines that suppress the immune system. Unlike ECP, those medications can have many serious side effects.

The 28 patient trial studied the safety and efficacy of ECP in patients with a Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI) of at least 220 and less than 450 indicating that at least moderately active symptomatic CD was present. Clinical response was defined as a CDAI decrease of 100 or greater from baseline and/or a CDAI of less than 150 at week 12. Patients received two treatments of ECP weekly from weeks 0-4 and two treatments every other week from weeks 6-12 with no infectious complications reported.

"The findings of our study suggest that Crohn’s disease patients who have not responded to other therapies may benefit from ECP," concludes Dr. Abreu.

Source: The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Explore further: Synthetic pot linked to kidney injury

Related Stories

Gold nanoparticles for targeted cancer treatment

28 minutes ago

The use of tiny drug-loaded nanocarriers for the safe, targeted delivery of drugs to designated parts of the body has received much press in recent years. Human trials of nanocarriers targeting pancreatic ...

Understanding spectral properties of broadband biphotons

16 minutes ago

Advances in quantum optical technologies require scientists to control and exploit the properties of so-called biphotons. Biphotons occur when two photons become 'quantum-entangled' - spatially separate entities ...

Recommended for you

Amid bird flu outbreak, turkey farmers increase security

6 hours ago

Poultry producers in the nation's top turkey state are taking extra steps to protect their flocks after a devastating strain of bird flu was confirmed at two Minnesota farms in as many days last week, a disease that had already ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.