Herbal combination works in treatment of active ulcerative colitis
The herbal combination of curcumin plus QingDai (CurQD) appears beneficial to patients with active ulcerative colitis (UC), with a recent study showing that the combination induced clinical and biomarker remission.
For the retrospective study, researchers reviewed the medical records of 88 adults (median age 32 years, 58 percent women) with active UC (Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index [SCCAI] ≥3) treated across five tertiary academic centres. These patients received CurQD as induction treatment.
The primary endpoint was clinical remission at weeks 8–12, defined as SCCAI ≤2 and a decrease of ≥3 points from baseline. Secondary endpoints included clinical response (SCCAI decrease of ≥3 points), corticosteroid-free remission, faecal calprotectin (FC) response (reduction of ≥50 percent), FC normalization (FC ≤100 μg/g for patients with FC ≥300 μg/g at baseline), and safety.
Of the patients included, 50 percent were previously treated with biologics/small molecules (with 36.5 percent having received ≥2 biologics/small molecules) and 84 percent were previously treated with corticosteroids. CurQD was given as add-on therapy in 37 patients (31.4 percent), who continued treatment with biologics/small molecules concomitantly. All 37 patients had no or partial response to the biologics/small molecules.
Clinical remission occurred in 41 patients (46.5 percent), while clinical response was documented in 53 patients (60.2 percent). The median SCCAI decreased significantly, from 7 points at baseline to 2 points at the end of treatment (p<0.0001).
Of note, seven of the 26 patients (26.9 percent) on corticosteroids at baseline achieved corticosteroid-free remission. Among 43 biologics/small molecules-experienced patients, 39.5 percent achieved clinical remission and 58.1 percent achieved clinical response.
FC normalization and response were seen in 17/29 (58.6 percent) and 27/33 (81.8 percent) patients, respectively. Median FC dropped from 1,000 μg/g at baseline to 75 μg/g at the end of induction (n=30 patients with paired samples; p<0.0001).
No overt safety signals were reported.