Challenges in IBD Research: Precision Medicine

Lee A. Denson, Mark Curran, Dermot P.B. McGovern, Walter A. Koltun, Richard H. Duerr, Sandra C. Kim, R. Balfour Sartor, Francisco A. Sylvester, Clara Abraham, Edwin F. de Zoeten, Corey A. Siegel, Richéal M. Burns, Angela M. Dobes, Nataly Shtraizent, Gerard Honig, Caren A. Heller, Andrés Hurtado-Lorenzo, Judy H. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Precision medicine is part of five focus areas of the Challenges in IBD research document, which also includes preclinical human IBD mechanisms, environmental triggers, novel technologies, and pragmatic clinical research. The Challenges in IBD Research document provides a comprehensive overview of current gaps in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) research and delivers actionable approaches to address them. It is the result of a multidisciplinary input from scientists, clinicians, patients, and funders, and represents a valuable resource for patient centric research prioritization. In particular, the precision medicine section is focused on highlighting the main gap areas that must be addressed to get closer to treatments tailored to the biological and clinical characteristics of each patient, which is the aim of precision medicine. The main gaps were identified in: 1) understanding and predicting the natural history of IBD: disease susceptibility, activity, and behavior; 2) predicting disease course and treatment response; and 3) optimizing current and developing new molecular technologies. Suggested approaches to bridge these gaps include prospective longitudinal cohort studies to identify and validate precision biomarkers for prognostication of disease course, and prediction and monitoring of treatment response. To achieve this, harmonization across studies is key as well as development of standardized methods and infrastructure. The implementation of state-of-the-art molecular technologies, systems biology and machine learning approaches for multi-omics and clinical data integration and analysis will be also fundamental. Finally, randomized biomarker-stratified trials will be critical to evaluate the clinical utility of validated signatures and biomarkers in improving patient outcomes and cost-effective care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S31-S39
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
StatePublished - 16 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Crohn’s disease
  • biological signature
  • biomarker
  • deep phenotyping
  • patient stratification
  • precision medicine
  • ulcerative colitis


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