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Commentaries on “Workshop Report: Developing a Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Network and Data Platform in Canada”NETWORKING IN PEDIATRIC INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE THE FRENCH GETAID PÉDIATRIQUE EXPERIENCE

Ruemmele, Frank M.*; Colombel, Jean-Frédéric

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Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition: August 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 2 - p 123
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3182604f83
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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.


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© 2012 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,