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Friday 19 July 2019
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Topic: gastroenterology

July 11, 2019
New data have shown for the first time that a combination of targeted therapies can improve survival in patients with advanced bowel cancer

Results of the BEACON CRC Phase III trial have shown that triple therapy targeting BRAF mutations in progressive metastatic colorectal tumours significantly improved overall survival and objective response compared to standard care. 

The data, reported at the ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer 2019, suggest that the three-drug combination, encorafenib, binimetinib and cetuximab, should replace chemotherapy for the one in seven patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who have a BRAF mutation.1

July 4, 2019
Research has shown that calcium-channel blockers may be linked with an increased risk of the bowel condition, diverticulosis
Diverticulosis causes small bulges or pouches to appear in the lining of the intestine. Particularly affecting the elderly (as many as 65% of over 85s may be affected), diverticulosis can in some cases lead to a medical emergency if the pouches become infected or burst.
 
The new early-stage research finding comes from a team of scientists led by Imperial College London, who investigated the effectiveness and side effects of three common blood pressure medications: ACE-inhibitors, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers.
July 1, 2019
Researchers have found that faecal miRNA could be used as a tool to assess the healthiness of gut microbiota and provide early clues to intestinal inflammation in mice
Small molecules found in faecal matter could provide clues to the early inflammation found in chronic gut conditions, such as intestinal bowel disease (IBD), and serve as new biomarkers for diagnosis, according to a study led by the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.
 
The researchers found that faecal miRNA, small nucleic acid sequences, could be used as a tool to assess the healthiness of gut microbiota and provide early clues to intestinal inflammation in mice.
 
July 1, 2019
The findings are published in Nature Communications, and the researchers hope that the method can also be used to subdivide other autoimmune diseases
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found a way of using gene expression conserved across species to divide patients with the inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, into two distinct groups. 
 
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease affecting the colon and rectum. It manifests itself differently in patients, and only 50-60% respond to the treatment with biological drugs.
 
July 1, 2019
Research provides a non-invasive, simple test that could not only be useful for diagnosing IBD, but also other gut disorders, such as coeliac disease and food allergies
A new study proposes a novel, non-invasive test for assessing gut function that may help screen and monitor treatment of gut diseases using only a small sample (1ml) of blood and stool. 
 
July 1, 2019
New Danish research may help direct focus towards the serious complications that on average every fifth haematological cancer patient suffers
New Danish research may help direct focus towards the serious complications that on average every fifth haematological cancer patient suffers. 
 
This is according to medical doctor and PhD Kasper Adelborg from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital, who has studied the cases of 32,000 haematological cancer patients between the years 2000-2013. Haematological cancer includes leukaemia, bone marrow cancer and cancers of the lymph nodes.
 
June 20, 2019
In this study, researchers at the Francis Crick Institute and King's College London investigated Th17 cells in mice activated by either harmless microbes normally present in the gut (gut flora), or an intestinal pathogen equivalent to a type of E.coli in humans
A type of immune cell that contributes to inflammatory bowel disease exists in two forms, 'good' and 'bad', and a new study from the Francis Crick Institute in London has characterised these distinct populations, which could help scientists to develop treatments targeting inflammation while preserving healthy gut function.
 
These two populations are akin to worker and soldier ants, playing different roles depending on their context.
 
June 20, 2019
Crohn’s & Colitis UK and IBD UK campaign to promote better care for everyone with IBD and provide greater access to psychological and dietetic support and more timely diagnosis
IBD UK, a partnership of 17 professional and patient organisations chaired by Crohn’s & Colitis UK, believe that people with IBD should receive safe, consistent, high-quality and personalised care, wherever they live and whatever their age, from diagnosis to treatment and ongoing monitoring, but unfortunately this is not currently the case.
 
June 18, 2019
Using immuno-positron emission tomography to image monoclonal antibodies directed against specific innate immune cell markers, investigators were able to effectively assess IBD in murine models
Inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be quickly and precisely diagnosed using a new type of nuclear medicine scan, according to research published in the June issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.
 
June 18, 2019
The research has focused on different types of macrophages, and how they work when bacteria are present
There is no precise cure for Crohn's disease and causes are believed to vary. But one indicator of the condition - an abnormal reaction of the immune system to certain bacteria in the intestines - has had new light shed on it thanks to scientists at the University of Plymouth.1
 
June 16, 2019
Study also reveals venous thromboembolism and epilepsy as potential novel comorbidities
A study has shown increased rates of type I diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in patients that go on to develop rheumatoid arthritis (RA).1 
 
Results of the study demonstrate that the RA group reported significantly more cases of inflammatory bowel disease (1.9% vs. 0.5%, p<0.001) and type I diabetes (1.3% vs. 0.4%, p=0.01) versus controls.1
 
June 11, 2019
A robust diagnosis is important to ensure the correct management is implemented and unnecessary food exclusion is avoided as there may be adverse nutritional consequences, especially if a major food group, such as milk, wheat or fruits/vegetables are excluded
Food allergy in adults is usually mediated by IgE antibodies, with one or more immediate typical allergic symptoms (flushing, hives, itching, swelling, vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty breathing) to trigger foods.1
 
June 7, 2019
Experts from Norway found that the risk of paediatric coeliac disease was 8% lower per 10g increase in fibre intake during pregnancy
High fibre intake during pregnancy is linked with a decreased risk of coeliac disease in children, research presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) has shown.1 
 
June 6, 2019
Scientists have found that young children with severe eczema infected with Staphylococcus aureus are at a higher risk of developing a food allergy
In a study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, scientists from King's College London have found that young children with severe eczema infected with Staphylococcus aureus (SA) bacterium, are at a higher risk of developing a food allergy.1
 
Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is found in the nose and the skin of healthy individuals; however, SA is more common in sufferers of eczema, especially severe eczema.
 
June 6, 2019
Although most people with chronic constipation do not visit a doctor, it is still diagnosed in more than one million GP consultations and 63,000 hospital admissions in the UK every year; the way it is detected, however, varies considerably
Research by King's College London, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology,1 finds that the public's perception of constipation differs drastically from that of doctors' and from the formal diagnosis guidelines.
 
Researchers also identified six key sets of symptoms common to both that in the future could form the basis of a new medical definition for constipation.
 
May 31, 2019
Overall, the findings provide the most detailed snapshot to date of the microbiome in people with IBD, during active and non-active disease states
A new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is the first to have observed the complex set of chemical and molecular events that disrupt the microbiome and trigger immune responses during flare-ups of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.1
 
May 29, 2019
Among 20 children with EoE who wore the Viaskin Milk patch, nine saw an improvement in their symptoms and normalisation of their biopsies after 11 months

A study from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) finds that a skin patch may be useful in treating children with a painful, chronic condition called eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE) triggered by milk.1

May 17, 2019
Faecal microbiota transplant, or the transfer of stool from a healthy donor to a patient, has been found highly effective in reversing severe Clostridiodes difficile diarrheal infections in adults
A new study in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the largest faecal microbiota transplant (FMT) study in children to date, found it both safe and effective and also identifies predictors of success.
 
May 17, 2019
Analysing fragments of DNA that are shed by tumours into the bloodstream could indicate early on whether patients are at risk of their cancer spreading, according to new research
Researchers at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in the UK say ctDNA, a form of liquid biopsy, may be an accurate technique to monitor treatment response in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer, allowing treatment to be adapted or changed earlier to try to prevent the development of metastatic disease.
 
May 9, 2019
Familial chylomicronaemia syndrome is a debilitating disease caused by impaired function of the enzyme lipoprotein lipase, which causes high circulating levels of triglycerides in the body, leading to extreme abdominal pain and episodes of potentially fatal pancreatitis
Akcea Therapeutics and Ionis Pharmaceuticals have announced that Waylivra (volanesorsen) has received conditional marketing authorisation from the European Commission as an adjunct to diet in adult patients with genetically confirmed familial chylomicronaemia syndrome (FCS) and at high risk for pancreatitis, in whom response to diet and triglyceride lowering therapy has been inadequate.1
 
May 3, 2019
Researchers found the new test was 90-100% accurate in correctly identifying IBD patients who did not require multiple treatments
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have developed a new test that can reliably predict the future course of inflammatory bowel disease in individuals, transforming treatments for patients and paving the way for a personalised approach.
 
May 2, 2019
Crohn’s & Colitis UK announces targeted research call into pain, one of the most debilitating symptoms of these conditions
National charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK launches new research initiative that aims to understand what is unique about pain in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with the hope of preventing and managing this symptom and improving quality of life for people who suffer with it.
 
April 25, 2019
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is an area of extremely fast development of new treatments and careful attention and pharmaceutical expertise will be required to develop the treatment strategies to deal with the explosive growth of patients diagnosed with NAFLD and NASH
Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is going to be the next big challenge for the health economy.
 
A recent guidance by Public Health England1 reported the high obesity rate among England’s population: two thirds of adults, a quarter of 2-10-year-olds and one third of 11-15-year-olds are obese. The number of people who continue to have unhealthy and potentially dangerous weight is projected to rise and is of considerable public health concern.
 
April 25, 2019
A report describes how a new battery of tests enables researchers to distinguish patients with IBS from healthy children and identifies correlations between certain microbes and metabolites with abdominal pain
To improve the treatment of children with IBS, investigators have developed a sophisticated way to analyse the microbial and metabolic contents of the gut.