The cause of UC is still unknown. However, the concept that it may be
provoked by changes in the bacteria in the intestine, which trigger
off a cascade of events leading first to inflammation in the lining
of the gut wall and then to inflammation in more distant tissues appears
to remain valid.
This means that there is considerable potential for
new research and treatment. Future work will focus on manipulation
of bacteria in the bowel and the dissection of the immune response
in order to provide agents, which block its development.
antibodies exist against TNF-a and a-integrins. Drugs are being developed
against NF- B,
which initiates much of the inflammatory process. Others such as CDP-571,
Etanercept, Thalidomide, Tacrolimus and Mycophenolate
mofetil are being evaluated; new compounds continue to emerge.
outlook is extremely encouraging.