Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Apr 28, 2015; 21(16): 4773-4778
Published online Apr 28, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i16.4773
Withdrawal of anti-tumour necrosis factor α therapy in inflammatory bowel disease
Konstantinos Papamichael, Severine Vermeire
Konstantinos Papamichael, Severine Vermeire, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Author contributions: Papamichael K wrote the manuscript; Vermeire S critically revised the manuscript; all authors approved the final version of the article.
Conflict-of-interest: Papamichael K has received a consultancy fee from MSD Hellas; and Vermeire S has received research funding from UCB Pharma, Abbvie and UCB Pharma, lecture fees from Abbott, Abbvie, MSD, Ferring Pharmaceuticals and UCB Pharma and consultancy fees from Pfizer, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Shire Pharmaceuticals Group, MSD, and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Konstantinos Papamichael, MD, PhD, FEBGH, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium. konstantinos.papamichail@kuleuven.be
Telephone: +32-16-377557 Fax: +32-16-344419
Received: November 18, 2014
Peer-review started: November 19, 2014
First decision: December 11, 2014
Revised: January 7, 2015
Accepted: February 11, 2015
Article in press: February 11, 2015
Published online: April 28, 2015
Core Tip

Core tip: Anti-tumour necrosis factor α (anti-TNFα) therapy is an established treatment in inflammatory bowel disease. Although guidelines exist on initiation of anti-TNFα therapy in inflammatory bowel diseases, information on if, when, how and in whom therapy can be stopped is limited. This is nevertheless an important topic taking under consideration the cost and the possible adverse events associated with biological agents as well as the desire of patients to discontinue medication especially after a long maintained remission. Moreover, although drug discontinuation for reasons other than loss of response is very usual in real-life clinical practice, the optimal withdrawal strategy is still debated.