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Infliximab treatment may induce clinical remission, reduce steroid need in ulcerative colitis

PHILADELPHIA, P.A., Oct. 18 -- Treatment with infliximab (also known as Remicade) appears to induce clinical remission in many patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis (UC), including those with severe disease, according to research published in the October issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

In addition, a significant number of patients were able to reduce or eliminate the need for steroid use. UC is a chronic and debilitating gastrointestinal disorder that affects approximately half a million Americans.

"There is a significant unmet medical need in patients with moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis," said Gary Lichtenstein, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of the Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. "These data show that treatment with infliximab provides a significant clinical benefit thereby reducing dependence on steroids.

"This has potential to eliminate the need for surgical intervention."

UC is a chronic inflammatory bowel disorder that begins in late childhood or early adulthood. Inflammation occurs in the colon, resulting in symptoms that include abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, rectal bleeding, loss of body fluids and nutrients.

Source: University of Pennsylvania Health Systems

Posted: October 2002