Combination Therapy Treats Crohn's Disease
Study Shows Combination of Biologic and Immune-Suppressing Drugs Is Best Treatment for Crohn's
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Combination Treatment for Crohn's: Risk, Cost continued...
Other anti-TNF drugs, which Sandborn and Kerman say should work as well as
Remicade, cost about as much. But Kerman notes that anti-TNF therapy for
Crohn's disease is actually cost-effective, as the drugs prevent
hospitalizations, loss of work, and other expenses.
"I'd like for Crohn's patients to ask their doctors to consider combination
treatment with these biologics and immune modulators as an early therapy,"
Kerman says. "It has been shown that treating much earlier gives them a much
better chance of responding, rather than getting the treatment after damage
already has been done."
The combination therapy does not cure Crohn's disease. Treatment must
continue indefinitely. However, Sandborn says that some of the patients in the
earliest clinical trials are still doing well after 12 years of treatment.
Sandborn serves as a consultant to Centocor, which makes Remicade, and to
Abbott, which makes Humira. Fees for this consultation go to Mayo Clinic and
not directly to him. Kerman is on the speakers bureau for UCB, which makes the
anti-TNF drug Cimzia.
Sandborn and colleagues report the finding of their trial in the April 15
issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.