Vedolizumab, an option in patients with inflammatory bowel disease intolerant to thiopurines and refractory to biological agents.
Vedolizumab (VDZ), a human monoclonal antibody that binds specifically to α4β7-integrin, and is approved for the treatment of Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), has demonstrated its efficacy in controlled clinical trials.
Objective: To describe a population treated with VDZ and to evaluate its long-term efficacy and safety in clinical practice.
Methods: An observational and multicentre study was carried out on patients with inflammatory bowel disease treated with VDZ for at least one year. An evaluation was performed on the activity indices, faecal calprotectin and C-reactive protein levels, hospital admissions, surgeries, and adverse events.
Results: A total of 73 patients were analysed (43 UC and 30 CD). More than one anti-TNF and more than one immunosuppressive was previously used by 74 and 23%, respectively, of UC patients, and 90 and 37%, respectively of CD patients. VDZ was stopped in 17 (23%) patients, 10 UC and 7 CD, due to a lack or loss of response before the first year, or due to adverse events. An intensification of the dose was required in 26 (63%) UC, and 16 (53%) CD patients. At 6 months, 70 and 42% of UC patients, and 80 and 43% of CD patients achieved a clinical response and remission, respectively. At one year, 58 and 35% of UC patients and 47 and 43% of CD patients, maintained the clinical response and remission, respectively. The C-reactive protein decreased significantly in both CD and UC patients. However, the decrease in faecal calprotectin was only achieved during follow-up in UC, but not in CD patients. Eight patients with CD that had been treated previously with ustekinumab avoided surgery at one year. A colectomy was performed on 8 (18.6%) UC patients, and 4 (13.3%) CD patients needed surgery. Six patients (8%) (5 UC and 1 CD) had adverse events. The concomitant use of corticosteroids or immunomodulators did not increase the efficacy. Those with a higher number of previous anti-TNF treatments showed less remissions in UC and responses in CD.
Conclusions: After one year of VDZ, a clinical response and remission was induced in a considerable percentage of patients refractory to different biological or immunosuppressive therapies. VDZ can be considered as an alternative in those intolerant to immunosuppressives, with few adverse events.