Long-term efficacy of anti-tumor necrosis factor agents in pediatric luminal crohn's disease: A systematic review of real-world evidence studies

Hanna Van Rheenen, Patrick Ferry van Rheenen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: To determine the long-term efficacy of the anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents, infliximab (IFX) and adalimumab (ADA), in pediatric luminal Crohn's disease (CD) by performing a systematic literature review. Methods: An electronic search was performed in Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library from inception to September 26, 2019. Eligible studies were cohort studies with observation periods that exceeded 1 year. Studies that reported time-to-event analyses were included. Events were defined as discontinuation of anti-TNF therapy for secondary loss of response. We extracted the probabilities of continuing anti-TNF therapy 1, 2, and 3 years after initiation. Results: In total, 2,464 papers were screened, 94 were selected for full text review, and 13 studies (11 on IFX, 2 on ADA) met our eligibility criteria for inclusion. After 1 year, 83-97% of patients were still receiving IFX therapy. After 2 and 3 years the probability of continuing IFX therapy decreased to 67-91% and 61-85%, respectively. In total, 5 of the 11 studies subgrouped by concomitant medication consistently showed that the probabilities of continuing IFX therapy in patients with prolonged immunomodulator use were higher than those in patients on IFX monotherapy. Conclusion: This review of real-world evidence studies confirms the long-term therapeutic benefit of IFX therapy in diverse cohorts of children with luminal CD. Moreover, it supports the view that combination therapy with an immunomodulator prolongs the durability of IFX therapy in patients who previously failed to recover following first-line therapy. The limited number of time-to-event studies in patients on ADA prevented us from drawing definite conclusions about its long-term efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121
JournalPediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

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