Therapeutics for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in Children and Adolescents: A Focus on Biologics and an Individualized Treatment Paradigm

Batra S1, Conklin LS2. Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2019 Jul 25. doi: 10.1007/164_2019_255. [Epub ahead of print]


Author information

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.

George Washington University School of Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA. LConklin@childrensnational.org.


Pharmacologic treatment of children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) [Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis] requires consideration of disease and medication effects on growth and nutrition, the importance of durability of biologics, and concerns for long-term sequelae of disease and therapies. Achieving early remission in children with Crohn's diseasecorrelates with improved outcomes and therefore allows a window of opportunity for maximizing growth. Thus, there is a great need to treat children and adolescents with the right drug at the right time while achieving adequate exposure. Improved understanding of disease phenotypes, disease natural history, and risk stratification will play a critical role in treatment selection for children, particularly as more therapeutic options become available. Here we summarize data supporting newer concepts of treating the individual child with IBD through targeted early biologic treatment, including utilization of therapeutic drug monitoring to optimize treatment effects and the use of early antitumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α therapies to mitigate long-term sequelae of the disease. Recent inception cohort studies provide important data regarding the risk stratification of children and adolescents with IBD, which support a move toward a personalized therapeutic approach to IBD in children and adolescents.

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