Letter from the ECCO President

Britta Siegmund, ECCO President

Britta Siegmund


Dear ECCO Friends,

Summer is coming and Berlin is getting ready – not yet for the next ECCO Congress, but for the European Soccer Championship! Leading up to the summer break, everyone has been very active, which is reflected in this issue of ECCO News.

UR-CARE is now established in many centres across Europe and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Gerhard Rogler as the new chair of the UR-CARE Steering Committee! If you would like to learn more about the plans and activities around UR-CARE, enjoy the interview with Gerhard.

By introducing the REACstrategy at the ECCO Congress in Stockholm, ECCO has initiated several activities under the umbrella of REACH. Importantly, the Global Grant was introduced to support the “E” element of REACstrategy (equitable access to IBD care). The first study selected for the ECCO Global Grant is a collaboration between the UK and sub-Saharan Africa that will focus on genetics in the region and was initiated by the African IBD Research Initiative. You can find further details of this exciting project in this issue. Also supporting the “E” is the article by Maria Chaparro, Murat Toruner and Julien Kirchgesner from ClinCom on coordinating research opportunities across geographies.

Equitable access to IBD care” and “Holistic Care” were the main aspects discussed at the 3rd Council of National Representatives Meeting which was held in October 2023 adjacent to the UEG Week in Copenhagen: a new ambitious format with break-out sessions fostered engagement by and multifaceted input of all meeting participants. In the past months, the ECCO Governing Board worked on a list of concrete implementation points resulting from this successful meeting with the aim to use this list also as a reference at the next meeting edition to check on what has been accomplished in the meantime.

In doing so, the ECCO Governing Board will continue working on the REACH Strategy.

In a joint cross-committee article, Emma Halmos, Hanna Gordon and Richard Hansen provide a compact summary on the role of diet in IBD. If you need a short overview of the topic, this is perfect. Additionally, Aart Mookhoek shares his H-ECCO Masterclass Talk's most important points on tissue-based predictive biomarkers.

In the Y-ECCO Literature Review, Daniele Noviello summarises the LADI trial, which compared increased versus conventional adalimumab dose intervals for patients with Crohn’s Disease in stable remission. Hiruni Jayasena summarises a recent systematic review and meta-analysis on the withdrawal of immunomodulators or TNF antagonists in IBD in remission on combination therapy. Finally, Raquel Oliveira highlights a recent paper on how dysbiosis and associated stool features improve the prediction of response to biological therapy in IBD.

There are always changes to our committees. EpiCom, N-ECCO and S-ECCO say farewell to outgoing members and introduce their new committee members. A big thank you to all outgoing members and a warm welcome to the new members, including from my side! In an additional interview, the N-ECCO National Representative from Belgium, Goedele Dewitte, highlights her role as an IBD Nurse in Belgium.

The Interview Corner in this issue is dedicated to Fernando Magro, our current President-Elect. The interview provides insights into why he is so enthusiastic about IBD and what IBD management will look like in 20 years’ time. In a second interview, our new Scientific Officer, Marietta Iacucci, explains how her dedication to endoscopy evolved.

I wish all of you a wonderful summer and I look forward to meeting everybody at UEG.

I am also looking forward to meeting all of you during the various activities to be held in the coming months. Stay tuned!


Posted in ECCO News, Volume 19, Issue 2, Letters from the ECCO President