Background & aims: The efficacy of infliximab for treating patients with ulcerative colitis has been established.
Methods: The Active Ulcerative Colitis Trial (ACT)-1 and ACT-2 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies evaluated infliximab induction and maintenance therapy in moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis. Overall, 728 patients received placebo or infliximab (5 or 10 mg/kg) intravenously at weeks 0, 2, and 6, then every 8 weeks through week 46 (ACT-1) or 22 (ACT-2). Colectomy, hospitalization, and surgery/procedure data through 54 weeks after the first infusion were obtained from ACT-1, ACT-2, and associated data sources. In the prespecified analysis, all data were combined to ascertain time to colectomy. Kaplan-Meier product-limit method was used to estimate the cumulative incidence of colectomy, and log-rank test was used to compare the combined infliximab group and placebo.
Results: Eighty-seven percent (630 of 728) of patients had complete colectomy follow-up; 13% (98 of 728) of patients had a median follow-up of 6.2 months. The cumulative incidence of colectomy through 54 weeks was 10% for infliximab and 17% for placebo (P = .02), yielding an absolute risk reduction of 7%. Compared with placebo, fewer ulcerative colitis-related hospitalizations and surgeries/procedures per 100 patient-years of treatment occurred with infliximab therapy: 40 vs 20 (P = .003) and 34 vs 21 (P = .03), respectively. Serious adverse events occurring in infliximab-treated patients included serious infections, tuberculosis, histoplasmosis, listeriosis, and malignancy.
Conclusions: Patients with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis treated with infliximab were less likely to undergo colectomy through 54 weeks than those receiving placebo.