January 2008 Briefing - Gastroenterology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for January 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.

MicroRNA Expression Higher in Colon Cancer

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with incident colorectal cancer, microRNA expression patterns are significantly different in tumors than in non-cancerous tissue, and patients with high tumor expression of one microRNA -- miR-21 -- have poor response to adjuvant chemotherapy and an increased risk of death, according to study findings published in the Jan. 30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pot Linked to Severe Liver Fibrosis in Hepatitis C Virus

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Daily marijuana use is associated with a higher likelihood of moderate to severe liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, according to research published in the January issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Barrett's Esophagus Prevalence Differs by Race

MONDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Blacks and Hispanics have a lower prevalence of Barrett's esophagus, a precursor neoplastic lesion to the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma, than whites, according to a report in the January issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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CDC: Salmonellosis Outbreak Linked to Pet Turtles

FRIDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- A multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections is primarily the result of exposure to small pet turtles purchased at pet stores, flea markets or over the Internet, according to a report published in the Jan. 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Pancreatic Cancer Linked to New-Onset Diabetes

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Pancreatic cancer patients are significantly more likely than the general population to have diabetes, especially new-onset diabetes, according to research published in the January issue of Gastroenterology.

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Nomogram Predicts Individual Colon Cancer Recurrence

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A nomogram that uses common clinical and pathologic factors can individually predict colon cancer recurrence after curative surgery better than the current gold standard staging scheme, according to a report in the Jan. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Aspirin May Be Beneficial in Colorectal Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin may help prevent the development and recurrence of colorectal cancer, but at doses that are too high for the general population, according to two studies published in the January issue of Gastroenterology.

Abstract - Logan
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Sorafenib Has Significant Hypertension Risk

TUESDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with renal cell carcinoma or other solid tumors treated with sorafenib have an increased risk of hypertension and should be monitored for cardiovascular complications, according to a report published online Jan. 22 in The Lancet.

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Fatty Liver Disease Leads to Higher Health Care Costs

FRIDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Fatty liver disease is associated with significantly higher health care costs over a five-year period, suggesting a need to address behavioral factors that increase the risk of developing the disease, researchers report in the January issue of Gastroenterology.

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Adequate Nutrition Key to Achieving Human Potential

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Lack of adequate nutrition in early childhood appears to have serious lifelong consequences, including stunted growth, reduced economic productivity and a possible increased risk of chronic disease, reports an article published online Jan. 17 in advance of publication in The Lancet.

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Men at Greater Risk from Iron-Overload Mutation

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Diseases related to iron overload are far more common in men who are homozygous for the C282Y mutation in the HFE protein than their female counterparts, according to research published in the Jan. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Drug Interferes with Platelet Effects of Clopidogrel

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The proton pump inhibitor omeprazole reduces the ability of clopidogrel to inhibit platelet reactivity in patients undergoing coronary stent implantation, according to research published in the Jan. 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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FDA Approves Tysabri for Some Crohn's Disease Patients

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The drug Tysabri (natalizumab), previously approved as a treatment for some forms of multiple sclerosis, received approval Jan. 14 from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease patients whose inflammation has not responded to conventional therapy. But Tysabri is associated with so many side effects that the FDA is requiring patients who receive the drug to enroll in a restricted distribution program: Crohn's Disease -- Tysabri Outreach Unified Commitment to Health (CD-TOUCH) Prescribing Program.

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Sorbitol in Chewing Gum Linked to Chronic Diarrhea

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Chewing large amounts of sugar-free gum can lead to chronic diarrhea and severe weight loss, according to a "Lesson of the Week" published in the Jan. 12 issue of BMJ.

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Colonoscopy Attendance Improved by Peer Support

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The odds that patients who are prone to missing doctors' appointments will show up for their first scheduled colonoscopy can be significantly increased if they are called before the appointment by a peer group coach, researchers report in the January issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Targeting Neuropilin-2 Offers Promise for Colorectal Cancer

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Neuropilin-2 (NRP2), a receptor for vascular endothelial growth factor and semaphorin 3F, holds potential as a therapeutic target in colorectal cancer, according to research published in the Jan. 16 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Altered Brain Responses Seen in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with irritable bowel syndrome experience more anxiety and fail to downregulate activity in certain brain areas in anticipation of an uncomfortable visceral stimulus compared to controls, according to an article published in the Jan. 9 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Gastroesophageal Reflux a Benign Condition

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Gastroesophageal reflux is a benign condition that does not carry an increased risk of death, according to the results of a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Novel Imaging Techniques Detect Liver Fibrosis

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Several novel magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques show promise in assessing liver fibrosis, which may ultimately reduce the need for liver biopsy, the current gold standard for detecting and monitoring liver fibrosis, according to an article published in the January issue of Hepatology.

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Shorter Treatment Duration for Hepatitis C May Be OK

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of hepatitis C virus infection, a shorter duration of treatment with pegylated interferon (IFN) and ribavirin may be acceptable in patients who rapidly clear the virus, according to two articles published in Hepatology in January.

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Abstract - Dalgard
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New Chemo Regimens Tested in Esophagogastric Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Oral capecitabine is at least as effective as infused fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin as effective as cisplatin when used in triplet cytotoxic regimens for the treatment of advanced esophageal or gastric cancer, according to research published in the Jan. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Gene Variant Increases Liver Cancer Risk in Cirrhosis

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with liver cirrhosis who have a particular variant of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) gene produce higher levels of EGF and appear to be at increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, according to the results of a study published in the Jan. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Post-Hysterectomy Pelvic Floor Repair Risks Identified

TUESDAY, Jan. 1 (HealthDay News) -- In women who undergo hysterectomy, the risk of subsequent pelvic floor repair is significantly higher in those who had a hysterectomy for prolapse, according to study findings published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Physician's Briefing