Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for May 2011. 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.
Effect Estimates May Be Inflated in Biomarker Studies
TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Biomarker effects are often overestimated in highly cited studies compared to the effects reported in subsequent meta-analyses of the same associations, according to a review published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Solesta Gel Approved for Fecal Incontinence
TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Solesta gel has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat fecal incontinence in adults after other therapies have failed.
Dificid Approved to Treat C. diff Diarrhea
TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Dificid (fidaxomicin) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat diarrhea associated with Clostridium difficile infection.
Drug May Retain Eosinophilic Esophagitis Remission
THURSDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Use of low-dose budesonide may be more effective than placebo for maintaining eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) in clinical and histological remission, according to a study published in the May issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Contact With Drug Industry Linked to Positive Attitudes
WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- The extent of contact that medical students have with the pharmaceutical industry is associated with positive attitudes about marketing, according to a review published online May 24 in PLoS Medicine.
Patient Navigation May Boost Colorectal Cancer Screening
WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Patient navigators may help increase rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among ethnically diverse patients, particularly non-English speaking and black patients, according to a study published in the May 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Sutent Approved for Rare Pancreatic Cancer
MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of Sutent (sunitinib) has been expanded to include people with neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer that is inoperable or has metastasized to other parts of the body.
Viral Load Tied to Vertical Transmission of Hepatitis C
MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- High maternal viral load is associated with vertical transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV-VT), but polymorphisms in interleukin 28B (IL28B) are not, according to a study published online March 16 in Hepatology.
FDA: SimplyThick Should Not Be Used in Premature Infants
MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified parents, caregivers, and health care providers not to administer SimplyThick to infants born prior to 37 weeks, as the product may cause necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition.
Ultrasonography Results Show Lower NAFLD Prevalence
FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Use of liver ultrasonography indicates that the prevalence of hepatic steatosis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in patients with type 2 diabetes may be lower than previously reported, according to a study published in the May issue of Diabetes Care.
Many Medical Students Lack Confidence in Medical Law
FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of medical students lack confidence in their knowledge and skills across many areas of medical law, according to a study published online May 16 in the Journal of Medical Ethics.
Initial Fecal Occult Blood Test Predicts Cancer Risk
THURSDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients screened for colorectal cancer via immunochemical fecal occult blood test (iFOBT) can be stratified for cancer risk by degree of baseline fecal hemoglobin concentration, according to research published online May 17 in The Lancet Oncology.
Family Cancer Histories Are Not Highly Accurate
WEDNESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- General population reports on family history for major adult cancers are not very accurate, according to a study published online May 11 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Most Patients Treated for GERD Attain Remission
WEDNESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) who are treated with esomeprazole therapy or laparoscopic antireflux surgery (LARS) attain remission at five years, according to a study published in the May 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Obesity Linked to Increased Infection After Colectomy
TUESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Obesity increases the risk of surgical site infection (SSI) after colectomy, which is correlated with an increased cost of treatment, according to a study published online May 16 in the Archives of Surgery.
Victrelis Approved for Chronic Hepatitis C
MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Victrelis (boceprevir) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat chronic hepatitis C in tandem with two additional drugs, pegylated interferon alfa and ribavirin.
Organ Quality Varies According to Transplant Center
MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- The quality of deceased-donor organs available for transplantation varies based on characteristics of the transplant center, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Transplantation.
Peginterferon in Hepatitis C Linked to Higher Mortality
FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term peginterferon treatment in patients with advanced chronic hepatitis C is associated with higher overall mortality mainly due to non-liver-related causes, according to a study published in the April issue of Hepatology.
Heller's Myotomy Not Superior Treatment for Achalasia
THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Laparoscopic Heller's myotomy (LHM) appears no more effective than pneumatic dilation for treatment of achalasia, according to research published in the May 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Trial Participation Feasible for Elderly CRC Patients
THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly and frail patients with colorectal cancer can participate in randomized controlled trials with appropriate design, including reduced drug dosing, according to a study published online May 12 in The Lancet.
Combination Therapy Improves Pancreatic Cancer Survival
WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Pancreatic cancer patients in a trial assessing the combination chemotherapy FOLFIRINOX experienced longer overall and progression-free survival than those on gemcitabine, though the combination treatment is associated with greater toxicity, according to research published in the May 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Proton Pump Inhibitors May Increase Fracture Risk
WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), but not histamine 2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs), is associated with an increased risk of fracture, according to a meta-analysis published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.
Medical Education Participants Recognize Funding Bias
WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although most medical professionals believe that commercial funding of continuing medical education (CME) introduces bias, most are not willing to pay higher fees to offset or eliminate such funding sources, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Colonoscopy Repeated Too Soon in Many Older Adults
TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Screening colonoscopy may be overused in average-risk older adults, and those with better life expectancies are less likely to experience a net burden from colorectal cancer screening and follow-up than those whose life expectancies are low, according to two articles published online May 9 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
NSAIDs, Aspirin May Increase Risk of Diverticulitis
MONDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Men who regularly use aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may have an increased risk of diverticulitis and diverticular bleeding, according to a study published in the May issue of Gastroenterology.
Antibiotic Treatment Less Effective in Acute Appendicitis
FRIDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of acute uncomplicated appendicitis with amoxicillin and clavulanic acid is not as effective as emergency appendectomy, according to a study published online May 7 in The Lancet.
Racial Disparities Persist in Colorectal Cancer Screening
THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Racial or ethnic differences in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening persist, especially in blacks and Hispanics, despite expanded Medicare coverage for CRC screening tests, according to a study published in the May issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
CT Colonography More Sensitive in Detecting Cancer
TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomographic (CT) colonography is more sensitive than optical colonoscopy (OC) in detecting colorectal cancer, especially when both cathartic and tagging agents are combined in the bowel preparation, according to a meta-analysis published in the May issue of Radiology.
Efficacy of Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Unclear
TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Though stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is currently used as a treatment for various solid malignant tumors, there is a lack of evidence confirming its effectiveness and safety, according to a review published online May 2 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
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