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Alternative treatment option better for treating Crohn’s disease
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January 24, 2010  |  Posted in  Steroids Blog

crohns-diseaseAccording to an international research study, which was published in The Lancet, questions were raised on the present treatment method for Crohn’s disease. This led to opening up the door to an alternate, safer, and more effective treatment option for sufferers of the disease.

Dr. Brian Feagan, Director of Robarts Clinical Trials at Robarts Research Institute at The University of Western Ontario, said that study clearly suggests that the alternative method was more effective than the presently followed one for inducing disease remission. Dr. Feagan coordinated the research trial and is an author on the study.

From News-Medical.Net:

Called a “step-up” approach, the conventional treatment for Crohn’s disease involves first administering steroids in order to control the patient’s symptoms (abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea); the next step involves administering immune-suppressing drugs, which prepare the body to receive the third medication – an antibody that curbs the inflammatory response at the root of the disease.

The alternative strategy, called “top-down” therapy, employs early use of immune-suppressing drugs combined with an antibody in order to address the disease from the start. Symptom-treating steroids may never even be needed.

The two-year study was conducted at research centres in Belgium, Holland, and Germany and involved 129 subjects with active Crohn’ s disease. 64 patients received the conventional step-up treatment and 65 the combined immune-suppressing method (top-down). 60% of the top-down subjects were symptom-free by the 26th week of the study, compared to only 36% of the step-up subjects.

Lead author Dr. Geert D’Haens, of the Imelda GI Clinical Research Centre at the Imelda Hospital in Bonheiden, Belgium, said that the study is a milestone in the effective management of Crohn’s disease.

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