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September 2008 Briefing - Gastroenterology

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

News Media Under-Report Drug Company Funding of Research

TUESDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Reports on medication research published in general news media often fail to disclose that the research received pharmaceutical company funding and frequently refer to drugs by brand name rather than using the generic name, according to an article published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Gene Variant Linked to Lower Colorectal Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A variation of the adiponectin (ADIPOQ) gene is associated with a significantly decreased risk of colorectal cancer, according to a report published in the Oct. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Higher Doses of Hepatitis C Drugs Improve Outcomes

TUESDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Higher doses of peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin can improve the virologic response and relapse rate in difficult-to-treat patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, although the higher doses are less well-tolerated by patients, according to study findings published in the October issue of Hepatology.

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Treatment Guidelines Exclude Some Hepatitis B Patients

MONDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Current guidelines for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection exclude many patients who develop serious liver-related complications, although this can be improved by including additional clinical and viral features, according to a report published in the October issue of Hepatology.

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Gastric Bypass May Be Associated with Bone Loss

MONDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Patients undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass may be at risk of subsequent bone loss, according to research published in the October issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

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Hospital Infections Negatively Impact Pancreatitis

FRIDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Acute episodes of pancreatitis complicated by hospital-acquired infections result in increased mortality, length of hospital stay and hospital charges, according to a report in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Racial Discrepancies Exist for Asymptomatic Colon Polyps

TUESDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Black patients undergoing colonoscopy reveal a higher prevalence of polyps compared to white individuals, according to data reported in the Sept. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Celiac Disease Common in Family Members of Patients

TUESDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Family members, particularly siblings, of patients with celiac disease are at higher risk of developing the disease than previously thought, researchers report in the September issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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No Change to 2009 Part B Medicare Premium

MONDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- There will be no change to the Part B Standard Medicare premium in 2009 compared with 2008. This is the first time since 2000 that the premium has not risen over the prior year, according to an announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Stomach Treatment Reduces Ghrelin, Limits Weight in Pigs

MONDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Embolization of gastric arteries in swine resulted in lower levels of ghrelin -- a hormone that can stimulate food intake -- and less weight gain in following weeks compared to control animals, according to research published in the October issue of Radiology.

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Folate, B6 Intake Linked to Colon Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Reduced intake of folate and vitamin B6 is associated with an elevated risk of p53-overexpressing colon cancers but not wild-type tumors, according to research published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Hepatitis B Screening Recommendations Expanded

FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- New recommendations have been issued regarding screening for chronic hepatitis B, according to a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Sept. 19 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Antibiotic Resistance Has Become a Global Pandemic

FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- A concerted international and national response, behavior change by consumers and providers, and the development of antibacterial agents are all urgently needed to tackle the global problem of rapidly increasing antibiotic resistance, according to an article published online Sept. 18 in BMJ.

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Vaccine Against H. pylori Shows Promise in Phase I Study

THURSDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- An intramuscular vaccine against Helicobacter pylori offers promising immunogenicity and appears safe, according to research published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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Early Viral Loads Predict Response to HBV Treatment

THURSDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) treated with peginterferon and lamivudine are more likely to have a sustained virologic response if their HBV DNA levels are below 10,000 copies/mL after eight weeks of treatment, according to research published in the September issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Infectious Gastroenteritis Linked to Bowel Disease

THURSDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Both a prior episode of infectious gastroenteritis and a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome increase the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), researchers report in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

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CT Colonography Sensitive for Large Adenomas

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomographic (CT) colonography is a sensitive method for detecting large adenomas and cancers in asymptomatic adults, while individuals negative for adenomas are at low risk of developing cancers five years later, according to two studies published in the Sept. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - Johnson
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Abstract - Imperiale
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Bisphenol A Concentrations Linked to Chronic Diseases

TUESDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- People with higher urinary levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) -- a chemical compound widely used in epoxy resins lining food and beverage containers -- may have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and liver-enzyme abnormalities, researchers report in the Sept. 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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DNA Vaccine Developed for Drug-Resistant Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Drug-resistant breast cancer, especially due to overexpression of Her-2/neu, can now be safely and effectively controlled with targeted DNA vaccines, according to research published in the Sept. 15 issue of Cancer Research.

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Shorter Work Week Cuts Bile Duct Surgery Errors

TUESDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of complications and bile duct injuries during bile duct surgery dropped once an 80-hour working week limit for residents was introduced, according to a report published in the September issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Newer Schizophrenia Drugs May Have Metabolic Side Effects

MONDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Second-generation, or atypical, antipsychotic drugs used to treat children and adolescents with early-onset schizophrenia or schizo-affective disorder are not necessarily superior to first-generation drugs, according to an article published online Sept. 15 in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Protein Important in Colorectal Cancer Development

MONDAY, Sept. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A protein that controls the activity of another protein is important in colorectal cancer development, and two gene variants are associated with bladder cancer, according to two letters published online Sept. 14 in Nature and Nature Genetics.

Abstract - Firestein
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Abstract - Kiemeney
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Normal Liver Enzymes Should Not Exclude Biopsy

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Because more than 50 percent of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients with normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels may have a potentially progressive liver disease, normal ALT should not be a contraindication for biopsy. Histological assessment may be especially warranted in patients with diabetes or insulin resistance who have normal ALT levels, according to research published in the September issue of Hepatology.

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Living Donor Transplantation Feasible for Acute Liver Failure

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In selected patients with acute liver failure, living donor liver transplantation may be a safe treatment option, according to the results of a small study published in the September issue of Liver Transplantation.

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Liver Tumor Down-Staging Feasible for Some Patients

THURSDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In selected patients with liver cancer, successful tumor down-staging can usually be achieved and is associated with excellent outcomes after liver transplantation, according to study findings published in the September issue of Hepatology.

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Many Hospitals Still Not Doing Exam of 12 Lymph Nodes

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Most hospitals weren't compliant in recent years with a recommendation to examine at least 12 regional lymph nodes in patients with colon cancer, according to research published online Sept. 9 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Postmenopausal Hormone Use Raises Risk of Reflux

TUESDAY, Sept. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who take estrogens, selective estrogen receptor modulators or over-the-counter hormone preparations are more likely to have symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, according to the results of a study published in the Sept. 8 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Genetic Mutations Found in Deadly Cancers

MONDAY, Sept. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Comprehensive genomic analyses have uncovered genetic alterations in pancreatic and brain cancer that may point the way toward treatments for the diseases, according to research from a pair of articles published online Sept. 4 in Science, and another published online Sept. 4 in Nature.

Abstract - Jones
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Abstract - Parsons
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Abstract - Meyerson
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Gastric Bypass Increases Intestinal Glucose Production

FRIDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A version of gastric bypass surgery in mice is more effective than gastric lap-banding surgery at reducing food intake and increasing insulin sensitivity due to increased intestinal production of glucose, according to study findings published in the Sept. 3 issue of Cell Metabolism.

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Obesity Not Linked to Colon Cancer Survival

THURSDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Increased body mass index (BMI) wasn't associated with a higher risk of cancer recurrence or death in individuals with colon cancer, according to research published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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New Factor May Affect Waitlisted Liver Transplant Patients

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Adding an additional factor to the score currently used to determine allocation for liver transplants better predicts survival at three months for patients on the waiting list, according to a report in the Sept. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Imaging Often Changes Colorectal Cancer Management

TUESDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The results of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning often changes disease management in patients with suspected colorectal cancer recurrence and can identify those whose disease is more likely to progress, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

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