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sector_ico_Health_trans Human Health

IBD Genomic Medicine Consortium (iGenoMed)- translating genetic discoveries into a personalized approach to treating the inflammatory bowel diseases

  • Project Leaders: John Rioux, Alain Bitton, Megan Levings
  • Institutions: Montreal Heart Institute
  • Budget: $543961
  • Program/Competition: Large Scale Applied Research Programs
  • Genome Centre(s): Genome Canada
  • Fiscal Year: 2013
  • Status: Closed

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) results from chronic inflammation in the digestive system. Canada has among the highest frequency of people with IBD in the world with over 250,000 cases and 10,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. IBD usually develops early in life with the highest incidence in those in their 30s. It is a lifelong debilitating condition that has both genetic and non-genetic risk factors contributing to symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue and delayed growth and puberty in children. In addition, people with IBD have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer that stems from the long-term chronic inflammation state of the digestive system. There are drugs available to treat IBD however, physicians are currently unable to predict which drug would be most effective for a given patient. This project was able to identify preliminary candidate sets of biomarkers that may be used after further validation in assessing response to IBD treatments.  This project was also able to develop targeted blood and serum based tests that can be used in uncovering key IBD biological functions. Further development and validation of these preliminary findings have the potential to impact our understanding and approach to treating this heterogenous disease.