Fecal Microbiota Transplantation in Crohn's Disease as Relay After Anti-TNF Withdrawal

  • End date
    Jan 22, 2026
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Updated on 1 November 2021
body mass index
tumor necrosis factor
maintenance treatment
inflammatory bowel disease
crohn's disease
fecal microbiota transplantation
Accepts healthy volunteers


Crohn's disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. CD pathogenesis remains poorly understood but involves an inappropriate immune response toward an unbalanced gut microbiota in predisposed hosts.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate de clinical efficacy of the fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) as a maintenance treatment following anti-TNF agent withdrawal in CD's patient.


Crohn's disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease affecting approximately 120000 patients in France, mostly at young age, and altering their quality of life.

Immunosuppressive treatments in CD are expensive and associated with potentially severe complications.

Alternative treatment strategies are thus required. This is particularly the case for CD patients in remission under anti-TNF agents for which no specific recommendation are available.

CD pathogenesis remains poorly understood but involves an inappropriate immune response toward an unbalanced gut microbiota in predisposed hosts.

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is currently recommended for treating recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Although the pathogenesis involved in CD differs, FMT is a potential therapeutic strategy that could restore the appropriate host-microbiota crosstalk by transferring a healthy microbiota in a CD patient. However, as the gut microbiota is dramatically altered by intestinal inflammation, transferring a massive amount of microbes in an inflamed gut with epithelial barrier disruption might be a suboptimal strategy and could even have detrimental effects by allowing bacterial translocation.

Results of randomized controlled trial (RCT) in CD are lacking to date. We performed a pilot RCT (NCT02097797), evaluating the impact of a single FMT in 18 CD patients who achieved remission by corticosteroid treatment. A higher rate of steroid free clinical remission was observed in the FMT arm at 24 weeks (57.1% vs 33.3% in FMT and control arm respectively). CD Endoscopic Index of Severity was also improved at 6 weeks in FMT (median 8.5 vs 3.5 p=0.03) but not in sham group (median 2.4 vs 2.7 p=0.8). Moreover, the only 2 patients who early relapsed in the FMT group were those who did not show any engraftment of donor microbiota at week 6. These promising data, currently submitted for publication, suggest that using FMT as a maintenance treatment in CD can be effective. However, these promising findings need to be confirmed by a Phase III RCT.

Condition crohns disease, Crohn's Disease, Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's Disease (Pediatric), Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Treatment Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), Sham-transplantation (placebo)
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04997733
SponsorAssistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris
Last Modified on1 November 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Age 18 years and < 75 years
Crohn's disease (according to the Lennard-Jones criteria) for at least 6 months
Patient in steroid-free clinical remission for at least 6 months under anti-TNF agent (no clinical evidence of flare nor change in Crohn's disease specific treatment (anti-TNF, immunosuppressive, ) within 6 months before inclusion) and CDAI <150 the week before inclusion) and willing to withdraw anti-TNF treatment
Female of child-bearing age with an active contraception and this during at least the period of treatment (week 52)
Patient with health insurance
Informed Written consent
Inclusion Criteria for healthy volunteer donor
Age 18 years and < 50 years
kg/m < body mass index < 30 kg/m
Regular bowel movement defined as at least 1 stool every other day and maximum 2 stools per day
Subject with health insurance (AME excepted)
Informed written consent

Exclusion Criteria

Crohn's Disease complication requiring surgical treatment
Contraindication to colonoscopy or anesthesia
Pregnancy or breastfeeding during the study (Cf. Addendum 4)
Diagnosis of Crohn's disease restricted to the upper gastrointestinal tract (oesophagus, stomach, duodenum, jejunum) Patient with active perineal disease (defined as evidence of perineal abscess or active draining fistula or presence of seton or presence of perineal ulceration)
History of bowel resection
Current stoma (Ileostomy or a colostomy) or stoma in the last 6 months or any other intra-abdominal surgery within 3 months prior to inclusion
Participation in any other interventional study
Patient under legal protection
Exclusion Criteria for healthy volunteer donor
For details, please see protocol
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