ECCO News keeps ECCO Members up-to-date on what is going on within the organisation and reports on IBD activities taking place within Europe. Since Spring 2006, ECCO News has maintained the flow of information between Members of the organisation. 

ECCO News is an important part of the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation’s ambition to create a European standard of IBD care and to promote knowledge and research in the field of IBD. ECCO Members automatically receive this publication four times a year. 

Associate Editors

Nuha Yassin

Ignacio Catalán-Serra
© Ignacio Catalán-Serra

Latest ECCO News Content


Interview with N-ECCO National Representative Portugal

Clarisse Nogueira Maia
© Clarisse Nogueira Maia

N-ECCO National Representative:
Clarisse Nogueira Maia
Job Title: 


What influenced your decision to apply for the role of N-ECCO National Representative for your country?

I have worked with IBD patients for a long time, delivering IV drug administration in an outpatient clinic.

What IBD nursing initiatives, N-ECCO network opportunities or developments in IBD care are happening in your country?

We have an annual meeting of the IBD Group to promote IBD in Portugal.

Posted in ECCO News, Volume 15, Issue 4, ECCO Country Member Profiles, N-ECCO


ECCO Affiliate Member Profile: Egypt


Name of group: Egyptian Developers of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy (EDGE) Foundation

Number of active members: 130

Number of meetings per year: 

Major Events: Annual Meeting “DIGEST” in winter and Cairo Crohn’s & Colitis Congress “4Cs” in summer ( in 2021 an ECCO Educational Workshop to be included).

Minor Events: Monthly meetings directed at fellows and GI specialists in different regions in Egypt

Online Activities: Regular webinars directed at healthcare professionals (replacing monthly meetings during the pandemic) and five multidisciplinary IBD patient webinars annually. Community awareness campaign on IBD throughout the year via social media platforms, including videos, advice articles and consultations.

General Assembly: One in summer and one in winter.

President and Secretary: Mohammed Khorshid (President), Mohamed El-Nady (Secretary-General)

National Representatives: Mohammed Khorshid

Joined ECCO in: 2020

Incidence of IBD in the country: There have still been no sufficient demographic studies.


Posted in ECCO News, Volume 15, Issue 4, ECCO Country Member Profiles


ECCO Country Member Profiles: Greece


Name of group: Hellenic Group for the Study of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (EOMIFNE)

Number of active members: 176 regular members and 18 honorary members

Number of meetings per year: one (1) annual congress and various one-day meetings and webinars (approximately three to six per year). Training school for Inflammatory Bowel Disease with five annual two-day lessons, accepting participants (specialists or trainees) from all over Greece who have a special interest in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and want to increase their knowledge.



Posted in ECCO News, Volume 15, Issue 4, ECCO Country Member Profiles


ECCO Country Member Profiles: Croatia


Name of group: Croatian Society of IBD, Croatian Medical Assocation & IBD Section, Croatian Society of Gastroenterology

Number of active members:  70

Number of meetings per year: 4

Name of president and secretary: Željko Krznarić and Marko Brinar

National Representatives: Željko Krznarić and Ante Tonkić

Joined ECCO in: 2001 (Boris Vucelic, ECCO Honorary Member, was one of the founders of ECCO)

Incidence of IBD in the country: Zagreb City and Area 2010: UC 3.3/105, CD 3.3/10

Primorsko-Goranska County, Croatia, 2000–2004: UC 4.3/105, CD 7.0/10

Vukovarsko-Srijemska County, Croatia, 2001–2010: UC 3.5/105, CD 0.95/10

Today we are seeking and collecting new data since we are aware of a significant increase in the incidence of IBD during the last decade.

Posted in ECCO News, Volume 15, Issue 4, ECCO Country Member Profiles


ECCO Country Member Profiles: Ukraine


Name of group: Ukrainian IBD Group

Number of active members: 87

Number of meetings per year: 2

President and Secretary: A. Dorofeyev and T. Zviagintzeva (Co-presidents), Yulia Dynia (Secretary).

National Representatives:  A. Dorofeyev, T. Zviagintzeva

Joined ECCO in: 2008

Posted in ECCO News, Volume 15, Issue 4, ECCO Country Member Profiles


Interview with ECCO's new Treasurer

Nuha Yassin, ECCO News Associate Editor

Nuha Yassin
© Nuha Yassin

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to ECCO’s new Treasurer, Professor Janneke van der Woude. Janneke is a Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam. She is the clinical lead for the IBD unit and has published widely in the field. As a very active ECCO Committee and Executive Board Member since its infancy, we are really excited to get to know Prof Van Der Woude more.

The interview will comprise of a personal introduction, insights into Janneke’s professional life, her ECCO journey, some hot topic discussions and what’s in store for the future. We hope you enjoy listening to this interview by clicking on the audio link below:


Posted in ECCO News, Governing Board, Committee News, Volume 15, Issue 4


Y-ECCO Interview Corner: Hemel M

Charlotte Hedin, Y-ECCO Member

Charlotte Hedin

Hemel is currently working as a dentist in London. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and within a year of getting his diagnosis he was invited to participate in a trial of an anti-TNF drug. Here he gives his view of his experience of being in a clinical trial.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Volume 15, Issue 4, Y-ECCO


Y-ECCO Literature Review: Polychronis Pavlidis

Polychronis Pavlidis

Serum biomarkers identify patients who will develop inflammatory bowel diseases up to 5 years before diagnosis

Torres J, Petralia F, Sato T, et al.

Gastroenterology 2020;159:96–104.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a chronic relapsing-remitting, immune-mediated condition with increasing prevalence globally [1]. Despite novel agents targeting different disease pathways, the likelihood of achieving sustained clinical remission and mucosal healing remains low [2]. One of the potential reasons may be that patients seek help and clinicians treat IBD once the disease is in its clinical phase. A sub-clinical phase of variable length may precede the symptoms that lead to a diagnosis and perhaps contribute to tissue damage which, once established, is difficult to reverse with currently available medical treatments.

In this study, Torres and colleagues set out to test the hypothesis that a pre-clinical phase of IBD may well be present and could be identified by proteomic markers [3].

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Y-ECCO Literature Reviews, Volume 15, Issue 4, Y-ECCO


Y-ECCO Literature Review: Jonathan Digby-Bell

Jonathan Digby-Bell

Expression levels of 4 genes in colon tissue might be used to predict which patients will enter endoscopic remission after vedolizumab therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Verstockt B, Verstockt S, Veny M, et al.

Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2020;18:1142–51.

Jonathan Digby-Bell
© Jonathan Digby-Bell 


In the past few years the armamentarium of drugs used to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) has accelerated, with the emergence of new therapies targeting differing immune pathways (ustekinumab and tofacitinib) and lymphocyte trafficking (vedolizumab). Furthermore, a number of promising new drugs are on the horizon (JAK-1 inhibitors, IL23p19 antibodies and S1P inhibitors) [1, 2]. However, as the choice of drugs expands, so the uncertainty over which drug should be selected by the clinician also increases. Drug selection may be determined by a number of factors such as cost, mechanism of delivery (e.g. oral, intravenous or subcutaneous), presence of co-morbidities (such as malignancy or multiple sclerosis) and presence of extraintestinal manifestations. However, no drug is effective in all patients, with between 10% and 40% of patients suffering from primary and secondary loss of response [35].

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Y-ECCO Literature Reviews, Volume 15, Issue 4, Y-ECCO


Y-ECCO Literature Review: Toer Stevens

Toer Stevens

Development and validation of a deep neural network for accurate evaluation of endoscopic images from patients with ulcerative colitis

Takenaka K, Ohtsuka K, Fujii T, et al.

Gastroenterology. 2020;158: 2150–7.

Toer Stevens
© Toer Stevens


Nowadays, IBD treatment not only targets symptomatic disease control but also aims to heal the intestinal mucosa [1] In Ulcerative Colitis (UC) there is mounting evidence that histological healing of the intestinal mucosa is associated with incremental benefit compared to endoscopic healing alone [2–8]. In a very recent meta-analysis of ten studies including 757 UC patients with complete endoscopic remission (Mayo Score 0 or equivalent) and with a minimum follow-up of >12 months,  patients with histological remission had a 63% lower risk of clinical relapse (RR 0.37, 95% CI 0.24–0.56) than patients with ongoing microscopic inflammation [9]. 

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Y-ECCO Literature Reviews, Volume 15, Issue 4, Y-ECCO


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