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Interrogating host immunity to predict treatment response in inflammatory bowel disease

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Jonathan L. Digby-Bell, Raja Atreya, Giovanni Monteleone, Nick Powell

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

King's Authors


IBD treatment is undergoing a transformation with an expanding repertoire of drugs targeting different aspects of the immune response. Three novel classes of drugs have emerged in the past decade that target leukocyte trafficking to the gut (vedolizumab), neutralize key cytokines with antibodies (ustekinumab) and inhibit cytokine signalling pathways (tofacitinib). In advanced development are other drugs for IBD, including therapies targeting other cytokines such as IL-23 and IL-6. However, all agents tested so far are hampered by primary and secondary loss of response, so it is desirable to develop personalized strategies to identify which patients should be treated with which drugs. Stratification of patients with IBD by clinical parameters alone lacks sensitivity, and alternative modalities are now needed to deliver precision medicine in IBD. High-resolution profiling of immune response networks in individual patients is a promising approach and different technical platforms, including in vivo real-time molecular endoscopy, tissue transcriptomics and germline genetics, are promising tools to help predict responses to specific therapies. However, important challenges remain regarding the clinical utility of these technologies, including their scalability and accessibility. This Review focuses on unravelling some of the complexity of mucosal immune responses in IBD pathogenesis and how current and emerging analytical platforms might be harnessed to effectively stratify and individualise IBD therapy.

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