Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, a chronic, progressive and disabling disease.
A new study published in The Lancet revolutionizes the strategy for treating the disease and opens the door to future developments. Professor Silvio Danese, Head of the Centre for Chronic Inflammatory Intestinal Diseases at Humanitas, who is one of the authors of the study, spoke about it at Obiettivo Salute on Radio 24.
“Until now, we have only relied on symptoms to modify the treatment of patients with Crohn’s disease, but in this study we have shown that symptoms are not enough and that all parameters of inflammation, such as fecal calprotectin or reactive C protein, need to be evaluated to modify the treatment.
Another feature of this study is that we considered newly diagnosed patients with a very short duration of disease. We have shown that treating the disease not only by considering the symptoms, but by turning off all the markers of inflammation leads to better control not only with regard to the symptoms but especially for ulcers, from the endoscopic point of view and in the long term reduces the number of hospitalizations of patients,” explained Prof. Danese.
“Unlike many other diseases, Crohn’s disease has one characteristic: patients who suffer from it have the ability to adapt to symptoms and are able to feel good in a way, although in reality the disease is present and the fire of inflammation continues to gradually progress and create complications in their intestines.
In the long term, it is essential that patients not only control their symptoms, but also have their blood and feces examined every 3-6 months. There are now non-invasive methods (such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging) that help to control the disease and ensure the possibility of intervention where there is still inflammation even in the absence of symptoms; the doctor can intervene by modulating the therapies, so as to have the long-term absence of intestinal complications,” he added.