Genetic Markers Predict Primary Nonresponse and Durable Response to Anti–Tumor Necrosis Factor Therapy in Ulcerative Colitis


Background:  Despite a high nonresponse rate, predictors of response to anti–tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy in ulcerative colitis (UC) remain limited. We aim to determine clinical and genetic predictors of primary nonresponse (PNR) and durable response (DR) to anti-TNF therapy in a large prospective UC cohort. Methods:  Using the Illumina Immunochip, candidate polymorphisms associated with clinical outcomes of PNR and DR were separately evaluated and combined into weighted genetic risk scores. Combined genetic and clinical multivariable models for PNR and DR were compared with clinical predictive models using area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curves. Models were internally (DR) or externally (PNR) validated. Multivariable logistic regression was utilized to assess the association of genetic risk scores with infliximab levels and antibodies. Results:  Of 231 patients, 28 (12%) experienced PNR and 120 (52%) experienced DR. There was no significant difference in clinical features between primary nonresponders and responders. Eight alleles were associated with PNR. A combined clinical-genetic model (AUROC, 0.87) more accurately predicted PNR compared with a clinical-only model (AUROC, 0.57; P textless 0.0001). In an external cohort of 131 patients, increasing tertiles of PNR genetic risk score correlated with increased risk of PNR (P = 0.052). Twelve candidate loci were associated with DR. Genetic risk score quartiles for DR demonstrated a strong dose-response relationship in predicting treatment duration. Genetic risk scores for PNR and DR were not associated with infliximab levels or antibody formation. Conclusion:  Genetic polymorphisms enhance prediction of PNR and DR to anti-TNF therapy in patients with UC.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases