Gastroenterology & Hepatology

August 2022 - Volume 18, Issue 8

Letter From the Editor: Emerging Treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Gary R. Lichtenstein, MD, AGAF, FACP, FACG

Which therapies look promising as future therapeutic options for the treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)? A review article in this month’s issue of Gastroenterology & Hepatology provides a comprehensive overview of recent clinical trial data on numerous therapies currently being investigated for patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Dr Priscila Santiago, Dr Manuel B.
Braga-Neto, and Dr Edward V. Loftus Jr cover emerging IBD therapies in various drug classes, including Janus kinase inhibitors, anti-integrins, sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulators, and anti–interleukin-23 antibodies. They also examine the use of stem cell therapies in patients with IBD. The authors note that the future of IBD treatment appears promising and that a number of novel therapies may be able to address the current challenges of IBD treatment. 

Our other review article this month centers on updated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for hepatitis B vaccination among adults. As Dr Amit S. Chitnis and Dr Robert J. Wong point out, hepatitis B virus infection is associated with significant morbidity and mortality but can be prevented by vaccination. The CDC now recommends hepatitis B vaccination in all adults 19 to 59 years of age but retains a risk-based vaccination approach in adults 60 years of age and older. The authors explore the data and rationale for these updated recommendations as well as discuss the possible challenges of implementation.

This month’s issue also includes 2 columns focusing on hepatology. In our HCC in Focus column, Dr Peter R. Galle discusses why albumin-bilirubin grade is used in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, research on its prognostic value in this setting, its advantages over the Child-Pugh score, and the next steps in research, among related issues. In our NASH in Focus column, Dr Michelle T. Long discusses whether modest alcohol use affects the risk of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in the general population, the effects of alcohol use on liver fat and NASH, and whether patients with NASH should avoid the consumption of alcohol, along with other issues.

Also included in this month’s issue is an Advances in IBD column on histologic healing. Among other issues, Dr Britt Christensen discusses the definition and clinical importance of histologic healing, how often it is achieved and whether this can be predicted, whether more aggressive treatments result in improved rates, and monitoring in patients who achieve this goal.

Refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is highlighted in our Advances in GERD column, which is authored by Dr Rishi D. Naik. His discussion covers issues such as the prevalence and definition of refractory GERD, its risk factors and predisposing factors, diagnostic procedures for differentiating this condition from others, and how it should be treated. 

Finally, I would like to welcome Dr Miguel Regueiro
to our Editorial Advisory Board. We look forward to working with him as we provide you with clinically relevant and useful gastroenterology content each month. 

I hope that you enjoy this month’s issue and find the information useful in your clinical practice.


Gary R. Lichtenstein, MD, AGAF, FACP, FACG

Millennium Medical Publishing, Inc