Can Etrolizumab Prompt Ulcerative Colitis Remission?
If you have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) and have tried more than one UC medication, you are not alone.
In fact, in UC treatment, a gastroenterologist will often start their UC patient on mesalamine, which has shown to induce UC remission in only half of patients. If mesalamine doesn’t work, patients often follow a progression of different UC therapies, including corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and biologic therapies (anti-TNFs).
At Discover Therapies, we recently spoke with Liz, an ulcerative colitis patient who spoke about her 10-year struggle to find a UC medication that works. Over a decade, Liz searched for IBD treatment, trying to manage her symptoms with prednisone, Remicade, an assortment of steroids, and even turmeric supplements.
New UC Treatment Option: Etrolizumab
Fortunately for patients like Liz, pharmaceutical researchers and clinical doctors are working to develop a number of new UC medications, focusing on treatments with the potential for more convenient administration, fewer side effects, higher success rates, and lower costs.
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What condition do you have?Crohn's Disease Ulcerative Colitis
Etrolizumab is one of these promising new ulcerative colitis therapies, in development with pharmaceutical company Roche. It is a monoclonal antibody that targets certain integrins—this means that is selectively inhibits certain receptors in immune cell membranes that play a role in the immune and inflammatory response characteristic of IBD.
Etrolizumab Clinical Trials
This new UC treatment is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials as researchers evaluate the medication’s efficacy on large numbers of real patients. Like Liz, many patients who join clinical trials come with a history of having tried many different UC meds, only to be let down by the results. And like many patients, Liz was wary of trying yet another medication—especially a treatment still in clinical trials.
A dedicated IBD specialist, Dr. Bressler spoke with Liz about the latest IBD treatment research and what it would be like to participate in a clinical trial. Liz learned that Etrolizumab is not a risky experimental medicine, but rather part of a whole group of integrin inhibitors including several approved treatments that have been in use for years (vedolizumab, natalizumab, and other drugs ending in -mab).
In September 2014, Liz joined a clinical trial for Etrolizumab. Four months later, a biopsy revealed healthy tissue in the place of a large bleeding ulcer that had persisted for years. In fact, her experience was so positive that she felt as though she’d never had the disease at all.
Don’t Stop Searching for the Best UC Treatment
For UC patients who are frustrated by failed medications and unpredictable symptoms, Liz reminds us of the importance of asking questions, staying on top of the latest IBD research, and speaking with specialists who are informed about the latest IBD treatment options.
As more patients participate in Etrolizumab clinical trials, researchers will gain a better understanding of the medicine’s long-term effects and most effective dosing regimen. The outlook remains positive: our understanding of IBD treatment options will only become more advanced as researchers and patients continue to search for treatments that result in a greater number of patients like Liz, who tell a story of UC treatment success.
Take the next step towards a UC treatment that works—to learn more about clinical trials and determine your eligibility to participate, take a short quiz on Discover Therapies.
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Bewtra, M., & Johnson, F. R. (2013). Assessing Patient Preferences for Treatment Options and Process of Care in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Critical Review of Quantitative Data. The Patient, 6(4), 10.1007/s40271–013–0031–2. http://doi.org/10.1007/s40271-013-0031-2