As the new chair of the P-ECCO Committee, it is my pleasure to introduce two newly elected members of the Committee: Richard Hansen and Dror Shouval, two wonderful paediatric gastroenterologists from Scotland and Israel, respectively. Both are very active in the paediatric IBD field and they bring a wealth of expertise and energy to our group.
The H-ECCO Committee is saying goodbye to Monika Tripathi and would like to thank her for all her work on behalf of the Committee in recent years.
At the same time, as chairman of the Committee, I am very happy to welcome our new member, Aart Mookhoek. Aart currently works as a pathologist at the Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Switzerland. He is, however, Dutch originally, and developed his passion for gastrointestinal pathology during a residency and subsequent fellowship at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Aart and I trained together on histological scoring systems for disease activity in Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, and we participated in a research project on this topic.
We are living through challenging times; the pandemic is evolving but is not yet over and conflict in Europe occupies all our minds. Many training programmes and research projects have had to be delayed or adapted over the last two years, but now that restrictions are less onerous much of our clinical and research work is back on track. I therefore hope that you all got your abstracts in to the UEG before the deadline at the end of April. Bear in mind also that the ECCO'23 abstract submission is open. We are looking forward to reading your contributions and selecting the best abstracts for the Y-ECCO Awards and the Basic Science Workshop.
Vedolizumab (VDZ) was the first biologic to be approved for Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease (CD) after the age of anti-tumour necrosis factor antagonists (anti-TNF). The role of thiopurines in combination with anti-TNFs in the management of IBD is well recognised. However, the role for combination of VDZ with thiopurines is uncertain [1, 2]. This study aimed to investigate the comparative effectiveness of VDZ in combination with a thiopurine versus VDZ monotherapy in the management of both UC and CD.
Traditionally, treatment of Crohn’s Disease (CD) has focused on symptomatic, clinical and corticosteroid-free remission. However, more recent studies have shown that endoscopic remission is associated with more favourable patient long-term outcomes [1, 2]. It has been hypothesised that more intense treatment regimens may increase the likelihood of endoscopic remission in CD patients. Previous studies (such as that performed by the DIAMOND study group) have indicated that adalimumab trough levels are higher in CD patients who achieve an endoscopic response and mucosal healing at weeks 26 and 52 . Further to that, the personalised anti-TNF therapy in Crohn's Disease study (PANTS) demonstrated that low drug levels were predictive of anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) treatment failure .
Various methods of dose optimisation have been postulated, such as higher induction doses, therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) to guide dose optimisation during the maintenance phase or a clinically adjusted (CA) dose optimisation strategy.
Y-ECCO Interview Corner gives us the opportunity to gain insights into members of the IBD Community, what they do and how they got to where they are. For this edition, I caught up with Dr. Karen Edelblum , a scientist who has a unique and important perspective.
Karen Edelblum combines cell biology and mucosal immunology, with some stunning time-lapse microscopy. She aims to understand how we might harness immune–epithelial interactions in the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Having trained at Vanderbilt University and the University of Chicago, she is now assistant professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. We met (over an internet connection) to get her insights into IBD and the science that will move it on.
It is our pleasure to introduce our conversation with the National Representative of Belgium at ECCO, Triana Lobatón.
Triana is originally from Spain, but is currently based in Gent. In this wide-range conversation, we cover different areas including an introduction to IBD care in Belgium and BIRD, the experience of living and working in a different country, research opportunities, the future of ECCO and IBD care in Europe and much more!
We hope that you’ve been enjoying the glorious weather and catching up with your families and loved ones as we try to make up for some lost time. We are delighted to welcome new members to the ECCO family and would like to utilise the interview space to get to know them better. This interview is an exciting speed-date with Professor Amy Lightner, who has been a long-standing friend of ECCO and has recently joined the S-ECCO committee. Prof Lightner is a professor of colorectal surgery, inflammation and immunity and the director of the centre of regenerative medicine and surgery. She’s based at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. We hope you enjoy getting to know her through this interview.