Therapy of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: What to Expect in the Next Decade

David A. Leiman; Gary R. Lichtenstein


Curr Opin Gastroenterol 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Purpose of Review. The increased understanding of the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has led to a wide range of potential therapeutic targets for this condition. Physicians treating individuals with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis have a growing armamentarium of options to choose from in managing these patients. This article aims to summarize the relevant literature in the area of emerging therapy in IBD.

Recent Findings. The widespread use of antitumor necrosis factor medications brought a landmark change in the treatment of IBD. More recently, several drugs have been shown to provide benefit in IBD in phase III studies by blocking other antiinflammatory pathways. The most likely new medications that will be available include vedolizumab for ulcerative colitis and ustekinumab for Crohn's disease, which target cellular adhesion and inflammatory cell signaling, respectively. Other promising drugs focus on blockade of Janus kinase, inhibition of various chemokines, and biologic therapy such as hematopoietic stem cell transplants and mesenchymal cell infusions.

Summary. The growing understanding of the pathogenesis of IBD has led to new molecular targets for therapy. Over the next decade, the number of treatments available will grow, targeting cellular adhesion, protein regulation, inflammatory signal pathways, and immune tolerance.


Scientific advances have led to an improved understanding of factors promoting and inhibiting the inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These advances have paved the pathway toward an array of exciting and complex new medical therapeutic targets. This review article highlights current and emerging therapies that will likely play an important role in the management of both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the forthcoming years.