The pan-European Ulcerative Colitis Condition, Attitude, Resources and Educational Study (UC CARES) and Programme of Ulcerative Colitis Research Studies Utilising an Investigational Treatment (PURSUIT) presented their results on ulcerative colitis (UC) patients at the 10th Congress of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) in Barcelona, Spain.
The UC CARES study concluded that 91% of patients who received conventional therapies for moderate to severe UC across Europe perceived their UC as highly disturbing during a flare-up, while 40% of patients reported disruption even when they were in remission.
“The UC CARES data remind us that regular flare-ups significantly disrupt quality of life. Most patients with UC want to get their disease under control without intermittent flares but many are still failing to achieve full disease control with conventional therapies. Understanding the impact of UC is important in the management of the disease, and clinicians need a focus on sustained symptom relief, ” says Paul Robison, Medical Director at MSD (Merck in the United States and Canada).
Another important finding was the rate of very knowledgeable patients about their disease at 84%. Approximately 63% of patients reported seeking information about UC and/or various treatment options, and 96% rely on their physician as the main source of medical information relating to UC treatment options.
PURSUIT presented data showing that the levels of calprotectin (an indicator of intestinal inflammation) at six weeks predicts a continuous clinical response to SIMPONI® (golimumab), an antibody that blocks the inflammatory molecule TNF, without clinical flare through week 54.
“PURSUIT raises the bar for the concept of continuous response and a role for patient self-monitoring through patient-reported outcomes. Physicians need to adopt practice to aim for full symptom relief, ” explains Robinson.
UC is a chronic inflammatory disease in the colon characterized by ulcers. The specific cause is unknown but it involves genetic, immunological and environmental factors. UC leads to persistent diarrhea accompanied by abdominal pain and blood in the stool, these symptoms tend to come and go with long periods of no distress for patients. Although the remission periods can last for months or even years, patients will experience unpredictable flare-ups. Patients require regular follow-up with healthcare providers.