Inflammatory Bowel Disease Gene ID'd
Gene Is Likely One of Several Linked to IBD, Researchers Say
WebMD News Archive
Cho and colleagues are continuing their gene studies.
"Undoubtedly, there are other genes" involved in IBD, Cho says. "We think
that there's going to likely be at least several others."
It will be important to do IBD gene studies in people of other ethnic
backgrounds, she notes.
As for new treatments, drug companies may be able to make antibodies that
block the interleukin-23 pathway.
That strategy would be "very effective at tamping down inflammation, but it
might be almost too potent," Cho says. "We have the inflammatory response to
fight off infection."
A better approach might be to mimic the protective gene variant, Cho
"You would tamp down inflammation in a way that you're not more prone to
develop infections," she says, calling the development of such drugs "a
One day, genetics might help predict IBD's severity in patients and tailor
treatment, Cho notes.
"It's a raging debate in IBD: Are we better off when someone gets newly
diagnosed with going with the big guns that potentially have more side effects,
or are we better off starting with the safest drug that's maybe not as
effective as some of the other ones and stepping up as patients need," she
"If you take a combination of IBD genes and predict these courses, that
might be a logical way of individualizing therapies, or at least giving
patients more information so that they can make informed decisions about their
medical therapies," Cho says.