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The use of biological agents in inflammatory bowel diseases across the Asia-Pacific region is increasing. As new molecules and targets are identified, knowledge regarding the indications, utility, optimization and adverse effects of biological agents grows. Careful patient selection, attention to communication and patient education will maximize the benefit of these drugs. Tertiary referral centers with specific interest in inflammatory bowel diseases and experience play an important role in their use. There is enormous opportunity for patients to benefit from biological agents in the therapy of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Use of these agents has been studied across a variety of indications and populations, and at different stages in the disease course. Failure to respond or loss of response can result from different causes, and can be medically managed in many cases. More research on the pleiotropic effects, safety of biological agents and biomarkers in the prediction of response will provide a sounder basis for individually directing therapy. Adverse events such as opportunistic infection and malignancy can occur, and screening prior to therapy and discussion on risk-benefit of the various management options are important. Cost of these medications especially with maintenance therapy remains an important issue in many Asia-Pacific countries. New and more specific agents will better target therapy and minimize adverse events. © 2011 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.


Crispin Corte, Payal Saxena, Stephen Tattersall, Christian Selinger, Rupert W Leong. When to use biological agents in inflammatory bowel disease. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology. 2012 Jul;27(7):1141-9

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PMID: 22188169

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