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Mucosal Immunol. 2014 Jan;7(1):6-19. doi: 10.1038/mi.2013.73. Epub 2013 Oct 2.

New targets for mucosal healing and therapy in inflammatory bowel diseases.

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Medical Clinic 1, Friedrich-Alexander University Clinic, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.


Healing of the inflamed mucosa (mucosal healing) is an emerging new goal for therapy and predicts clinical remission and resection-free survival in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs). The era of antitumor necrosis factor (TNF) antibody therapy was a remarkable progress in IBD therapy and anti-TNF agents led to mucosal healing in a subgroup of IBD patients; however, many patients do not respond to anti-TNF treatment highlighting the relevance of finding new targets for therapy of IBD. In particular, current studies are addressing the role of other anticytokine agents including antibodies against interleukin (IL)-6R, IL-13, and IL-12/IL-23 as well as new anti-inflammatory concepts (regulatory T cell therapy, Smad7 antisense, Jak inhibition, Toll-like receptor 9 stimulation, worm eggs). In addition, blockade of T-cell homing via the integrins α4β7 and the addressin mucosal vascular addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 (MAdCAM-1) emerges as a promising new approach for IBD therapy. Here, new approaches for achieving mucosal healing are discussed as well as their implications for future therapy of IBD.

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