Dual-Targeted Therapy in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Comprehensive Review

Anat Yerushalmy-Feler, Caroline Brauner, Shlomi Cohen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic systemic immune-mediated disorder. The disease is triggered and perpetuated by a complex interplay between genetic predisposition, dysregulated immune responses, and environmental factors. Pediatric IBD is considered to be more aggressive compared with adult-onset IBD, and commonly requires more intensive pharmacological and surgical treatments. Although the use of targeted therapy, such as biologic therapy and small molecule therapy, is on the rise, there are children with IBD who are refractory to all current therapeutic options. For them, a combination of biologic agents or a biologic agent with small molecules as dual-targeted therapy (DTT) may be a possible therapeutic option. The main indications for DTT are high inflammatory burden and refractoriness to standard therapy, extra-intestinal manifestations of IBD, adverse effects of therapy, and co-existing immune-mediated inflammatory disorders. Several combination therapies were described for pediatric refractory IBD. The main ones were anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents and vedolizumab (VDZ), anti-TNF and ustekinumab (UST), VDZ and UST, and biologic agents with tofacitinib. DTT exhibits high efficacy, with high rates of clinical response and remission as well as biomarker remission. The data on endoscopic and radiologic remission are scarce. Most of the adverse effects reported under DTT were mild; however, the serious ones that had been observed mandate a profoundly cautious approach when considering it. Triple immunosuppressive therapy and combinations of biologics with emergent therapies such as selective Janus kinase inhibitors, sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulators, and anti-interleukin-23 agents, are potential future regimens for children with IBD who are refractory to current therapeutic options. This review provides an update of publications on these issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-498
Number of pages10
JournalPaediatric Drugs
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2023


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