Crohn's disease: a review of treatment options and current research

Cell Immunol. 2013 Nov-Dec;286(1-2):45-52. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2013.11.003. Epub 2013 Nov 20.


Crohn's disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects nearly 1.4 million Americans. The etiology of Crohn's disease is not completely understood, however, research has suggested a genetic link. There is currently no known cure for Crohn's disease and, as a result, most government-funded research is being conducted to increase the quality of life of afflicted patients (i.e. reducing chronic inflammation and alleviating growth impairment in pediatric patients). A number of treatment options are available including an alpha-4 integrin inhibitor and several TNF-alpha inhibitors. Furthermore, research is being conducted on several alternative treatment options to help understand exactly which cellular mechanisms (i.e. inducing apoptosis in leukocytes) are required for clinical efficacy. This review seeks to chronicle the current available treatment options for patients affected by Crohn's disease to aid in understanding potential cellular mechanistic requirements for an efficacious drug, and shed light on potential options for future treatment.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; DC; IL; TNF; TNF-alpha blocker; dendritic cell; interleukin; tumor necrosis factor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy*
  • Crohn Disease / immunology
  • Crohn Disease / metabolism
  • Crohn Disease / pathology
  • Cytokines / therapeutic use
  • Disease Management*
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Integrin alpha4 / metabolism
  • Janus Kinase 2 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Janus Kinase 2 / metabolism
  • Linoleic Acids, Conjugated / therapeutic use
  • Natalizumab
  • Palliative Care
  • Rifamycins / therapeutic use
  • Rifaximin
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Cytokines
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Linoleic Acids, Conjugated
  • Natalizumab
  • Rifamycins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Integrin alpha4
  • Infliximab
  • JAK2 protein, human
  • Janus Kinase 2
  • Rifaximin