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 19 January 2018

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News

Interferon ▀-1a: a novel treatment for ulcerative colitis

A study in the August issue of Gut concludes that interferon ▀-1a may represent a promising new treatment approach in ulcerative colitis.

News image

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Administration of interferon (IFN)-▀ may offer a novel approach to the treatment of ulcerative colitis through its immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects.

Dr S Nikolaus and colleagues conducted a randomized trial of 18 patients to investigate the efficacy and tolerability of IFN-▀-1a as a treatment of ulcerative colitis.

Patients with moderately active ulcerative colitis were randomized to receive IFN-▀-1a or placebo.

Clinical response was achieved in 50% of patients who received IFN-▀-1a.
Gut
IFN-▀-1a was started at a dose of 22 µg three times a week subcutaneously, and the dose was increased at two-week intervals to 44 µg and then to 88 µg if no response was observed.

Treatment lasted for no more than 8 weeks.

Clinical response was achieved in 5 out of 10 patients (50%) in the IFN-▀-1a group and in 1 out of 7 patients (14%) in the placebo group.

3 of the patients who received IFN-▀-1a were found to be in remission at post-treatment endoscopy. None of the patients in the placebo group achieved remission.

IFN-▀-1a was well tolerated. Most adverse reactions associated with IFN-▀-1a were influenza-like symptoms or injection site reactions, and were mild or moderate in severity.

The study suggests that IFN-▀-1a may represent a novel treatment for ulcerative colitis. Larger studies will be needed to confirm its efficacy.

Gut 2003; 52: 1286-90
13 August 2003

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