Research News 2022

Scientific Subcommittee Update 2022

Happy new year from SciCom! This past year has been challenging to say the least, as we are now face our 5th global wave of COVID. I wish everyone good health and fast exit to this current omicron hurdle.

IBUS SciCom received 14 outstanding, competitive research grant applications from around the world – some new IUS performers from countries not previously applying which was welcome news. The awardees will be announced at the membership meeting in February, 2022 and we wish everyone congratulations for their submissions as they were highly competitive and innovative.

The large, prospective, multicenter non-interventional study, aiming to generate a reliable, valid activity score (USE IT study), generously funded by the Helmsley Trust, continues to proceed successfully, despite the global pandemic. There are 4 separate parts of the large multi-year project, with the first part completed (consensus on parameter acquisition – see our website for attached published papers).

Part 2 is our reliability phase, where a total of 56 cases (de identified) will be read centrally by 2-4 reviewers (currently being selected) after completion of robust central reader training. The inter- and intra-rater variability will be assessed to establish the most reliable parameters that contribute to disease activity for first cut index development. Please see our website for more details if you are interested in applying to be a central reader please reach out to either me or the IBUS office (contacts below).

Part 3 is the complex multicenter phase, and the final protocol is in the very final stages with contracting and ethics submission process targeted to begin within the next week or so. This will be exciting, recognizing many sites have had innumerable challenges with reduced access to services during the pandemic. As you may recall we will include 12-14 sites, 6 in Australia, 2 in North America, the remaining sites in Europe/ Israel, to conduct the external validation component where will compare IUS at multiple time points will be compared to MRE, ileocolonoscopy, clinical and non-invasive biomarker measures.

The final part (IV) aims to understand patient experience in a comprehensive manner, having recently completed in depth focus groups with participants from the UK, Australia, USA and Canada. We will attempt to collate these findings and combined with an expert-based patient centered/ patient co-led consensus on monitoring for Crohn’s disease generate the first patient-centered set of recommendations regarding activity monitoring in this progressive disease.

Finally, given all of this exciting progress in IUS and the rapid expansion and clear utility recognized IUS offers for safely monitoring and assessing patients with IBD now and into the future, the future is definitely bright. We are developing some interesting opportunities within artificial intelligence and open the call for interest in participating in a working group within IBUS. Please reach out directly to me, at knovak@ucalgary.ca if this interests you.

As always, we welcome your interest and participation in SciCom. This year (2023) we will elect a new SciCom Chair and really hope to have new and vibrant ideas and directions brought forward, so please strongly consider contributing to science in IUS with your important participation on this committee.

A new call for research grants will be offered this year, look forward to seeing more exciting ground break ideas from you, our IBUS membership.
Again, happy new year. Here’s to a better year and hope we can finally see each other in person.

Warmest regards

Kerri Novak MD MSc FRCPCP

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