Objective disease activity assessment and therapeutic drug monitoring prior to biologic therapy changes in routine inflammatory bowel disease clinical practice: TARGET-IBD

BMC Gastroenterol. 2022 Feb 19;22(1):71. doi: 10.1186/s12876-022-02143-x.

Benjamin Click 1, Edward L Barnes 2, Benjamin L Cohen 1, Bruce E Sands 3, John S Hanson 4, David T Rubin 5, Marla C Dubinsky 3, Miguel Regueiro 1, Derek Gazis 6, Julie M Crawford 7, Millie D Long 2


Author information

1. Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, USA.

2. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.

3. Mount Sinai, New York, USA.

4. Atrium Health, Charlotte, USA.

5. University of Chicago, Chicago, USA.

6. Target RWE Health Evidence Solutions, 2520 Meridian Pkwy, Suite 105, Durham, NC, 27713, USA.

7. Target RWE Health Evidence Solutions, 2520 Meridian Pkwy, Suite 105, Durham, NC, 27713, USA. jcrawford@targetrwe.com.


Background: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treatment paradigms recommend objective disease activity assessment and reactive therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) prior to changes in biologic therapy. We aimed to describe objective marker and TDM assessment in routine clinical practice prior to biologic therapeutic changes in adult IBD patients.

Methods: TARGET-IBD is a prospective longitudinal cohort of over 2100 IBD patients receiving usual care at 34 US academic or community centers enrolled between June 2017 and October 2019 who received biologic therapy and had a dose change or biologic discontinuation for lack of efficacy. Objective markers of disease activity within 12 weeks prior included fecal calprotectin, C-reactive protein (CRP), endoscopy, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). TDM data for infliximab or adalimumab was obtained.

Results: 525 patients (71.4% Crohn's disease [CD], 28.6% ulcerative colitis [UC]) receiving biologic therapy underwent dose change (55.6%) or discontinuation (44.4%) for lack of efficacy. The majority were Caucasian (85.7%), 18-39 years old (52.2%), privately insured (81.5%), and at academic centers (73.7%). For dose changes, 67.5% had at least one objective disease activity assessment or TDM in the 12 weeks prior (CD 67.9%, UC 66.2%; P = 0.79). The most common objective marker was CRP in both CD (39.1%) and UC (54.5%). CRP and calprotectin were used significantly more in UC (P = 0.02 and P = 0.03). TDM was obtained in 30.7% (28.8% UC, 31.4% CD; P = 0.72) prior to dose change. For biologic discontinuation, 79.4% patients underwent objective assessment or TDM prior. In CD, CRP (46.3%) was most common, and CT (P = 0.03) and MRI (P < 0.001) were significantly more frequent than in UC. TDM was performed in 40.1% of patients (43.5% UC, 38.0% CD, P = 0.49) prior to discontinuation. Among all participants with dose change or discontinuation, endoscopy was performed in 29.3% with CD and 31.3% with UC. Academic care setting was associated with objective assessment before therapy change (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.01-2.50).

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