Selective granulocyte and monocyte apheresis in inflammatory bowel disease: Its past, present and future
The etiology and pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, are not fully understood so far. Therefore, IBD still remains incurable despite the fact that significant progress has been achieved in recent years in its treatment with innovative medicine. About 20 years ago, selective granulocyte and monocyte apheresis (GMA) was invented in Japan and later approved by the Japanese health authority for IBD treatment. From then on this technique was extensively used for IBD patients in Japan and later in Europe. Clinical trials from Japan and European countries have verified the effectiveness and safety of GMA therapy in patients with IBD. In 2013, GMA therapy was approved by China State Food and Drug Administration for therapeutic use for the Chinese IBD patients. However, GMA therapy has not been extensively used in China, although a few clinical studies also showed that it was effective in clinical and endoscopic induction of remission in Chinese IBD patients with a high safety profile. This article reviews past history, present clinical application as well as the future prospective of GMA therapy for patients with IBD.
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