ECCO News

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. 

Editor & Associate Editors

Alessandro Armuzzi
© Alessandro Armuzzi

Nuha Yassin
© ECCO

Ignacio Catalán-Serra
© Ignacio Catalán-Serra

Brigida Barberio
© Brigida Barberio

Spyros Siakavellas
© Spyros Siakavellas

Latest ECCO News Content


13October2022

ECCO Pioneer Award Synopsis: Annemarie de Vries & Alison Simmons

Annemarie de Vries, ECCO Grant Awardee

Identification of markers to predict post-operative disease recurrence in Crohn's disease.


Annemarie de Vries
© Annemarie de Vries

Alison Simmons
© Alison Simmons

Background & aim of research

Ileocolonic resection (ICR) remains an important modality in the treatment of ileal or ileocolonic Crohn’s disease (CD)1,2. However, surgery is not curative and post-operative recurrence after ICR is common, with regard to clinical symptoms, endoscopy and need for re-resection2,3. To prevent post-operative recurrence, current guidelines advise to start prophylactic medication in patients at high risk4–6. Identification of these patients remains a challenge, despite clinical and histologic risk-stratification. The main aim of this study is to identify new biomarkers to predict endoscopic disease recurrence in a prospective cohort of CD patients who undergo ICR.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, SciCom, Volume 17, Issue 3, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports

13October2022

ECCO Grant Study Synopsis: Elsa van Wassenaer

Elsa van Wassenaer, ECCO Grant Awardee

Early prediction of treatment response in children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease with intestinal ultrasound

Elsa van Wassenaer
© Elsa van Wassenaer

Background & aim of research

Childhood-onset IBD is known for its more complicated disease course. Studies have established that achieving remission at an early stage of disease improves long-term prognosis. Therefore, choosing the right treatment for children with IBD in the early stages of disease is key to preventing disease progression and to altering the disease course. Intestinal ultrasound (IUS) is a promising non-invasive tool for IBD, but its potential for early prediction of treatment response has not yet been explored in the paediatric population. Therefore the aim of the RAINBOW-3 study is to evaluate, in children with IBD (new-onset or known), the predictive value of IUS at week 6 of treatment for treatment response at week 13.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, SciCom, Volume 17, Issue 3, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports

13October2022

ECCO Multi-Year Research Grant Synopsis: Marianne R. Spalinger & Raja Atreya

Marianne R. Spalinger, ECCO Grant Awardee

The PTPN2 loss-of-function variant as predictor of therapeutic response to JAK inhibitor therapy in IBD


Marianne R. Spalinger
© Marianne R. Spalinger

Raja Atreya
© Raja Atreya

Background & aim of research

JAK inhibition has emerged as a promising novel therapeutic strategy in IBD. However, only a subgroup of patients responds to JAK inhibitors and there are currently no predictive markers available that predict sustained response. Our recent work strongly indicates that loss-of-function variants in the PTPN2 gene might serve as predictive markers for therapeutic effectiveness, and the main goal of this project is to define whether PTPN2 dysfunction can serve as a predictor for efficacious JAK inhibitor therapy.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, SciCom, Volume 17, Issue 3, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports

13October2022

N-ECCO Research Grant Study Synopsis: Rosanna Irene Comoretto

Rosanna Irene Comoretto, ECCO Grant Awardee

Caring and management of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: a focus on specialist nursing interventions


Rosanna Irene Comoretto
© Rosanna Irene Comoretto

Background & aim of research

The number of specialist nurses dedicated to the care and management of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is increasing across Europe, and their role is widening. Despite the increased interest in the opportunities associated with this emerging healthcare professional role, from the perspectives of both patients and clinicians, scarce evidence is available on the effectiveness of specialist nursing interventions. An in-depth review of the impact of specialist nursing interventions on the care and management of patients with IBD, and especially on the health-related quality of life (QoL), is needed.

The main outcome of interest in this context is clinical remission (the proportion of patients in whom remission is achieved or maintained). Additional outcomes are: the proportion of hospital admissions/readmissions, the length of hospital stay, clinical improvement, patients’ QoL and the effectiveness of treatment.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, SciCom, Volume 17, Issue 3, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports

13October2022

ECCO Fellowship Grant Study Synopsis: Sulak Anandabaskaran

Sulak Anandabaskaran, ECCO Fellowship Grant Awardee

Defining the Role of invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) Cells in Perianal Fistula 


Sulak Anandabaskaran
© Sulak Anandabaskaran

Background & aim of research

Perianal fistulising Crohn’s Disease (pCD) is associated with poor outcomes and impaired quality of life. It remains difficult to manage despite medical and surgical advancements, likely due to poor understanding of the underlying immunology. Previous multiparameter flow cytometry work in our lab on immune cells isolated from peripheral blood and fistula curettage samples showed expansion of iNKT cells in perianal fistula compared to peripheral blood. Furthermore, iNKTs have been suggested to have a potential role in key processes in fistula pathogenesis, namely epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and extracellular matrix degradation. The role of iNKTs in inflammation remains poorly defined and their function in human IBD is largely unexplored. Therefore, in this experiment we aim to further define their role in the pathogenesis of perianal fistula.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, SciCom, Volume 17, Issue 3, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports

13October2022

ECCO Grant Study Synopsis: Celia Escudero-Hernández

Celia Escudero-Hernández , ECCO Grant Awardee

Intestinal epithelial cell stress modulates enteric fibroblastic and neuronal profiles in Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Celia Escudero-Hernández 
© Celia Escudero-Hernández 

Background & aim of research

Genetic studies have implicated the autophagy gene ATG16L1 and the endoplasmic stress (ER) gene XBP1 in the pathogenesis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Indeed, spontaneous inflammation develops in mice lacking ATG16L1 or XBP1 expression in intestinal epithelial cells (IEC). Because of the dominant role of failing autophagy and ER stress in IBD, we hypothesise that IEC stress contributes to intestinal fibrosis, gut dysmotility and pain during colitis.

This project aims, for the first time, to thoroughly comprehend the role of crucial IBD epithelial stress factors (i.e. ATG16L1 and XBP1 impairments) in enteric fibroblasts and neurons and to explore potential future intervention points.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, SciCom, Volume 17, Issue 3, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports

13October2022

ECCO Grant Study Synopsis: Silvia Cerantola

Silvia Cerantola, ECCO Grant Awardee

Decoding the neuroimmune crosstalk in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases


Silvia Cerantola
© Silvia Cerantola

Background & aim of research

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) results from an anomalous interaction between genetic, environmental, immunoregulatory and microbial-derived factors. IBD- associated specific mutations include genes involved in microbial recognition, such as mutations in the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Beside controlling host defence responses, TLR4 modulates enteric nervous system (ENS) activity, gut motility and repair processes following an insult. TLR4 deficiency in mice leads to significant ENS alterations, characterised by modified gut motility and susceptibility to inflammation. The findings of decreased gut catecholamine levels in IBD patients and the onset of milder experimental colitis after sympathectomy highlight the role of the nervous system as a key regulator of immune responses. Therefore, our research project aims to decode the neuroimmune interactions between the catecholaminergic system and innate immune sensor TLR4 in dinitrobenzene sulphonic acid (DNBS)-induced ileitis.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, SciCom, Volume 17, Issue 3, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports

13October2022

ECCO Grant Study Synopsis: Margarita Papatheodoridi

Margarita Papatheodoridi, ECCO Grant Awardee

Deciphering the bioactive role of extracellular matrix fragments (matrikines) in Crohn's Disease (CD) fibrostenosis as potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers


Margarita Papatheodoridi
© Margarita Papatheodoridi

Background & aim of research

We have pioneered in studying ex vivo extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling, which is known for its key role in Crohn’s Disease (CD) fibrostenosis. By adding disease-relevant enzymes on the ECM of CD patients’ intestine, we identified numerous matrikines (specific ECM peptide fragments) unique in CD fibrostenosis. Peptidomics software analysis showed specific likelihood for bioactivity for 19 of those matrikines (Giuffrida et. al, unpublished data) ().

This project aims to explore the bioactivity of matrikines in CD fibrostenosis in vitro.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, SciCom, Volume 17, Issue 3, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports

13October2022

ECCO Grant Study Synopsis: Robert V. Bryant

Robert V. Bryant, ECCO Grant Awardee

Examining a novel sulphide-reducing diet As Therapy in Ulcerative Colitis (EAT-UC trial)


Robert V. Bryant
© Robert V. Bryant

Background & aim of research

It is currently unknown whether diet influences inflammation in Ulcerative Colitis (UC). Observational and experimental data suggest that modulating sulphide within the luminal environment may have therapeutic potential for UC. The aim of this trial is therefore to determine whether a sulphide-reducing diet, designed to attenuate excess microbial production of potentially noxious gases in the colon, can induce remission in UC.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, SciCom, Volume 17, Issue 3, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports

13October2022

ECCO Grant Study Synopsis: Ferdinando D’Amico

Ferdinando D’Amico, ECCO Grant Awardee

Comparative accuracy of TransPerineal UltraSound (TPUS) versus Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for the assessment of perianal fistulae in patients with Crohn’s Disease: a prospective observational longitudinal cohort study


Ferdinando D’Amico
© Ferdinando D’Amico

Background & aim of research

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the first-line imaging modality for monitoring of perianal disease in patients with Crohn’s Disease (CD). However, its use depends on local availability, costs and expertise. Few studies are available on the role of transperineal ultrasound (TPUS). Performing MRI alone in all patients would impose a substantial expense on the health service and would represent a limitation for the many patients who cannot tolerate the procedure (e.g. owing to claustrophobia). For this reason, we urgently need a painless, non-invasive, cost-effective and widely available modality to assess perianal disease and predict disease outcomes. In this observational prospective study, we investigate the accuracy of TPUS versus pelvic MRI in the diagnosis and monitoring of medical and surgical treatment of perianal fistulae in CD patients.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, SciCom, Volume 17, Issue 3, Fellowships & Grants Synopsis Reports