Thiopurine methyl-transferase activity and azathioprine metabolite concentrations do not predict clinical outcome in thiopurine-treated inflammatory bowel disease patients.

La Princesa and Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria Princesa, Madrid, Spain.
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 4.55). 07/2011; 34(5):544-54. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2011.04756.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Low thiopurine-methyl-transferase (TPMT) activity and high 6-thioguanine-nucleotide (6TGN) concentrations have been linked to therapeutic success in inflammatory bowel disease patients treated with thiopurines; however, this has not been implemented in clinical practice.
To identify a therapeutic threshold value for TPMT or 6TGN concentrations, and their capability to predict treatment safety and efficacy.
Prospective multicentre study including steroid-resistant/dependent patients starting thiopurines. The TPMT activity was determined at inclusion (>5 U/mL required). Azathioprine metabolites [6TGN, 6-methyl-mercaptopurine ribonucleotides (6MMP), and 6TGN/6MMP and 6TGN/TPMT ratios] were periodically monitored during steroid tapering and after withdrawal for 6 months or until a new flare occurred.
A total of 113 patients were analysed (62% clinical response). Areas under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve (AUC) relating clinical response and metabolite levels at 2, 4 and 6 months after steroid withdrawal were less than 0.7. The AUCs relating final response and initial TPMT activity or metabolite concentrations at 2, 4, 8 and 16 weeks after starting thiopurines were less than 0.7. No cut-off point with worthwhile sensitivity/specificity was found. Eight (7%) patients developed thiopurine-related toxicity that could not be linked to TPMT activity or 6TGN levels.
Our results do not support determination of TPMT activity or 6TGN concentrations to predict treatment outcome, and no useful serum metabolites threshold value to adjust the drug's dose was identified.

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    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 07/2012; 36(2):208-9; author reply 209-10. · 4.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:  Thioguanine nucleotides (TGNs) are the active product of thiopurine metabolism. Levels have been correlated with effective clinical response. Nonetheless, the value of TGN monitoring in clinical practice is debated. We report the influence of introducing TGN monitoring into a large adult inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) clinic. Patients and methods:  Patients with IBD undergoing TGN monitoring were identified from Purine Research Laboratory records. Whole blood TGNs and methylated mercaptopurine nucleotides were hydrolysed to the base and measured using HPLC. Clinical and laboratory data were obtained retrospectively. Results:  One hundred and eighty-nine patients with 608 available TGN results were identified. In non-responders, TGNs directed treatment change in 39/53 patients. When treatment was changed as directed by TGN, 18/20 (90%) improved vs. 7/21 (33%) where the treatment decision was not TGN-directed, p < 0.001. Where treatment change was directed at optimisation of thiopurine therapy, 14/20 achieved steroid-free remission at 6 months vs. 3/10 where the TGN was ignored, (p = 0.037). Six per cent of patients were non-adherent, 25% under-dosed and 29% over-dosed by TGN. Twelve per cent of patients predominantly methylated thiopurines, this group had low TGN levels and high risk of hepatotoxicity. In responders, adherence and dosing issues were identified and TGN-guided dose-reduction was possible without precipitating relapse. Mean cell volume (MCV), white blood cell count (WBC) and lymphocyte counts were not adequate surrogate markers. MCV/WBC ratio correlated with clinical response, but was less useful than TGN for guiding clinical decisions. Conclusions:  Monitoring TGNs enables thiopurine therapy to be optimised and individualised, guiding effective treatment decisions and improving clinical outcomes.
    International Journal of Clinical Practice 12/2012; · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disease mostly involved with intestine with unknown etiology. Diagnosis, evaluation of severity, and prognosis are still present as challenges for physicians. An ideal biomarker with the characters such as simple, easy to perform, noninvasive or microinvasive, cheap, rapid, and reproducible is helpful for patients and clinicians. Currently biomarkers applied in clinic include CRP, ESR, pANCA, ASCA, and fecal calprotectin. However, they are far from ideal. Lots of studies are focused on seeking for ideal biomarker for IBD. Herein, the paper reviewed recent researches on biomarkers of IBD to get advances of biomarkers in inflammatory bowel disease.
    Disease markers. 01/2014; 2014:710915.

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