The combination of granulocyte-monocyte apheresis and vedolizumab: A new treatment option for ulcerative colitis?

Iago Rodríguez-Lago, José M Benítez, Laura Sempere, Esteban Sáez-González, Manuel Barreiro-de Acosta, Jone O de Zárate, José L Cabriada
Journal of Clinical Apheresis 2019 September 13

OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness and safety of combining granulocyte-monocyte apheresis (GMA) and vedolizumab (VDZ) in patients with refractory ulcerative colitis (UC).

METHODS: This retrospective, multicentre pilot study included all UC patients receiving both GMA and VDZ. We recorded data on GMA sessions, demographic characteristics, and clinical response. Effectiveness was assessed 1 and 6 months after finishing the GMA using the partial Mayo score, C-reactive protein, and fecal calprotectin levels. Data were also compiled on VDZ intensification, use of new immunomodulators and colectomy during follow-up.

RESULTS: Eight patients were included (mean age 46 years; 63% female; mean disease duration, 132 months; 50% E3). GMA was started after a loss of response to VDZ in all cases (25% primary nonresponse and 75% secondary loss of response). All had previously received anti-TNF agents. VDZ was prescribed as the second-, third-, or fourth-line biologic in 37%, 50%, and 13% of cases, respectively. Patients had a mean baseline partial Mayo score of 7.5 (SD 2.1) and received a median of 15 GMA sessions (range 5-38). After a median follow-up of 7.5 months (IQR 5-12), partial Mayo score decreased after 1 and 6 months (P = .01 and .06, respectively). Three patients (38%) achieved steroid-free clinical remission and five (63%) withdrew VDZ. Colectomy rate was 38%. No adverse events were observed during the combination therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: This small case series suggests that combining GMA with VDZ could be a treatment option in selected cases of UC with an inadequate response to this biologic agent.

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