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December 2008 Briefing - Gastroenterology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for December 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Withdrawal Time Policy Not Linked to Polyp Discovery

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A policy calling for endoscopists to devote at least seven minutes to withdrawal time during colonoscopies failed to increase colon polyp detection, according to research published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Chemoembolization Helps to Treat Liver Metastases

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Repeated transarterial chemoembolization is an effective treatment for neoadjuvant, symptomatic or palliative treatment of liver metastases originating from colorectal cancer, according to the results of a study published in the January issue of Radiology.

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Fewer Polyps Detected by Inexperienced Nurses

TUESDAY, Dec. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Colonoscopy procedures staffed by inexperienced nurses may be less likely to detect polyps, which may be explained by increased detection of hyperplastic lesions, according to research reported in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Racial Differences in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is more likely to present as Crohn's disease and at an older age in black children compared with other children and adolescents, according to a report published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Covariance Network Analysis Predicts Hepatitis Outcomes

FRIDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hepatitis C infection, analyzing genome-wide virus amino acid covariance networks can predict response to treatment with interferon-alpha and ribavirin, according to a report published online Dec. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Thiazolidinediones Not Linked to Polyp Development

THURSDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with type 2 diabetes, thiazolidinedione therapy does not appear to increase the risk of colonic neoplasia, researchers report in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Genetic Factors, Alcohol Use Linked to Colorectal Tumors

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Heavy users of alcohol who are homozygous for the alcohol dehydrogenase 1C (ADH1C*1) allele appear to be more likely to develop high-risk adenomas and colorectal cancer, according to research published in the January issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Colonoscopy Carries Risks of Bleeding, Perforation, Death

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Factors associated with bleeding and perforation from colonoscopy include older age, undergoing a polypectomy, and using a low-volume endoscopist, according to research published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Semiannual Ultrasound Improves Liver Cancer Outcome

TUESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Semiannual surveillance for hepatocellular carcinoma using ultrasound in patients with liver cirrhosis leads to improved clinical outcomes, researchers report in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Carries Heavy Financial Burden

MONDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which affects roughly a million Americans, represents a costly burden both at the individual and national levels, according to research published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

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Updated Guidelines Issued for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

FRIDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Variable evidence exists on the effectiveness of treatments for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and the disease should be diagnosed as a symptom complex, according to updated guidelines published online Dec. 18 and as a supplement to the January issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Hepatitis C Reinfection More Likely Than First Infection

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Reinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) following a prior HCV infection and clearance is more likely to occur than a primary HCV infection amongst injection drug users, according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Sorafenib Effective in Advanced Liver Cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The oral multikinase inhibitor sorafenib is a safe and effective treatment option for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, according to the results of a large study published online Dec. 17 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Appointment Date Affects Colorectal Cancer Screening

THURSDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Adults are more likely to be screened for colorectal cancer if the appointment is scheduled in December or near their birthday, according to research published online Dec. 17 in BMJ.

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Physical Activity May Decrease Liver Disease Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Physical activity has an independent, protective role against the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to the results of a study published in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Factors Predict Response to Hepatitis C Therapy

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A pretreatment predictive model encompassing four viral and host factors can accurately predict the sustained virologic response (SVR) for patients treated with combination therapy comprised of pegylated interferon alpha-2b (Peg-IFN) and ribavirin, according to research published in the December issue of Hepatology.

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Smoking Associated with Higher Colorectal Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- There is a strong association between cigarette smoking and incidence of colorectal cancer, as well as disease-specific mortality, according to research published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Colonoscopy Lowers Cancer Death Rates, But Side Matters

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Colonoscopy is associated with a lower rate of colorectal cancer mortality, but this benefit is largely limited to deaths from cancer in the left side of the colon, according to research published online Dec. 16 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Insurance Status Affects Surgery for Diverticulitis

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Race and insurance status both affect the treatment of diverticulitis, but in different ways, according to study findings published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Antigen Levels Can Help Assess Cancer Surgery Patients

TUESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- As early as six weeks after surgery, carcinoembryonic antigen levels can help determine whether or not a patient requires adjuvant chemotherapy, according to research published in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Cardiovascular Risk High in Patients with Liver Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Many patients with end-stage liver disease are at risk of developing coronary artery disease, researchers report in the December issue of Liver Transplantation.

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Score Reduces Hospitalization for Stomach Bleeding

MONDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A simple scoring system can identify which patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding can be safely managed as outpatients, reducing hospital admissions, according to a report published online Dec. 15 in The Lancet.

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Fecal Testing Linked to Lower Colorectal Cancer Deaths

FRIDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Colorectal cancer screening in an Italian region starting in the 1980s was associated with a drop in colorectal cancer mortality, according to research published in the Dec. 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Insulin Proteins Affect Colon Cancer Mortality

THURSDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- High levels of two insulin-related proteins associated with lifestyle factors such as obesity, diet and physical activity affect the risk of dying from colon cancer, according to the results of a study published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease Share Common Genes

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Celiac disease and type 1 diabetes share common genetic variants, according to research released online Dec. 10 in advance of publication in the Dec. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Aspirin, Starch Do Not Prevent Lynch Syndrome Colon Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Neither aspirin nor resistant starch show chemopreventive activity against the development of colorectal adenoma or carcinoma in Lynch syndrome patients, according to the results of a study published in the Dec. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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New Transplant Criteria Benefits Liver Cancer Patients

MONDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with liver cancer who do not meet the current strict Milan criteria for a liver transplant can still benefit from a transplant if more precise criteria are used that take tumor size, number and microvascular invasion into account, according to an article published online Dec. 4 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Biomarkers Not Associated with Clinical Crohn's Activity

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with Crohn's disease, serum and fecal biomarker concentrations are not associated with clinical disease activity but have a modest association with endoscopic disease activity, according to study findings published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Colonoscopy Appropriateness Guidelines Faulted

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Current appropriateness guidelines for colonoscopy are inefficient because they exclude a clinically significant colorectal cancer risk among patients deemed inappropriate for colonoscopy, according to a report published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Risk of Gastrointestinal Reflux Linked to Pulmonary Disease

FRIDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) increases the risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), according to research published in the December issue of the journal Chest.

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Liver Enzymes Decline in Placebo-Treated Liver Disease

THURSDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In randomized controlled trials of patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), serum alanine aminotransferase levels may decrease on placebo but is not a reliable measure of treatment response, according to study findings published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Tenofovir Superior to Adefovir to Treat Chronic Hepatitis B

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (DF) is superior to adefovir dipivoxil for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection regardless of prior lamivudine exposure, according to data published in the Dec. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Liver Disease Progression May Occur Despite Peginterferon

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term therapy with peginterferon does not prevent liver disease progression in hepatitis C patients who had no response to initial treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin, researchers report in the Dec. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing
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