Objectives: The use of monoclonal anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antibodies (infliximab, Remicade) is a new therapeutic approach for severe refractory luminal or fistulizing, Crohn's disease (CD). However, up to 30% of patients do not respond to this treatment. So far, no parameters predictive of response to anti-TNF have been identified. Our aim was to determine whether serological markers ASCA (anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies) or pANCA (perinuclear antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies) could identify Crohn's patients likely to benefit from anti-TNF therapy.
Methods: Serum samples of 279 CD patients were analyzed for ASCA and pANCA before anti-TNF therapy. A blinded physician determined clinical response at week 4 (refractory luminal CD) or week 10 (fistulizing CD) after the first infusion of infliximab (5 mg/kg).
Results: Overall, there was no relationship between ASCA or pANCA and response to therapy. However, lower response rates were observed for patients with refractory intestinal disease carrying the pANCA+/ASCA- combination, although this lacked significance (p = 0.067).
Conclusions: In this cohort of infliximab-treated patients, neither ASCA nor pANCA could predict response to treatment. However, the combination pANCA+/ASCA- might warrant further investigation for its value in predicting nonresponse in patients with refractory luminal disease.