Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a relapsing and remitting disease with significant phenotypic and genotypic variability. Though more common in adults, UC is being increasingly diagnosed in childhood. The subsequent lifelong course of disease results in challenges for the patient and physician. Currently, there is no medical cure for UC. Even though surgical removal of the colon can be curative, complications including infertility in females make colectomy an option often considered only when the disease presents with life-threatening complications or when medical management fails. One of the greatest challenges the clinician faces in the care of patients with UC is the inability to predict at diagnosis which patient is going to respond to a specific therapy or will eventually require surgery. This therapeutic conundrum frames the discussion to follow, specifically the concept of individualized or personalized treatment strategies based on genetic risk factors. As we move to therapeutics, we will elucidate traditional approaches and discuss known and novel agents. As we look to the future, we can expect increasing integrated approaches using several scientific disciplines to inform how genetic interactions shape and mold the pathogenesis and therapeutics of UC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)