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SUNY Upstate drug study seeks people with ulcerative colitis

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A clinical trial under way at SUNY Upstate Medical University is testing the effectiveness of a new drug therapy for people diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the large intestine. The inflammation usually occurs in the rectum and lower part of the colon, but it may affect the entire colon. Symptoms, depending on the severity of the disease, can include bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, weight loss and fatigue.

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic illness and can be treated with a variety of drug therapies. The only known cure for the disease is surgical removal of the affected part of the colon.

The clinical study, being conducted by Philip Holtzapple, M.D., professor of medicine at SUNY Upstate, will test the effectiveness of encapsulated mesalamine pellets for the maintenance or remission from mild to moderate ulcerative colitis.

The study is comparing the investigational medication to placebo in people who have been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis that is in remission. To qualify, participants must be at least 18 and in remission from ulcerative colitis for at least one month but no longer than 12 months.

For information on enrolling in the study, contact Karyn Kushner at 464-5794.