Current IBD Research Projects

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The use of faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), as a therapy for acute ulcerative colitis

The IBD research projects funded for Professor Jane Andrews and her team at The Royal Adelaide Hospital focuses on a topic that has gained much publicity recently. FMT is an evidence-based strategy for treating a particular form of infectious colitis known as Clostridium Difficile. Whether it is effective for the treatment of IBD is still unknown.

Professor Andrews’ team is conducting a randomised-controlled trial of FMT in patients who are acutely unwell with ulcerative colitis. To date, 50 patients have been recruited in the study, and results will hopefully be available next year.

As well as looking at the effect of FMT in recipients (patients) the study is looking closely at the characteristics of the donor stool that make it more likely for a patient to respond. Emerging data suggests that not all donor stool is equal!

Gutsy Group funding was also helpful in the study team successfully obtaining National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding to conduct associated research into the microbiota (gut bacteria) in ulcerative colitis patients. There has been great recent interest in FMT amongst patients and the media, but well-designed studies such as this one, are required to confirm its validity, or otherwise, as an effective treatment for IBD.

A novel thiopurine to effect fast, more tolerated and safe immunosuppression

The successful applicant for 2012/13 was from the University of Queensland and the research group of Professor Timothy Florin. This study is investigating the role of a newer immunomodulator, thioguanine, in managing Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and incorporates both basic science and clinical aspects. The scientific committee felt this study could bring exciting results at a national and international level and has the most potential for improving the quality of life of patients living with IBD. The Gutsy Group, Inc. has committed $150,000 over three years and looks forward to updating our supporters as results come to hand.