Abstract: The use of combination therapy with a biologic agent and immunosuppressant has well-established efficacy and safety and is common practice in the management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Current research has shifted focus toward the use of advanced combination treatment (ACT). This term was coined to describe combination therapy using 2 or more advanced treatments (biologic agents and/or oral small molecule drugs) with the aim of achieving optimal disease control in selected patients. An ACT approach may be particularly beneficial in patients with documented medically refractory IBD and in patients with a poor prognosis, extraintestinal manifestations, or concomitant immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. To date, the body of evidence for ACT strategies in IBD is largely comprised of uncontrolled retrospective case series and cohort studies in highly refractory patients. Recently, results from the VEGA trial have suggested that combination induction therapy with guselkumab and golimumab was more effective in ulcerative colitis than either agent alone. However, questions remain about issues such as related costs, ACT duration, and optimal combinations to adopt. Future randomized controlled trials are likely to evaluate rationally selected combinations of agents. This article summarizes the available literature on ACT, including comparisons with traditional combination therapy and the rheumatology field, and discusses practical recommendations, profiles of IBD patients who should be considered for combination approaches in clinical practice, and remaining knowledge gaps.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease, IBD, Ulcerative Colitis

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