COllaborative Network For Exceptionally Rare case reports  


Please report your cases by sending an email to the ECCO Office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

If the call proves the projects feasible by minimal number of similar cases available, transformation of the cases by the Principal Investigator and the CONFER Case Manager into standardised data-entry format (CRF) will next be performed. The CRFs will then be shared with the potential contributors who reported a similar case.

pdf IRB Approval for ECCO CONFER Cases 


Unique and extraordinary clinical cases are generally reported in the form of a single case report or a small series, making it hard to derive clinical conclusions on modes of presentation, diagnosis, and treatment.

5 main themes of interest:

  • Unusual clinical situations facing diagnostic or therapeutic gaps of knowledge
  • Rare infections
  • Uncommon drug beneficial effects or side-effects
  • Rare IBD manifestations
  • Infrequent disease associations (neoplastic, infectious etc.)

What is ECCO CONFER Cases?

The ECCO CONFER Cases are based on an initiative introduced by the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) to support individual investigators in developing rare case series by collecting enough similar cases among the IBD Community. By joining forces of the many members and supporters of ECCO, a joint report of all similar such cases can result in a large case series that will advance knowledge on these uncommon patients.

How it operates

A call will be made once a year to all ECCO Members to propose CONFER case projects. Two to four cases will be selected by the CONFER Steering Committee.

The proposing investigator will act as PI and develop his/her case into a CONFER case project with the support of a member of the CONFER Steering Committee.

A call will then be made to all ECCO Members and affiliates who have encountered a similar case to contribute their case to the CONFER case series. 

All received cases will be joined into a case series by a PI and prepared for publication.

ECCO’s support:

ECCO’s support includes dissemination of a call for similar cases, as well as assessment of the feasibility of the cases by the ECCO CONFER Steering Committee. It does not include any financial support nor any input in the collection of the data, the analysis or the publication of the data collected. 

Steering committee

ECCO CONFER is managed by a four-member steering committee. The current steering committee is composed of:

David Drobne (Slovenia)
Triana Lobaton (Belgium) 
Mette Julsgaard (Denmark)
Daniela Pugliese (Italy)

Publication and authorship

All contributing investigators will be acknowledged as co-authors. The PI and the CONFER Steering Committee member who developed each case project and its publication will be the first and last author, respectively.
As per an ECCO Governing Board decision, submission to JCC would take precedence, unless a very high impact journal is deemed appropriate for publication. In case of publication in another journal with restricted number of authors: All contributing investigators will be acknowledged as collaborating authors, and the 10 who contributed most patients will be acknowledged as co-authors. When equal contributions occur, authorship status will be determined by temporal precedence in case contribution.