Epidemiological data continue to show increasing incidence of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (1,2). Formation of pediatric IBD networks is one approach toward understanding the underlying pathogenesis and developing new therapies and ultimately a cure for IBD (3), as discussed in the report by Sherman et al (4). Why may networking be appealing? It allows gathering a significant critical mass (large patient cohorts and experienced IBD specialists) within 1 structure, essential for ambitious and appropriately powered clinical studies. Expert-driven studies are based on relevant clinical or practical questions and often differ significantly from industry-motivated clinical trials. Networks facilitate collaboration of highly specialized clinicians and basic scientists, helping to develop a comprehensive approach to these complex disorders; however, networks face major challenges, such as conflicting opinions of key opinion leaders, independence from industry, financial challenges, and control by regulatory authorities. To enhance pediatric IBD research, a French national network was created in 2010, closely interacting with the established adult network GETAID (Groupe d’Études Thérapeutiques des Affections Inflammatoires du Tube Digestif). The success of GETAID is based on the project-driven motivation of all of the participating centers, allowing every member to openly discuss their ideas and translate these into relevant studies (5–7). The interaction of the GETAID-GETAID Pédiatrique with the French IBD patient association AFA (Association François Aupetit) allows an optimal platform, bringing together clinicians, researchers, patients, and families. The Canadian initiative to create a pediatric IBD network should be encouraged. Future interactions between networks, such as a Franco-Canadian supernetwork, may be worthy of consideration.
1. Benchimol EI, Fortinsky KJ, Gozdyra P, et al. Epidemiology of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease: a systematic review of international trends. Inflamm Bowel Dis
2. Vernier-Massouille G, Balde M, Salleron J, et al. Natural history of pediatric Crohn's disease: a population-based cohort study. Gastroenterology
3. Ruemmele FM. Pediatric inflammatory bowel diseases: coming of age. Curr Opin Gastroenterol
4. Sherman PM, Brown S, Rose K, et al. Workshop report: developing a pediatric inflammatory bowel diseases network and data platform in Canada. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr
5. Leblanc S, Allez M, Seksik P, et al. Successive treatment with cyclosporine and infliximab in steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis. Am J Gastroenterol
6. Lémann M, Mary JY, Duclos B, et al. Groupe d’Etude Therapeutique des Affections Inflammatoires du Tube Digestif (GETAID)Infliximab plus azathioprine for steroid-dependent Crohn's disease patients: a randomizedplacebo-controlled trial. Gastroenterology
7. Gendre JP, Mary JY, Florent C, et al. Oral mesalamine (Pentasa) as maintenance treatment in Crohn's disease: a multicenter placebo-controlled study. The Groupe d’Etudes Thérapeutiques des Affections Inflammatoires Digestives (GETAID). Gastroenterology