London’s new tertiary referral centre for Refractory IBD offers patients a new treatment

The new patient medical education website features an initiative by a Consultant Gastroenterologist at Queen’s Hospital, Romford, which has led to a new and apparently highly successful, non-drug treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) becoming available for patients with severe IBD.

IBD is the name given to a collection of otherwise unexplained symptoms relating to a disturbance of the digestive system, including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). Neither the process by which this recurrent chronic disorder originates and develops nor its precise effects on the body are completely known. IBD can become progressively worse and more difficult to treat, especially for those patients who become ‘refractory’ to steroids.

Writing on totalhealthDr Premchand, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Queen’s Hospital in Romford describes how he has spear-headed the introduction of a new treatment for IBD in London. The technique is called GMA apheresis which involves the removal of unwanted white blood cell activity, and success rates for even the most difficult of cases are impressive. As a result, the more complicated cases of IBD are now being referred to his unit at Queen's Hospital.

Drug Free

One of the main problems associated with the latest drug treatments for IBD are the side-effects. GMA apheresis or ‘Granulocyte Monocyte Adsorptive Apheresis’ is a technique that avoids the need for these drugs. Dr Premchand has worked with the local PCT who have recognised the value of this treatment to their patients and have subsequently obtained the necessary NHS funding. 

Requires Expertise

Dr Premchand says: “This new therapy has been EU licensed since 2000 and NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) has given permission for this treatment to be used in selected, steroid refractory cases and in hospitals with appropriate expertise in the technology. Queens Hospital in Romford uses this treatment in a carefully selected group of patients. Please be aware that in the case of NHS patients this is a special treatment and therefore patients are advised to obtain prior permission from their own PCT (Primary Care Trust) for funding before referral to any centres where this treatment is available”.

He goes on to say: “We have been delighted with the results of this treatment. By directly removing the agents responsible for the inflammation from the patient’s blood we can effectively manage the disease without the need for drugs. It seems that the results match the theory and my patients seem to be happy, especially as they are no-longer affected by the all too frequent side-effect profiles of the other treatment options”.

totalhealth carries articles from London’s clinical experts to inform patients about their condition along with latest evidence-based treatment options. Dr Charles Murray, Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Royal Free Hospital provides a separate article on IBD which gives an excellent overview of the disease plus a summary of the latest recommended, evidence-based treatment options. 

About totalhealth

totalhealth is a patient focused medical education website. This unique, impartial and authoritative title publishes information on the latest treatment options and is written by clinical experts – for patients.

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