What exactly are you going to do in this study?
Wouter de Jonge, professor of Experimental Gastroenterology, Amsterdam UMC:
This study is a significant step forward in personalized medicine, where we aim to offer more targeted and effective treatments based on the unique characteristics of each patient.
Presently, there are many different options to treat Crohn’s Disease patients with medication, but these help only part of the patients. It sometimes takes months or even years before doctors and patients know if a certain treatment with medications is effective or not. It would be great to know upfront which medication will help and which will not. Or whether a patient needs surgery or can be helped with medication.
We developed a blood test based on epigenetics in blood cell DNA (see question 4). We tested it on 360 patients with Crohn’s Disease, with very promising results promising results. Now we are going to find out in a patient trial if such a blood test enables us to know which medication should be used for which patient with Crohn’s Disease. This will be done in the OmiCrohn trial. The patients that will participate in this trial will be divided into two groups. One group will receive a treatment based on the epigenetic profile, from the blood test. The other group will receive regular treatment, based on standard care. As soon as treatment starts, we will closely monitor the effectiveness of the chosen therapies. Patients will receive regular medical assessments, including colonoscopies, ultrasounds, and multiple blood tests. By comparing the two patient groups the researchers will be able to determine if choosing a treatment based on the epigenetic biomarker is a good option. In essence, we are trying to understand if these biomarkers can serve as reliable guides in choosing treatments for Crohn’s Disease patients.