Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Research

Participating in research studies is one of the best ways children and families can help improve care for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD experts at Cincinnati Children’s are leaders in this exciting area of research and offer patients opportunities to take part in studies at every stage of the disease.

All of the IBD Center’s pediatric gastroenterologists lead and participate in basic and clinical research studies, including some that enroll patients from all around the United States. Current research topics include:

  • New, noninvasive ways to assess how active a child’s disease is
  • Ways to determine how a child’s IBD will progress over time
  • Genes and how they affect IBD
  • How stem cells in the intestine and intestinal lining contribute to IBD
  • How the immune system and environmental risk factors contribute to IBD
  • How shared decision-making with families can improve patient care

The IBD Center’s research program receives between $5 million and $6 million a year in grant support. We are grateful for the generous funding we receive from organizations such as the National Institutes for Health, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, CURE 4 IBD, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Helmsley Charitable Trust, and the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation.

Learn more about clinical studies that are enrolling patients now by visiting our clinical studies web page. For more information about a specific study or to ask about enrollment, talk your child’s physician or nurse practitioner.

Today’s Research Leads to Tomorrow’s Breakthroughs

Patients and families who participate in clinical research are helping to move science forward to improve the lives of children with inflammatory bowel disease. In recent years, Cincinnati Children’s has led several studies that have made a difference in the way doctors care for children with IBD, including those listed below.

  • The RISK Stratification Study followed over 1,000 children from 28 centers in the U.S. and Canada with newly diagnosed Crohn’s disease over five years of treatment. The primary results were published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet and showed how to predict which patients are at high risk for complications from their Crohn’s disease. This study has greatly increased our knowledge regarding the microbiome, genetics and the effectiveness of various treatments in pediatric Crohn’s disease.
  • The PROTECT Study assessed the effect of standardized treatment with mesalamine and steroid drugs in over 400 children from 29 centers in U.S. and Canada who were newly diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. The primary results were published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet and showed that 38% of patients will be able to achieve remission on mesalamine. It also showed new ways to predict which patients will go on to need anti-TNF biology therapy. This study has greatly increased our knowledge regarding the microbiome and biology of ulcerative colitis.
  • The ARCH Study enrolled 38 children hospitalized with severe ulcerative colitis who were treated with the anti-TNF biologic drug infliximab at seven hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. The goal of the study is to determine the differences in how patients process the drug affect treatment outcomes. Enrollment in this study has been completed and final results are expected soon.
  • Researchers used blood and stool samples from patients with Crohn’s disease and developed a real-world data set to improve precision dosing. From this data, the research team created a new bedside tool that helps physicians deliver the right dose to the right patient for one of the most effective therapies available, infliximab.
Ted Denson talking with members of his research team.