Infliximab (Remicade), a new biological treatment for Crohn's disease

Ital J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1999 Aug-Sep;31(6):519-20.


Tumour necrosis factor plays a pivotal role in Crohn's disease intestinal inflammation. Blocking this cytokine by means of the chimeric monoclonal antibody infliximab has led to a rapid reduction in mucosal inflammation. More than 65% of refractory Crohn's disease patients treated with infliximab showed a remarkable improvement in their symptoms, which was maintained by repeated infusions every 2 months up to 44 weeks. Patients with draining enterocutaneous fistulae also benefited from infliximab treatment, with more than 60% of fistulae healed after 3 infusions. Adverse events following infliximab infusions were mild and transient, occurring with the same frequency in infliximab and placebo-treated patients. In conclusion, infliximab appears to offer a promising novel therapeutic agent for refractory and fistulizing Crohn's disease. Long-term risks and benefits remain to be determined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab