In the past years the advances in therapy of IBD have been characterized mainly by the more widespread use of immunosuppression. Especially azathioprine is currently used in Crohn's disease with methotrexate as the second-line immunosuppressive drug. Cyclosporin may become a drug of choice to treat severe ulcerative colitis but its effect in the long term is probably insufficient. Topically acting glucocorticosteroids have emerged as a valuable safer alternative to standard glucocorticosteroids (GCS) in right ileocolonic Crohn's disease but GCS have no role in maintenance therapy. The most significant development in recent years is the introduction of immunomodulatory treatments using cytokines and anticytokines. The first data show that anti-TNF monoclonal antibodies, especially cA2, not only may result in rapid control of active Crohn's disease but also achieve rapid tissue healing. Repeated administration of cA2 maintains remission. Immunomodulation therapy creates great expectations since early reset of the immunostat might be able to control inflammation in the long term. Safety will be a key issue.