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Discourse and Progress in Intestinal Failure Care

Creating opportunities for clinicians to learn about the latest scientific research and share clinical experience is a vital part of improving care and outlook for patients – in any disease area. That’s why Takeda is committed to supporting activities that promote medical education and scientific exchange.

In July 2019, the International Congress of the Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplantation Association (CIRTA) was held in Paris, France. This congress takes place every two years and is an event for a diverse group of medical experts: physicians, surgeons, gastroenterologists, nutritionists, psychologists, and other researchers. CIRTA is the most important scientific event for those committed to improving the lives of patients with short bowel syndrome with intestinal failure (SBS-IF).

People with SBS-IF can no longer absorb enough nutrients and fluids from the food they eat to stay alive. They have to receive them intravenously to stay alive, through a procedure known as Parenteral Nutrition. SBS-IF is a result of surgery to remove all or part of the intestine, due to very different reasons such as trauma consequences, medical conditions affecting the gut, such as Crohn’s disease, deficiencies of the vein or artery functions, and congenital disorders.

This year’s scientific program at CIRTA focused on the complexity and challenges that experts face when they manage patients with SBS-IF.  It was evident from the discussions that as our understanding of the condition increases, our chances to improve the lives of these patients is getting better.

One topic discussed at the congress was how physicians can make more accurate predictions on what will work best for patients with SBS-IF. Physicians are trying to predict when patients may benefit from treatment to help restore intestinal function (rehabilitation) or may need a transplant, by looking at anatomical parameters (e.g. how much of the gut remains) or other patient characteristics they can measure – for example in the blood – called biomarkers. Coupled with better techniques for rehabilitation or transplantation, earlier diagnosis and intervention may allow physicians to provide better care for those patients and perhaps – much further down the line – customise management to the individual patient.

In a session held by Takeda, participants were given an overview of how medicines are being used in clinical practice to help increase gut absorption in patients with SBS-IF in France. “This is a key area of interest for us, and we are very committed to real life studies that improve understanding of the optimal management of SBS-IF patients,” said Dr. Klaus Molle, Medical Communication expert at Takeda. “These treatments are relatively new, and there’s a lot of interest from the medical community to find out if treatments evaluated during clinical development can be optimised in real life.”

What matters to patients is how this all translates into better care, and this was central to the discussion at CIRTA. The medical community is starting to recognise the need to update guidelines on how to treat patients to ensure they get the most up-to-date care that reflects the latest treatment and knowledge. It’s an exciting and positive time!

At Takeda, gastroenterology is a key therapeutic area of focus. We are proud to have played a part at this year’s CIRTA conference and we continue to work alongside the medical experts to achieve our main goal: to ensure that SBS-IF patients receive the best possible care that allows them to lead as normal a life as possible.