Precision medicine in inflammatory bowel disease: Concept, progress and challenges

Simon P. Borg-Bartolo, Ray Kiran Boyapati, Jack Satsangi, Rahul Kalla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are increasingly prevalent, relapsing and remitting inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) with variable disease courses and complications. Their aetiology remains unclear but current evidence shows an increasingly complex pathophysiology broadly centring on the genome, exposome, microbiome and immunome. Our increased understanding of disease pathogenesis is providing an ever-expanding arsenal of therapeutic options, but these can be expensive and patients can lose response or never respond to certain therapies. Therefore, there is now a growing need to personalise therapies on the basis of the underlying disease biology and a desire to shift our approach from 'reactive' management driven by disease complications to 'proactive' care with an aim to prevent disease sequelae. Precision medicine is the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual patient, encompassing a multitude of data-driven (and multi-omic) approaches to foster accurate clinical decision-making. In IBD, precision medicine would have significant benefits, enabling timely therapy that is both effective and appropriate for the individual. In this review, we summarise some of the key areas of progress towards precision medicine, including predicting disease susceptibility and its course, personalising therapies in IBD and monitoring response to therapy. We also highlight some of the challenges to be overcome in order to deliver this approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2020


  • Biomarkers
  • Crohn's disease
  • Genomics
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Microbiome
  • Precision medicine
  • Prognosis
  • Therapeutics
  • Ulcerative colitis

Cite this