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June 2008 Briefing - Gastroenterology

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

Drug Therapy Found Effective in Crohn's Disease

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents are effective in treating both luminal and fistulizing Crohn's disease but further safety studies need to be done, according to an article published in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Declining Hospitalizations for Bleeding Esophageal Varices

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- While the incidence of esophageal bleeding may be declining due to primary and secondary prophylaxis, the pervasiveness of portal hypertension is leading to an increased incidence of non-bleeding esophageal varices, according to an article published in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Gastroenterology Malpractice Claims Analyzed

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- While the procedural nature of gastroenterology leads to a perception of increased legal risk, there are relatively few malpractice claims and payments, according to an article published in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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CDC: 2007-2008 Rotavirus Season Unusually Mild

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- The 2007-2008 rotavirus season began three months later than usual and has been significantly milder, suggesting that 2006 recommendations for infants to be vaccinated at ages 2 months, 4 months and 6 months with the RotaTeq vaccine may be having an impact, according to an interim report issued June 25 in the early release edition of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Guanylyl Cyclase C May Offer Therapeutic Cancer Target

FRIDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Guanylyl cyclase C (GCC), which is expressed in intestinal epithelial cells and colorectal tumors, may represent a therapeutic target for metastatic colon cancer, according to the results of a study in mice published in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Cisplatin Analogue Shows Anti-Cancer Potential

THURSDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- cDPCP, an analogue of cisplatin, may have more tumor-targeting potential than oxaliplatin due to its high cellular accumulation and cell sensitization, according to research published online June 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Haplotype Blocks in 8q24 Gene Desert Linked to Cancer

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Five specific loci within the 8q24 gene desert are associated with an increased risk of various cancers, according to research published in the July 2 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Article Examines Use of 'Key Opinion Leaders' in Drug Sales

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Influential doctors known as "key opinion leaders" are paid generous fees to influence their peers to prescribe a company's drugs and may in fact be considered salespeople by the industry, according to an article in the June 21 issue of BMJ.

Full Text - Moynihan
Editorial - Buckwell
Editorial - Fava

Vitamin D May Reduce Mortality in Colorectal Cancer

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Having high blood levels of vitamin D reduces the risk of death in patients subsequently diagnosed with colorectal cancer, according to a report in the June 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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A New Pyridopyrimidine Derivative May Treat Diarrhea

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- A newly identified pyridopyrimidine derivative that works against a toxin released by powerful strains of Escherichia coli may be effective against diarrhea, according to study findings published in the June 17 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Surgical Technique More Effective for Low Rectal Cancer

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- Abdominoperineal excision of low rectal cancer removes more tissue around the tumor if a cylindrical technique performed in the prone position is used rather than the standard approach, according to a report published online June 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Severe Diarrhea May Be Rising Threat to Pregnant Women

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In pregnant women, severe Clostridium difficile-associated disease may be an emerging threat, according to a report published in the June issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Post-Liver Transplant Surgical Infection Risks Explored

MONDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In a group of patients who underwent liver transplantation, 8.8 percent developed surgical site infections; certain procedures, previous transplants and amount of transfused blood were all associated with risk of infections, according to research published in the June issue of Liver Transplantation.

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Blood Proteins Upregulated in Pancreatic Cancer Identified

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Proteins present at high levels in the blood of a mouse model of pancreatic cancer at various stages are also upregulated in human patients with pancreatic cancer and could be useful for early detection, researchers report in the June issue of PLoS Medicine.

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Skin Patch Helps Prevent Traveler's Diarrhea

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- A skin patch vaccine containing heat-labile enterotoxin from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli may either help prevent traveler's diarrhea or lessen its effects, according to research published online June 12 in The Lancet.

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Myeloma Drug Relieves Lupus Pathology in Mice

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Treating mice with lupus with bortezomib, a drug approved to treat multiple myeloma, eliminates autoreactive plasma cells, reduces glomerulonephritis and improves survival, according to study findings published online June 8 in Nature Medicine.

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Vitamin D Synthesis Linked to Colitis in Mice

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of the enzyme that synthesizes vitamin D3, the active form of vitamin D important in immunity, are altered in the kidney and colon of a mouse model of colitis, and mice lacking the enzyme are more susceptible to colitis, according to a report published online June 5 in Endocrinology.

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Colorectal Cancer Screening Lacking Among At-Risk Blacks

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients with a family history of colorectal cancer have lower rates of risk-appropriate colorectal cancer screening than either blacks at average risk or whites at increased risk, according to the results of a study published in the July 15 issue of the journal Cancer.

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Cancer Costs Increasing Due to More Treatment

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- The costs associated with treating cancer in the elderly have largely increased due to more patients receiving surgery and adjuvant treatment, and rising prices for these therapies, researchers report in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Diabetes Adds to Risk for Liver Cancer in Hepatitis C

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have chronic hepatitis C and advanced cirrhosis face an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma if they also have diabetes, according to research published in the June issue of Hepatology.

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Excision Rates Useful Measure of Rectal Cancer Treatment

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Although the overall rates of abdominoperineal excision for rectal cancer have declined in the United Kingdom, there are significant variations in its application that cause unequal quality of care, according to a report published online June 5 in Gut.

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FDA Performing Safety Review of TNF Blockers

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is performing a safety review of drugs that block tumor necrosis factor (TNF), used to treat diseases such as arthritis and psoriasis, due to reports of cancers in young patients prescribed the drugs.

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Liver, Kidney Disease Linked in Type 2 Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) -- In people with type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with a moderately increased risk of chronic kidney disease, according to research released online April 2 in advance of publication in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Family History of Colon Cancer Portends Better Prognosis

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with stage III colon cancer who receive adjuvant chemotherapy and who have a family history of colorectal cancer have an improved prognosis compared to those without a family history, according to an article published in the June 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Physician's Briefing