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Clinical Studies, Natural History, Biomarkers, & Clinical Trials

Chairs: Cyriel Ponsioen ( and Chris Bowlus (

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is an idiopathic, inflammatory disorder of the bile ducts frequently associated with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) of the colon affecting both adults and children. The progression of liver fibrosis in PSC is slow and variable. In addition, PSC is associated with complications such as cholangiocarcinoma, gallbladder cancer, and colorectal adenocarcinoma which may occur at any stage of fibrosis. Defining the natural history of PSC is multiple populations, developing prognostic models, and validating biomarkers of disease progression are critical for the development of new therapies for the treatment of PSC.

The Natural History and Biomarkers Working Group is committed to:

  1. Developing retrospective/prospective databases using common data elements with representation of the spectrum of populations affected by PSC.
  2. Supporting Biomarker development including discovery and validation of established tests (i.e. vibration controlled transient elastography in the FICUS study) as well as novel biomarkers.

Selected Proposals

  • Metabolomics and lipidomics in assessment of disease progression and risk for biliary dysplasia in PSC ( Farkkila, Helsinki)
  • Role of PSC-related intestinal dysbiosis in colitis-associated colorectal cancer (Massimo C. Fantini, Rome)