ORLANDO — In this exclusive video perspective from Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Maria T. Abreu, MD, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, discusses her presentation on improving care and potential cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through the microbiome.
“It’s obvious we haven’t cured these diseases, so what is it going to take?” she told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease. “What I tried to impart on the audience is that knowledge builds on itself. Even if we had all the money in the world, we probably couldn’t cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis tomorrow because some of the advances that we need are going to build one on the other, not dissimilar to the war on cancer.”
Abreu explained that, because it is still unknown exactly what bacteria, fungi or viruses may be missing from a patient with UC or CD, it is difficult to target a patient with microbial therapy and can often be like “hitting in the dark” as even the most successful fecal microbial transplants often require multiple donors.
“We need to, simultaneously in a patient with IBD, treat the host side ... with multiple targets, not just one thing,” she said. “Anti-TNFs only get us part of the way, but anti-TNFs combined with several other medications and at the same time dealing with the microbiome side of things ... unless we rectify that, we’re always going to have a feed-forward loop.”
Reference: Abreu M. Keynote: What Will It Take to Develop the Cures for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease? Presented at: Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases; Dec. 13-15, 2018; Orlando.
Disclosure: Abreu reports no relevant financial disclosures.