Infectious Diseases in Children, December 2017
The treatment of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease has been revolutionized by the advent of biologic therapies, which have been shown to effectively treat symptoms, induce mucosal healing, and reverse growth impairment in many patients. However, experts continue to debate the positioning of biologics in IBD, and are seeking ways to better understand how to deliver optimal treatment to children affected by the disease.
Pediatric IBD rates are on the rise globally, and the 20% to 30% of patients with IBD onset before age 20 years often have more extensive, severe and complicated disease compared with those whose disease presents in adulthood. According to experts interviewed by Infectious Diseases in Children, early treatment with biologics provides newfound hope for preventing these complications, though many factors must be considered when choosing an initial therapy for children. Unfortunately, despite their availability and impact, several barriers prevent the use of biologics as first-line therapies.