Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), traditionally categorized into Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, are chronic progressive and disabling intestinal disorders affecting millions of people worldwide. Patients are often diagnosed in early adulthood and face a lifetime suffering from a disease without a cure. The etiology of IBD is partly unknown, and the disease course is highly unpredictable, ranging from relatively mild to severe with uncontrolled inflammation, repeated surgeries, and risk of other inflammatory conditions, liver-biliary disorders, and cancer. Today, due to a very limited understanding of the development and heterogeneous course of IBD, we have no clue as to which disease path a newly diagnosed young patient will take.
The purpose of PREDICT is to perform a comprehensive biological characterization of unique patient samples from the Danish National Biobank and combine this information with longitudinal nationwide register data on disease presentation and disease expression over time to unravel the cause and prognosis of IBD. By examining genetics, epigenetics, antibodies, inflammatory markers, metabolomics and microbiomes on thousands of patients and combining these data with long-term clinical data, we expect to obtain exclusive novel basic science information on the biological mechanisms underlying the development of IBD and the heterogeneous course of IBD, including the differential need for and response to treatment. Creation of a data lake with this wealth of biological and clinical information is expected to open new avenues for categorization of IBD, for development of prediction algorithms for individualized treatment of IBD, and for extensive international collaborations in many years to come.