Results of the Seventh Scientific Workshop of ECCO: Precision Medicine in IBD-What, Why, and How

J Crohns Colitis. 2021 Sep 25;15(9):1410-1430. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjab051.

Claudio Fiocchi 1, Gabriele Dragoni 2 3, Dimitrios Iliopoulos 4, Konstantinos Katsanos 5, Vicent Hernandez Ramirez 6, Kohei Suzuki 7, Scientific Workshop Steering Committee


Author information


  • Scientific Workshop Steering Committee

Bram Verstockt, Claudio Fiocchi, Joana Torres, Michael Scharl


  • 1Department of Inflammation & Immunity, Lerner Research Institute, and Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Digestive Disease Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA.
  • 2Gastroenterology Research Unit, Department of Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences 'Mario Serio', University of Florence, Florence,Italy.
  • 3IBD Referral Center, Gastroenterology Department, Careggi University Hospital, Florence,Italy.
  • 4Athos Therapeutics Inc., Torrance, CA, USA.
  • 5Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ioannina School of Health Sciences, Ioannina,Greece.
  • 6Department of Gastroenterology, Xerencia Xestión Integrada de Vigo, and Research Group in Digestive Diseases, Galicia Sur Health Research Institute [IIS Galicia Sur], SERGAS-UVIGO, Vigo, Spain.
  • 7Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX,USA.


Many diseases that affect modern humans fall in the category of complex diseases, thus called because they result from a combination of multiple aetiological and pathogenic factors. Regardless of the organ or system affected, complex diseases present major challenges in diagnosis, classification, and management. Current forms of therapy are usually applied in an indiscriminate fashion based on clinical information, but even the most advanced drugs only benefit a limited number of patients and to a variable and unpredictable degree. This 'one measure does not fit all' situation has spurred the notion that therapy for complex disease should be tailored to individual patients or groups of patients, giving rise to the notion of 'precision medicine' [PM]. Inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] is a prototypical complex disease where the need for PM has become increasingly clear. This prompted the European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation to focus the Seventh Scientific Workshop on this emerging theme. The articles in this special issue of the Journal address the various complementary aspects of PM in IBD, including what PM is; why it is needed and how it can be used; how PM can contribute to prediction and prevention of IBD; how IBD PM can aid in prognosis and improve response to therapy; and the challenges and future directions of PM in IBD. This first article of this series is structured on three simple concepts [what, why, and how] and addresses the definition of PM, discusses the rationale for the need of PM in IBD, and outlines the methodology required to implement PM in IBD in a correct and clinically meaningful way.

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