Scientific corner

Treatment options for children and adolescents with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Is granulomonocytapheresis an effective alternative to drug therapy?

Tomotaka Tanaka 1Takayuki Yamamoto 2Koji Sawada 3Rodolfo Sacco 4 , Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 Aug;11(8):749-758.

Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) require life-long medications, which even if effective have the potential to cause adverse effects as additional morbidity factors. In pediatric patients, drug therapy has more serious limitations, including impaired physical and mental development. A non-drug therapeutic option is believed to be depletion of elevated and activated granulocytes and monocytes known to release inflammatory cytokines, like the CD14+CD16+ monocyte phenotype known to release tumor necrosis factor-α. Areas covered: Granulomonocyteapheresis (GMA) with an Adacolumn as a treatment option for IBD patients has been applied for the past 15 years. This article reviews the argument that GMA is a relevant and effective non-pharmacologic intervention in pediatric IBD setting. Expert commentary: GMA with an Adacolumn has shown promise in adult, pediatric, and adolescent patients with active IBD. There is evidence of post-GMA immunomodulation in terms of increased regulatory T-cell and B-cell activities. Additionally, patients who respond to GMA may attain a favorable long-term clinical course by avoiding pharmacologicals during an early phase of their active IBD. GMA has a good safety profile, especially in difficult-to-treat and pediatric settings. An additional trial is warranted to assess the efficacy of GMA in the early phase of pediatric IBD to optimize patient selection.

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