Aim: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of adalimumab, a human antitumour necrosis factor-alpha antibody, in induction and maintenance of remission in patients with Crohn's disease either refractory or intolerant to infliximab in a single centre cohort.
Methods: Sixteen Crohn's disease patients received 160 mg adalimumab subcutaneously in week 0, followed by 80 mg every other week. Clinical response was assessed based on Crohn's disease activity index and laboratory parameters (leukocyte count, C-reactive protein). In all patients genotyping for CARD15 variants and the +1059G/C polymorphism in the C-reactive protein gene was performed.
Results: In 10 of 16 patients (63%) treated with adalimumab, remission (CDAI score <150) was induced for at least 8 weeks independent of CARD15 or +1059G/C CRP status. In six of these 10 patients ongoing remission is observed now for more than 24 weeks. Adalimumab significantly decreased C-reactive protein serum levels and Crohn's disease activity index. There was one serious complication (fungal pneumonia). Six patients intermittently developed minor dermatological problems resolving after topical therapy. Otherwise, treatment was generally well tolerated.
Conclusion: Adalimumab can induce and maintain remission in patients with moderate to severe Crohn's disease intolerant or refractory to infliximab. Further experience from larger cohorts is required to evaluate dose regimen and safety profiles in Crohn's disease therapy.