About - CAG IBD – Precision medicine in inflammatory bowel disease
A CAG is an Academic Clinical Research Group, which consists of researchers and clinicians from different universities and hospitals. The aim is to solve a concrete health problem and increase the quality within the field of clinical practice. CAG provides a strong professional network across healthcare settings from universities to everyday clinical work.
The first CAGs in Norway were established at the initiative of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, according to a Danish model. The CAGs are supported both by the university (NTNU) and by the health trust (Central Norway Regional Health Authority), and intend to build strong clinical-academic interdisciplinary competence.
Current challenges in IBD
Current challenges in IBD
Diagnosis, treatment and multidisciplinary care of patients with IBD (ulcerative colitis and Crohn´s disease) is an important part of the activity of gastroenterology departments. Most patients are diagnosed with IBD at a young age and this means, for many, decades of active disease and treatment. In addition, a well-known problem in the clinic is that the course of the disease and the effect of treatments are difficult to predict. This heterogeneity is also a challenge in IBD research.
Our research team will use the CAG award to contribute to the development of precision medicine (individualized approach) for IBD patients by continuing our translational research on carefully controlled patient material.
CAG-IBD will contribute to unite gastroenetrology departments in the region and experienced IBD researchers in one joint group for patient-focused translation research with the National Patient Organization for Digestive Diseases (LMF) as support.
Initially, the clinical part of the project involves the gastroenterology departments at Levanger Hospital, Molde Hospital and St. Olav's Hospital, in addition to the Children’s and Adolescents' Clinic at St. Olav's Hospital.
Key members of CAG-IBD are clinicians and pathologists at the three hospitals in Central Norway, as well as researchers at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at NTNU. Among the associated members are national and international research groups and hospitals with extensive experience in IBD.
From the clinical perspective, the goal is that all departments establish standardized diagnostics, follow-up and treatment decision protocols for patients with IBD. The clinical process will train clinicians in evidence-based gastroenterology, and bring non-university hospitals towards cutting-edge IBD diagnostics and treatment. In parallel, the project seeks to train IBD nurses to ensure optimal patient care.
We will collect clinical information and biological samples from diagnosis and at set times throughout the course of the disease. The project will create a particularly well-controlled, longitudinal biobank for IBD research aimed at clarifying prognostic factors, predicting treatment response and understanding disease mechanisms. This cohort thus meets the widely acknowledged need for precisely characterized clinical and biological research material, and will create opportunities for research collaboration both nationally and internationally.