Insights into IBD aetiology from China …

…returning once again feeling energised, revitalised and inspired. This year I have visited Guangzhou, Shanghai and Xi’an. The Chinese people are amongst the friendliest and hospitable I have ever come across. The country offers endless fascinations from almost unbelievable historical sites with exquisite artefacts to traditions and cultures that are alive and strong. Witness the 6000 strong life-size terra-cotta army, built by thousands of men over 40 years to protect an emperor in the after-life, only to be buried underground and lain undiscovered for over 2000 years.

Biological insights arising from gene discovery in Crohn's disease : Paneth cells as a site of origin for intestinal inflammation.

The state-of-the art in IBD genetics is the immunochip experiment, a massive international collaborative effort involving over 70,000 individuals typed for nearly 200,000 SNPs (Jostins et al, Nature 2012, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7422/full/nature11582.html).  To date, analysis of the I-chip by us and others has yielded a remarkable 193 independent risk variants in 163 susceptibility loci.

Use of mercaptopurine in azathioprine intolerant patients

Our paper on the clinical use of mercaptopurine in azathioprine intolerant patients has just been published on-line in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Kennedy NA, Rhatigan E, Arnott, IDR, Noble CL, Shand, AG, Satsangi J, Lees CW A trial of mercaptopurine is a safe strategy in patients with inflammatory bowel disease intolerant to azathioprine: an observational study, systematic review and meta-analysis).

Two large European Consortia aim to improve understanding of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

World inflammatory bowel disease day (19th May) is a timely opportunity to announce that the EU has awarded over Euro12million to two large Consortia (IBD-BIOM & IBD-CHARACTER) in an effort to improve understanding of the inflammatory bowel diseases; Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both projects draw upon a diverse range of scientific expertise and molecular techniques with the aim of providing new biomarkers to improve the accuracy of diagnosis and help to predict the disease course and response to specific treatments.

Anti-TNF withdrawal study launched

Following the successful thiopurine withdrawal study we now have the data collection forms ready for our UK-wide anti-TNF withdrawal study. We're conducting this study along similar lines as a retrospective, casenote review-based study (see study guide). We'd encourage as many centres as possible to identify patients who meet our inclusion criteria and collect the relevant data on the forms below.

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Anti-TNF withdrawal study

Following the success of our UK-wide study of thiopurine withdrawal, we will soon be launching a retrospective study to address the important topic of anti-TNF withdrawal.

Centres from around the UK are encouraged to submit cases using a simple one-page proforma, which will be available on this site once the study launches.

For further information and to receive updates on the study, please contact Nick Kennedy.

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Dr Charlie Lees podcasts on Crohn's genetics

Dr Lees recently recorded a podcast for Crohn's Connect:

'Our resident Crohn's patient finds out more about the link between genetics and Crohn's Disease in this fascinating interview with Dr Charlie Lees, Consultant Gastroenterologist and clinical lecturer at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.'

Visit Crohn's Connect to hear the podcast.

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