Approaches to Integrating Biomarkers Into Clinical Trials and Care Pathways as Targets for the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Parambir S. Dulai*, Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet, Silvio Danese, Bruce E. Sands, Axel Dignass, Dan Turner, Gerassimos Mantzaris, Juergen Schölmerich, Jean Yves Mary, Walter Reinisch, William J. Sandborn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: There is no consensus on the best way to integrate biomarkers into inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research and clinical practice. The International Organization for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease aimed to outline biomarker definitions, categories, and operating properties required for their use in registration trials and clinical practice. Using fecal calprotectin as an example, we provide a framework for biomarker development and validation in patients with IBD. Methods: We reviewed international society guidelines, regulatory agency guidance documents, and standardized reporting guidelines for biomarkers, in combination with publications on fecal calprotectin levels in patients with IBD. We assessed the validity of fecal calprotectin to serve as a surrogate biomarker of IBD activity and outlined a framework for further validation and development of biomarkers. Results: No endpoints have been fully validated as surrogates of risk of disease complications; mucosal healing is the most valid endpoint used to determine risk of disease complications. Fecal level of calprotectin has not been validated as a biomarker for IBD activity because of lack of technical and clinical reliability, assessment of performance when used as a replacement for endoscopy, and assessment of responsiveness to changes in disease states. The level of fecal calprotectin can be used only as a prognostic factor for disease recurrence in patients in remission after medical or surgical treatment. Conclusions: We reviewed guidelines, regulatory documents, and publications to identify properties required for the development of biomarkers of IBD activity and areas in need of clarification from regulatory agencies and societies. We propose a path forward for research of biomarkers for IBD.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1032-1043.e1
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 AGA Institute


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