UKIBDGC - genetics of prognosis in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
Institution or company
University of Cambridge
Gastroenterology, Genomics and Rare Diseases
The role of genetics in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (collectively termed inflammatory bowel disease or IBD) has been extensively and successfully studied over the past 15 years. There is, however, a growing recognition that genetics is likely to contribute to other important aspects of IBD, including the course that the disease follows after diagnosis and the incidence of serious medication side effects. We have requested the anonymised clinical phenotyping data for patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease in the IBD BioResource in order to identify subgoups of patients with specific clinical characteristics. For example, patients who have never required any immunomodulatory or biological drugs (and so have mild disease) or others who have required several of these types of drugs (and so are likely to have had more severe disease). By identifying groups of patients with specific clinical characteristics, we will be able to compare their genetic profiles to identify differences in their DNA that might affect the course of disease, or determine whether a patient will respond to a particular therapy. By identifying such genetic variants, we hope to better understand the biological processes that are responsible for these important clinical differences and thereby help personalise treatment to individual patients in the future. These analyses are a major research priority for the UK IBD Genetics Consortium. Better understanding of what drives aggressive / progressive IBD with the potential to identify new therapeutic targets, and/or predict the development of genetic tests to help match patients to the treatment(s) that are best for them.