Significant advances have been achieved in the understanding of the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease
(IBD). A number of susceptibility genes have been detected by large genome wide screening-approaches. New therapeutic
concepts emerge from these insights. The most important progress in recent years certainly is the introduction of
biologics in the therapy of IBD.
TNF blockers have been shown to be very effective for the control of complicated disease courses. Currently, in addition
to the three already established anti-TNF antibodies, new anti-TNF molecules, for example Golimumab, are in clinical trials
and also reveal promising results. However, not all of the patients respond to anti-TNF treatment and many patients
lose their response. Therefore, additional therapeutic approaches are urgently needed. Attractive therapy targets are cytokines
as well as their receptors and signaling pathways. At the moment a large number of biologicals and inhibitors are
tested in clinical trials and some of them provide very promising results for the treatment of IBD patients. In particular,
inhibition of IL-12p40 by specific antibodies as well as of the janus kinase (JAK)3 by a small molecule promise to be very
effective approaches. Though antibodies targeting for example IL-6, IL-6R, IL-13 or CCR9 are only in the early steps of
clinical development, they have already demonstrated to be a possible treatment option which needs to be confirmed in
Taken together a large number of new therapeutic anti-cytokine approaches are currently tested in clinical trials in IBD
patients. In this review, the new therapeutic approaches for cytokine inhibition in IBD patients are discussed.