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Results from a recent phase 3 study detailed the efficacy of adalimumab (Humira) in the treatment of Crohn's disease. Study participants initially were enrolled in CLASSIC I (CLinical assessment of Adalimumab Safety and efficacy Studies as an Induction therapy in Crohn's), a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study of Humira's safety and efficacy in treating Crohn's. After 4 weeks, 55 patients went on to participate in CLASSIC II, a study to determine how well Humira maintained remission. Patients received 40 mg of Humira either every week or every other week. At 1 year, 74% of patients in the every-other-week group maintained remission, compared with 44% in the placebo group, while 83% of patients in the every-week group maintained remission, compared with 44% in the placebo group. Researchers used the Crohn's Disease Activity Index to measure remission, which bases its scores on patient wellness, daily number of liquid and wet stools, and severity of abdominal pain, among other factors. Because there is no cure, the immediate goal in treating Crohn's is to suppress the inflammatory response in order to let the intestinal tissue heal, which is why maintaining remission is vital to allowing Crohn's patients to gain more control of their disease.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.