The American Gastroenterological Association, the leading expert in Crohn's and other intestinal diseases released news recently that drug therapy following surgery can greatly reduce the chance of reoccurring flare ups.
The studies have shown that using the drug infliximab has been found to be effective preventing the re-inflammation of the intestines that commonly can happen after surgery for many Crohn's patients.
Surgery, which is necessary for nearly 75% of those that suffer from Crohn's disease, is often hoped to be the final solution to the painful and in some cases debilitating chronic illness. However, as many patients sadly discover, this mysterious disease can reoccur in previously healthy areas of the colon and small intestine. This acts as a depressing set back to someone who has come so far.
This discovery offers a great hope to those with upcoming surgeries as well as post surgical Crohn's patients.
A press release from the AGA quoted Miguel Regueiro, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "Our study provides strong evidence that infliximab is effective at preventing endoscopic, clinical and histological postoperative recurrence of Crohn's disease, and provides a rationale for aggressive postoperative chemoprevention with biologic therapy, We are encouraged by our findings, which warrant future study of the duration of post-operative infliximab maintenance and appropriate endoscopic follow up."
The study, which can be read on the website gives the following post-study information:
At one year, the rate of endoscopic recurrence was significantly lower in the infliximab group (9.1 percent) compared to the placebo group (84.6 percent). There was a non-significant higher proportion of patients in clinical remission in the infliximab group (80 percent) compared to the placebo group (53.8 percent). The histological recurrence rate at one year was significantly lower in the infliximab group (27.3 percent) compared to the placebo group (84.6 percent).
Even to the casual reader, 9 percent compared to 84 percent is a vast improvement. This represents nearly a complete difference in the quality of life someone coming out of surgery can expect to have.
From a personal perspective, this is a great advancement for someone who is going through this disease. Post surgery, my own Crohn's disease reoccurred within a few short month, which was nothing short of devastating. I was fortunate to have a treatment provider that stays current on recent developments and was able to start me on this particular regimen, which to date has greatly improved my quality of life.