Endoscopically measured response to biological therapies does not differ between men and women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to the first systematic review to investigate the potential influence of patient gender on biologic therapies for IBD.
“Therefore, the [gender] of a patient with IBD need not be directly taken into account when considering starting biologicals or optimization of biological trough levels,” the researchers wrote.
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The systematic review spanned 55 studies that included 28,465 patients treated for IBD with adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, infliximab, or vedolizumab. The researchers had intended to perform a meta-analysis of studies; however, the wide-ranging differences in the types of data provided in each study made it difficult to perform such a study.
In 41 relevant studies, no significant association between a patient’s gender and biologic efficacy had occurred. However, when researchers considered whether the tolerability of biologic treatment for IBD differed with patient gender, the findings from 14 relevant studies were more ambiguous.
“As for adverse events, half of the included studies found an association between patient [gender] and various adverse events, with all these studies suggesting that these events occur more frequently in female patients,” the researchers concluded. Therefore, they advised that extra vigilance and counselling about adverse events may be warranted in women receiving biological therapy for IBD.
Lie MRKL, Paulides E, van der Woude CJ. Patient sex does not affect endoscopic outcomes of biologicals in inflammatory bowel disease but is associated with adverse events. Int J Colorectal Dis. Published online June 26, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00384-020-03663-2