Background and Aims: The effectiveness and durability of ustekinumab therapy with or without thiopurine immunomodulators (IMs) for ulcerative colitis (UC) in real-world Asian, Japanese patients have not yet been elucidated. Methods: To evaluate the additive effects of IMs on ustekinumab, a retrospective cohort study of UC patients receiving ustekinumab with or without thiopurine IMs, azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine, was conducted from March 2020 to August 2021. The primary endpoint was clinical remission or response rate at week 8. The secondary endpoints were clinical remission or response rates at weeks 24 and 52, the durability of each treatment, and adverse events. Results: Of the 50 patients with UC treated with ustekinumab, 42 were enrolled. Sixteen patients were treated with a combination of ustekinumab and an IM. The clinical response rates of all patients at weeks 8, 24, and 52 were 53.7%, 63.3%, and 42.9%, respectively. There was no significant difference in the clinical responses or remission rates between the combination therapy and monotherapy groups at weeks 8, 24, and 52. (50.0% vs. 56.0%, P =. 757; 70.0% vs. 60.0%, P =. 702; and 42.9% vs. 42.9%, P = 1.00, respectively). A Kaplan-Meier analysis showed no difference in IM use on the durability of ustekinumab treatment (log-rank test; P =. 955). Conclusions: The response rate for Japanese UC patients is similar to previous reports based on American and European UC patients. There was no significant difference between the ustekinumab monotherapy group and the ustekinumab and IM combination group in the real world.
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