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October 2006 Briefing - Gastroenterology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for October 2006. 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.

Experimental Drug Cuts Hepatitis C Viral Load

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The experimental drug VX-950 can provoke a swift drop in viral RNA in patients with chronic hepatitis C, including many for whom earlier treatment had failed, according to the results of a phase 1b trial reported in the October issue of Gastroenterology.

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For Hepatitis C, 48-Week Ribavirin Treatment Works Best

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C who respond to ribavirin have the best outcomes with a complete 48-week treatment, but baseline viral load and age may select patients who could stop or lower the dose without jeopardizing outcomes, according to a report in the October issue of Gastroenterology.

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Distention and Bloating Differ in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Abdominal distention and bloating in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may be pathophysiologically different and related to bowel habit subtype, with distention more commonly seen in patients who report constipation, according to a report in the October issue of Gastroenterology.

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Complement Protein May Be Colorectal Cancer Biomarker

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated levels of complement C3a anaphylatoxin (C3a-desArg) in serum may be a useful biomarker for colorectal cancer and, if validated, could help physicians diagnose this cancer in its earlier stages, according to new research published in the October issue of Gastroenterology.

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Genome Scan Finds Inflammatory Bowel Disease Gene

THURSDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- A gene encoding part of the receptor for the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-23 has been linked to inflammatory bowel disease in a genome-wide association study published online Oct. 26 in Science. The "highly significant" link suggests that the cytokine may be a promising therapeutic target, according to the authors.

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FDA Approves Drug for Chronic Hepatitis B in Adults

THURSDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Tyzeka (telbivudine) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) in adults. Manufactured by Novartis Pharma Stein AG in Stein, Switzerland, and marketed by Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Cambridge, Mass., Tyzeka is a new molecular entity.

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Anxiety Disorders Associated with Physical Conditions

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Anxiety disorders are linked with many serious physical conditions, a co-morbidity that increases the risk of disability and a poor quality of life, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Surgical Guidelines Often Ignored in Colorectal Cancer

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with locally advanced colorectal cancer do not received multivisceral resection as recommended by the National Cancer Institute and the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, according to a study published in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Celiac Disease Increases Susceptibility to Active TB

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of developing active tuberculosis is four times higher among those with celiac disease than those with no gluten intolerance, according to a study published online Oct. 17 in Thorax.

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Gene Affects Aspirin Prevention of Colorectal Adenomas

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin therapy may help reduce the risk of colorectal adenomas in patients with certain ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) gene polymorphisms, but not in patients without that particular genotype, according to a study in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Gastric Cancer Risk from H. pylori Varies by Infection Site

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Depending on where in the stomach Helicobacter pylori colonizes, the bacterial infection may either inhibit or promote the development of gastric adenocarcinoma, according to a report in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Donor's Hepatitis C Affects Heart-Transplant Outcome

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Short- and long-term survival is significantly lower among heart-transplant patients who receive hearts from donors who were positive for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) than among patients who receive hearts from virus-free donors, according to a report published in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Rifaximin Can Treat Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome can be alleviated by treatment with the gut-selective antibiotic rifaximin, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Nano-Hemostat Solutions Quickly Stop Bleeding

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Biodegradable, peptide-containing nano-hemostat solutions stop bleeding in wounded rodents within seconds and could be used to reduce the amount of blood needed during surgery, according to the results of a study published online Oct. 13 in Nanomedicine.

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Race, Sex, Age Impact Level-I Trauma Center Transfers

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Even after controlling for injury severity, non-clinical factors such as race, gender, age and insurance status significantly impact a patient's risk for hospital transfer to level-I trauma centers, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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Gastroesophageal Reflux May Worsen COPD

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have twice the rate of COPD exacerbations as patients with COPD alone, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of Chest.

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Iron Levels and Transport Abnormal in Colon Cancers

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Colon cancers produce high levels of iron and iron import proteins and have defects in iron export proteins, according to a study in the October issue of Gut.

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Hypnotherapy Helps Relieve Non-Cardiac Chest Pain

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Hypnotherapy relieves pain, improves well-being and reduces medication usage in patients with non-cardiac chest pain, according to a study in the October issue of Gut.

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Agents Search Calif. Spinach Farms in E. coli Outbreak

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as other federal and California authorities continue to investigate causes of the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with fresh spinach. On Oct. 4, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California announced the execution of search warrants on Growers Express in Salinas, and Natural Selection Foods LLC in San Juan Bautista, to investigate allegations of insufficient safety precautions before shipping spinach out-of-state.

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Nearly One in 10 U.S. Children Has Fatty Liver Disease

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Fatty liver is the most common liver abnormality seen in children, with obese and Hispanic-American children at highest risk for developing the disease, according to a report in the October issue of Pediatrics. In the study, nearly 10 percent of all children and 38 percent of obese children had fatty liver disease.

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Polypropylene Mesh Prevents Hernia After Bariatric Surgery

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The prophylactic placement of a polypropylene mesh patch during gastric bypass has shown encouraging results in terms of preventing hernia, which can occur in 25 percent of patients, according to a report in the October issue of the British Journal of Surgery.

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