Functional Molecular Network Analysis Enables Prediction of Response to Vedolizumab Therapy in Anti-TNF Refractory IBD Patients

Crohns Colitis 360. 2020 Apr;2(2):otaa037. doi: 10.1093/crocol/otaa037. Epub 2020 May 24.


Background: We applied for the first time 2 label-free technologies, physiological intermolecular modulation spectroscopy (PIMS) and nematic protein organization technic (NPOT) in anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) refractory inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients to identify clinical responders to vedolizumab therapy and elucidate their underlying functional molecular network.

Methods: PIMS analysis was performed in peripheral blood taken prior to the first vedolizumab application in 20 IBD patients (Crohn disease n = 13; ulcerative colitis n = 7) refractory to at least 1 previous anti-TNF agent therapy. Peripheral blood taken from clinical responders and nonresponders at week 14 of vedolizumab therapy were additionally subjected to NPOT analysis. Response to therapy was assessed by respective clinical disease activity scores (partial Mayo Score and Harvey-Bradshaw Index).

Results: Clinical response to vedolizumab treatment was observed in 7 of 13 Crohn disease and 4 of 7 ulcerative colitis patients at week 14. Response to therapy was accurately predicted by PIMS blood analysis in 100% of ulcerative colitis and 77% of Crohn disease patients. Overall prediction of clinical response with PIMS blood analysis was achieved with a 89% positive predictive value and a 82% negative predictive value. NPOT analysis revealed the heightened expression of the proteins ITGB7, ITGAV, ITG3, PF4, and ASGH in the peripheral blood of vedolizumab responders compared to nonresponders.

Conclusions: PIMS analysis of the blood of anti-TNF refractory IBD patients was able to stratify responders to vedolizumab therapy with high accuracy and specificity. NPOT technology could decipher underling molecular networks in the blood of responders, enabling subsequent personalized therapeutic approaches in IBD.

Keywords: inflammatory bowel disease; nematic protein organization technic (NPOT); physiological intermolecular modification spectroscopy (PIMS); responder interactors; vedolizumab.