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

Ignacio Catalán-Serra
© Ignacio Catalán-Serra

Brigida Barberio
© Brigida Barberio

Spyros Siakavellas
© Spyros Siakavellas

Latest ECCO News Content


ECCO Country Member Profiles: Belgium

Pieter Dewint
© Pieter Dewint

Triana Lobaton

© Triana Lobaton


Name of group: BIRD (Belgian Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Research and Development Group)

Number of active members: 

BIRD has 121 members across 60 centres.

BINASTORIA (Belgian IBD Nurses and Study Coordinators Association) has 90 members.

Number of meetings per year:

BIRD organises two symposia per year with scientific lectures from national and international speakers. During these symposia, there are interactive workshops on different clinical topics. Additionally, BIRD hosts three extra meetings per year focused on both ongoing scientific projects and potential future studies initiated or promoted by BIRD. At these meetings, time is also reserved for clinical in-depth discussions.

Finally, EduCom (Educational Committee) and SciCom (Scientific Committee) also have regular meetings.

Name of president and secretary: Filip Baert  (President), Peter Bossuyt (Secretary)

National Representatives: Pieter Dewint and Triana Lobaton

Joined ECCO in: 2001

Posted in ECCO News, ECCO Country Member Profiles, Volume 16, Issue 2


Interview with JCC's Editor-in-Chief Laurence J. Egan

Ignacio Catalán-Serra , ECCO News Associate Editor

Ignacio Catalán-Serra
© Ignacio Catalán-Serra

In this ECCO News issue, please join us for an in-depth conversation with Professor Laurence J. Egan, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Crohn's and Colitis, where he explains what the challenges and opportunities of leading the preeminent IBD journal are.

We talk about the future of research in IBD, career tips for young GIs and the importance of having a background as a clinician / basic researcher. Prof. Egan tells us about his experience as an intern at Mayo Clinic and the University of San Diego as researcher and how this shaped his career.

In addition, we discuss work-life balance, leadership, how to be a good mentor and how to build a positive mindset for success.


Posted in ECCO News, Volume 16, Issue 2


Y-ECCO/ClinCom call for Y-ECCO Small Research Survey Proposals

The call for research proposals returns with opportunities for Y-ECCO Members to propose and perform a brief, focused research project with ClinCom/Y-ECCO guidance and ECCO support.

Based on the successes of the surveys jointly conducted by the Young ECCO Committee (Y-ECCO) and the Clinical Research Committee of ECCO (ClinCom) at the ECCO Congresses in the past, we are asking Y-ECCO Members to propose a new survey study.

Posted in ECCO News, ClinCom, ECCO'21, Volume 16, Issue 2, Y-ECCO


Y-ECCO Interview Corner: Rupa Banerjee

Charlotte Hedin, Y-ECCO Member

Charlotte Hedin

Dr. Rupa Banerjee is a senior consultant gastroenterologist in the Department of Gastroenterology and Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) Centre at the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology, Hyderabad, India. She is also Director of IBD Research with the Asian Healthcare Foundation, Hyderabad. 

Dr. Rupa established the first dedicated IBD centre of excellence in India in 2004. She has designed and maintains a 6500-patient database and biorepository for the centre detailing the demographics, type and course of disease and response to treatment in the Indian subpopulation.

Her primary focus has been optimal and affordable multidisciplinary care of IBD. The outpatient clinics run from early morning to late evening, and many of the patients are from middle- or low-income strata. The centre has adopted a large cluster of villages for screening for IBD, including blood and endoscopic evaluations free of cost to enable early diagnosis and with house-to-house surveys on the incidence and prevalence of IBD in the region.

Dr. Rupa is actively involved in research on IBD in the Asian region, focussing on the epidemiology, microbiota and genetic profile of this population for the purposes of optimisation and individualisation of the management of IBD. 

Dr. Rupa has initiated the IBD-ENC (IBD – Emerging Nations Consortium), comprising more than 20 countries in South Asia, Middle East and Africa, to promote collaborative work on IBD in these parts of the world. She has been the key person in the design of the interactive web platform for the IBD-ENC (, which presents IBD news and the latest publications, discusses challenging cases and offers members the unique opportunity to create their own patient IBD registry.

Dr. Rupa has received support from the Helmsley Charitable Trust, USA for the Rural programme for early diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 2, Y-ECCO


Y-ECCO Literature Review: Omer Serhan Omer

Omer Serhan Omer


Ungaro RC, Yzet C, Bossuyt P, et al.

Gastroenterology 2020;159:139–47.

Omer Serhan Omer
© Omer Serhan Omer


Despite recent advances in medical therapy, patients with Crohn’s Disease may still suffer disease progression requiring surgery and hospitalisation. It is increasingly recognised that early effective therapy is associated with improved patient outcomes and there is growing emphasis on early intervention, treat to target and tight control (TC) approaches [1]. The Selecting Therapeutic Targets in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (STRIDE) programme highlighted the importance of targetting deep remission, defined as resolution of symptoms and objective resolution of inflammation on endoscopy [2]. The Effect of Tight Control Management on CD (CALM) study recently demonstrated that a TC approach in which therapy is escalated based on objective markers of inflammation [faecal calprotectin and C-reactive protein (CRP)], in addition to symptoms, is an effective strategy to achieve endoscopic and deep remission [3]. 

Posted in ECCO News, Y-ECCO Literature Reviews, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 2, Y-ECCO


Y-ECCO Literature Review: Samuel Lim

Samuel Lim


Sara Rundquist, Michael C Sachs, Carl Eriksson, Ola Olén, Scott Montgomery, Jonas Halfvarson, SWIBREG Study Group

Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2021;53:471–83. doi: 10.1111/apt.16193.

Samuel Lim
© Samuel Lim


The advent of monoclonal antibody therapy has propelled the management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease firmly into the biologic era, with numerous biologic therapies now licensed or in various stages of development.

Anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) agents such as infliximab [1, 2], adalimumab [3, 4] and golimumab [5] were the first biologics to be developed and have the greatest body of evidence for their effectiveness and safety in the treatment of Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC). The arrival of biosimilars has brought down costs and made treatment with anti-TNF more widespread, such that they are the most important first-line treatment option for moderate to severe IBD.

Posted in ECCO News, Y-ECCO Literature Reviews, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 2, Y-ECCO


Y-ECCO Members’ Address

Johan Burisch, Y-ECCO Chair

Johan Burisch

Dear Y-ECCO Friends,

I hope that you are all doing fine and that you managed to submit your abstract to the virtual ECCO Congress before the deadline. As always, we will select the best abstracts submitted by Y-ECCO Members for the Y-ECCO Award 2021. We are really excited to read about your research and, of course, hear all about it at the Congress.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 2, Y-ECCO


Histopathological diagnosis of paediatric-onset IBD

Pamela Baldin, H-ECCO Member

Pamela Baldin

Paediatric-onset Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBDs) represent about 25%–30% of all IBDs. As in adult patients, cases are classified as Ulcerative Colitis (UC) or Crohn’s Disease (CD). In addition, a third diagnostic category, unclassified-IBD (U-IBD), can be used when a definite differential diagnosis between UC and CD is not possible.

Paediatric-onset IBDs, by definition, are those IBDs which are diagnosed in children and adolescents under the age of 17 years. They are further categorised as very early onset IBD (VEO-IBD) when the disease is diagnosed before 6 years of age, infantile IBD when the diagnosis is made before 2 years of age and neonatal-onset IBD when the patient is 28 days old or less. 

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 2, H-ECCO


Pharmacokinetics of anti-TNFα agents in paediatric IBD: Is there any difference at all compared with adults?

Amit Assa, P-ECCO Member

Amit Assa 

Anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) therapy is frequently used in the treatment of Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) in both adult and paediatric patients. Nevertheless, primary or secondary treatment failure of anti-TNFα treatment is not uncommon [1]. Both primary and secondary treatment failures are attributed either to pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and immunogenic factors or to adverse events in response to the specific agent [2]. In recent years, loss of response (LOR) during anti-TNFα treatment has commonly been approached through the use of therapeutic drug monitoring involving measurement of infliximab or adalimumab trough concentrations (TC) and anti-drug antibodies (ADAs). Therapeutic drug monitoring of anti-TNFα agents enables proper stratification of LOR into a specific type of LOR, with corresponding adjustment of treatment. In children, in line with findings in adults, it has consistently been shown that higher drug TC is associated with higher efficacy [3] and that LOR is most commonly attributable to either low TC or the development of anti-drug antibodies [4].

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Congress News, P-ECCO, Volume 16, Issue 2


Dietary management of IBD: The patient’s perspective and bridging the clinician-patient divide

Dearbhaile O'Hanlon, D-ECCO Member

Dearbhaile O'Hanlon

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ― Virginia Woolf

Unfortunately for many of our patients, dining well is often not an option since their disease symptoms give rise to wariness about the foods they eat. Patients are forced to consider how they may feel after a meal and to take into account their requirement for toilet facilities and ability to cope with pain. They often forego social eating to manage these aspects. This can negatively impact their social interactions, daily activities and food-related quality of life [1]. Coupled with this, patients with IBD have higher rates of depression and anxiety [2] and a higher incidence of behavioural, psychological and eating disorders [3]. Self-directed food exclusions can trigger these disorders and lead to higher nutritional risk. We need to be mindful of this when addressing diet and nutrition with our patients. It is important that we consider the implications of asking patients to modify their diets for disease or symptom management while taking into account their desire to use diet as a tool to manage their disease.

Posted in ECCO News, Committee News, Volume 16, Issue 2, D-ECCO