Injections of an antibody that targets a natural human protein are showing promise in hard-to-treat cases of Crohn’s disease, a chronic digestive illness.
The treatment involves injections of an antibody called cA2. It neutralizes a protein known as tumor necrosis factor that is thought to play a role in causing Crohn’s disease.
The Associated Press first reported the development last year when it was presented at a medical conference in San Francisco. The study will be published in today’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The treatment, which is not yet approved for routine use, was developed by Centocor Inc. of Malvern, Pa.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of the digestive tract. Symptoms can include diarrhea, pain, fever and weight loss. Some patients need surgery to remove damaged parts of their intestines.