Proactively optimized infliximab monotherapy is as effective as combination therapy in IBD

Sara Lega, Becky L. Phan, Casey J. Rosenthal, Julia Gordon, Nichola Haddad, Nanci Pittman, Keith J. Benkov, Marla C. Dubinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Background Infliximab (IFX) discontinuation is not uncommon during the first year of treatment due to inadequate drug concentrations and anti-IFX antibodies (ATI). Both combination therapy and proactive therapeutic drug monitoring (pTDM) are used to decrease ATI and increase IFX durability. We proposed that monotherapy (Mono) is as effective as combination therapy (Combo) if the first maintenance infusion is dosed based on week 10 pTDM. Methods In a retrospective cohort of 83 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), we examined the frequency of IFX discontinuation, ATI, infusion reactions, and IFX concentrations during the first year of treatment in patients receiving week 10 pTDM-guided IFX monotherapy (Mono pTDM; n = 16) compared with patients on mono (n = 32) or combination therapy (n = 35) in whom TDM was introduced at or after week 14, per standard of care (SOC). Results The frequency of IFX discontinuation was lower with Mono pTDM compared with Mono SOC (P = 0.04) but did not differ with Combo SOC (P = 1). At first TDM, no patient in the pTDM strategy had ATI, vs 41% in Mono SOC (P = 0.002) and 6% in Combo SOC (P = 1). Of the 13 subjects with ATI in Mono SOC, 7 (47%) had ATI already at week 14. IFX trough concentrations with Mono pTDM were higher during maintenance compared with Mono SOC (9.5 vs 6.4 μg/mL, P = 0.04) but not Combo SOC. Conclusions Infliximab durability did not differ between patients on IFX monotherapy dosed based on p-TDM and patients receiving combination therapy. In the absence of concomitant immunosuppression, proactive TDM may improve IFX durability by maintaining higher IFX concentrations entering into maintenance. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-141
Number of pages8
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • infliximab durability
  • infliximab monotherapy
  • infliximab optimization
  • proactive therapeutic drug monitoring


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