Efficacy of thiopurines and adalimumab in preventing Crohn's disease recurrence in high-risk patients - A POCER study analysis

P. De Cruz, M. A. Kamm, A. L. Hamilton, K. J. Ritchie, E. O. Krejany, A. Gorelik, D. Liew, L. Prideaux, I. C. Lawrance, J. M. Andrews, P. A. Bampton, S. Jakobovits, T. H. Florin, P. R. Gibson, H. Debinski, R. B. Gearry, F. A. Macrae, R. W. Leong, I. Kronborg, G. Radford-SmithW. Selby, M. J. Johnston, R. Woods, P. R. Elliott, S. J. Bell, S. J. Brown, W. R. Connell, P. V. Desmond

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Background Crohn's disease recurs in the majority of patients after intestinal resection. Aim To compare the relative efficacy of thiopurines and anti-TNF therapy in patients at high risk of disease recurrence. Methods As part of a larger study comparing post-operative management strategies, patients at high risk of recurrence (smoker, perforating disease, ≥2nd operation) were treated after resection of all macroscopic disease with 3 months metronidazole together with either azathioprine 2 mg/kg/day or mercaptopurine 1.5 mg/kg/day. Thiopurine-intolerant patients received adalimumab induction then 40 mg fortnightly. Patients underwent colonoscopy at 6 months with endoscopic recurrence assessed blind to treatment. Results A total of 101 patients [50% male; median (IQR) age 36 (25-46) years] were included. There were no differences in disease history between thiopurine- and adalimumab-treated patients. Fifteen patients withdrew prior to 6 months, five due to symptom recurrence (of whom four were colonoscoped). Endoscopic recurrence (Rutgeerts score i2-i4) occurred in 33 of 73 (45%) thiopurine vs. 6 of 28 (21%) adalimumab-treated patients [intention-to-treat (ITT); P = 0.028] or 24 of 62 (39%) vs. 3 of 24 (13%) respectively [per-protocol analysis (PPA); P = 0.020]. Complete mucosal endoscopic normality (Rutgeerts i0) occurred in 17/73 (23%) vs. 15/28 (54%) (ITT; P = 0.003) and in 27% vs. 63% (PPA; P = 0.002). The most advanced disease (Rutgeerts i3 and i4) occurred in 8% vs. 4% (thiopurine vs. adalimumab). Conclusions In Crohn's disease patients at high risk of post-operative recurrence adalimumab is superior to thiopurines in preventing early disease recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-879
Number of pages13
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2015

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De Cruz, P., Kamm, M. A., Hamilton, A. L., Ritchie, K. J., Krejany, E. O., Gorelik, A., Liew, D., Prideaux, L., Lawrance, I. C., Andrews, J. M., Bampton, P. A., Jakobovits, S., Florin, T. H., Gibson, P. R., Debinski, H., Gearry, R. B., Macrae, F. A., Leong, R. W., Kronborg, I., ... Desmond, P. V. (2015). Efficacy of thiopurines and adalimumab in preventing Crohn's disease recurrence in high-risk patients - A POCER study analysis. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 42(7), 867-879. https://doi.org/10.1111/apt.13353