The challenges of stratifying patients for trials in inflammatory bowel disease

Paolo Biancheri, Nick Powell, Giovanni Monteleone, Graham Lord, Thomas T. MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immunotherapy with biological agents or small molecules is revolutionising the treatment of chronic inflammatory disease in humans; however, a significant proportion of patients fail to respond or lose responsiveness. This is particularly evident in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a group of chronic, immune-mediated disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Different responsiveness to treatment in IBD can be explained by substantial disease heterogeneity, which is being increasingly recognised by genetic and immunological studies. The current enthusiasm for stratified medicine suggests that it may become possible to identify clinical, immunological, biochemical or genetic biomarkers to target immunotherapy to patients more likely to respond. Here, we identify and highlight the opportunities and the challenges of this strategy in the context of IBD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-571
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Biological therapy
  • Biomarker
  • Disease heterogeneity
  • Tumor necrosis factor-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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