A Treat-to-Target Update in Ulcerative Colitis: A Systematic Review

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OBJECTIVES:In 2015, the Selecting Therapeutic Targets in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (STRIDE) program proposed shifting the therapeutic focus on ulcerative colitis (UC) toward altering the natural history of the disease course by regularly monitoring objective measurements of disease activity and tailoring treatment accordingly. The therapeutic paradigm shift was well received in the research community and is often cited. However, new evidence on optimal UC treatment targets continues to accumulate since the time of the STRIDE guidelines. This systematic review summarizes the evidence accrued since the STRIDE UC recommendations, discusses the barriers for adoption of treat-to-target approaches in clinical practice in UC, and suggests directions for future research.METHODS:We systematically reviewed MEDLINE for studies from the time of the STRIDE systematic review up to March 31, 2018, that assessed the potential treatment targets identified by the STRIDE recommendations.RESULTS:Each potential treatment target literature search returned > 200 articles, which were then reviewed by 2 independent investigators for relevant studies. Selected studies of clinical factors, patient-reported outcomes, endoscopy, histology, imaging, and biomarkers and implications on treatment targets are summarized.CONCLUSIONS:It appears that the relative weight given to different therapeutic targets in the development and improvement of UC treatments could be optimized, with an increased emphasis on endoscopic and histological targets over clinical or symptomatic targets. For this evolution to occur, however, new research has to demonstrate that the treat-to-target approach will deliver on the promise of better long-term outcomes compared with current approaches.

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