Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for April 2009. 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.
Cancer Society Issues Health Disparities Policy Statement
THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is launching an all-out campaign to eliminate cancer health disparities among Hispanics, blacks, Native Americans, and other minorities, who together will account for more than half of the United States' population by the year 2050, according to a policy statement released during a media telebriefing and published online ahead of print April 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
New Web-based Information Source to Support UK Clinicians
THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The United Kingdom's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has announced the launch of NHS Evidence, a Web-based evidence resource for clinicians, public health professionals of the National Health Service, and others involved in making patient care decisions. The announcement came in the April 30 issue of The Lancet.
Aging, Changing Nation Will Affect New Cancer Diagnoses
THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Demographic changes in which older adults and minorities account for an increasing share of the population are expected to result in a soaring number of cancer cases in the next 20 years, according to a study released during a media telebriefing and published online ahead of print April 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Thromboembolism Linked to Cytotoxic Cancer Treatment
THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Cisplatin may be more thrombogenic than oxaliplatin in patients with advanced gastroesophageal cancer, and thromboembolism may shorten patients' survival, according to research published online April 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
NEJM Commends New Conflict of Interest Proposal
THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- A new proposal to control conflict of interest is notable for its breadth and variety of recommended solutions, according to a Perspective article published online April 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Telaprevir-Based Drugs Show Promise to Treat Hepatitis C
WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Phase 2 clinical trials of treatment regimens based on telaprevir in combination with peginterferon alfa-2a and ribavirin show significantly improved virologic responses in chronic hepatitis C virus patients, according to two studies published in the April 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
FDA Requires OTC Pain Relievers to Display Warnings
WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Popular over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers and fever medications containing acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will be required to display prominent warnings about the risks of liver damage and internal bleeding, under a new rule announced April 28 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Specialist Centers Key to Treating Cystic Fibrosis
WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Earlier diagnosis and more aggressive treatment at specialized centers has improved the outlook for cystic fibrosis patients, and the disease's underlying molecular-biological origins are now well understood, according to an article published online on April 28 in The Lancet.
China's Organ Procurement Troubles Most US Clinicians
WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Because of China's organ procurement practices, including organ harvesting from executed prisoners, most health care professionals involved in liver transplantation do not recommend patients seek a transplant in that country, according to a study released online Jan. 12 in advance of publication in Clinical Transplantation.
Pharmacist Involvement May Decrease Medication Errors
TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Adding a pharmacist to health care teams may significantly decrease patients' risk of adverse drug events and medication errors, according to a report published in the April 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. A second study indicates that an interdisciplinary medication reconciliation intervention can also reduce unintentional medication discrepancies with potential for harm.
Margins Important After Pancreatic Cancer Surgery
TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with pancreatic cancer have better long-term survival after surgery if the resected tumor has a margin clearance of more than 1.5 mm, according to a study published online ahead of print April 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Steep Copayments Increase Risk of Non-Adherence
TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who are newly diagnosed with a chronic disease, higher out-of-pocket costs for medications are associated with an increased likelihood of non-treatment, according to a study published in the April 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Side Effect Connection with Antidepressant Use Examined
THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Many side effects reported by women who take a tricyclic antidepressant to treat functional gastrointestinal disorder, where symptoms are not explained by observable morphologic abnormalities, do not appear to be due to the drug and may be due to psychologic distress, according to a study in the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Biopsy Variability Affects Diagnosis of Liver Disease
THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- The number of liver biopsies analyzed, biopsy length, and number of independent biopsy readings affects the variability of histologic findings and diagnosis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) in patients with suspected nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to a study in the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Having Health Insurance May Not Improve Mortality Risk
THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- People without health insurance have about the same mortality rate as people with health insurance, according to an observational study published online April 21 in Health Services Research.
Stretches Without Health Insurance More Common
WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Periods of uninsurance have become more common in recent decades, particularly among those with less education, according to research published in the April 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Superobese Patients Benefit From Bariatric Surgery
WEDNESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Superobese patients gain quality of life benefits from bariatric surgery, even though they may remain severely obese after surgery, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Surgery. In the same issue, another study shows that bariatric surgery does not need to be performed in a center of excellence to get optimum results.
Continuity of Care Declining for Medicare Beneficiaries
TUESDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare beneficiaries in the hospital in 2006 were much less likely to be seen there by a familiar physician than those in the hospital a decade earlier, according to a study reported in the April 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Antibody Effective Against Pancreatic Cancers in Mice
MONDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- An antibody against the insulin-like growth factor type I receptor (IGF-IR) reduces the growth and survival of pancreatic cancers in mice, according to a study published online April 14 in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.
Minimally Invasive Surgery for Gastric Cancer Effective
MONDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with gastric cancer who undergo laparoscopic surgery have shorter hospital stays, less pain, and fewer complications than patients undergoing open surgery, with similar survival, according to a study published online April 4 in Annals of Surgical Oncology.
AACR: Genetic Profiling May Optimize Cancer Treatment
MONDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- Testing for genetic variations may allow clinicians to adjust cancer treatments that optimize progression-free survival, according to several studies presented at the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research held from April 18 to 22 in Denver.
Neoplasm Death Rates High for Retinoblastoma Survivors
FRIDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- People who have had retinoblastoma, especially the hereditary form of the disease, have a high risk of dying from subsequent malignant neoplasm, according to a study reported April 7 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Gastrointestinal Symptoms Common in Fibromyalgia
THURSDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- A large majority of individuals with fibromyalgia also had functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID), which may be related to psychological distress, according to research published in the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome Linked With Celiac Disease
THURSDAY, April 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with irritable bowel syndrome are more than four times as likely as those without the condition to have biopsy-proved celiac disease, according to research published in the April 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Fluoroquinolones Show Benefit in Certain Cirrhosis Patients
TUESDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Daily oral fluoroquinolone prophylaxis may reduce the risk of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) and other adverse outcomes in patients with cirrhosis and low total protein in the ascitic fluid, according to research published in the April Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Pancreatic Cancer Biomarkers Systematically Examined
MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- A compendium of biomarkers for pancreatic cancer has for the first time gathered together information on detection of the disease from multiple sources in a systematic fashion, according to an article published April 7 in PLoS Medicine.
Rate of Gastric, Duodenal Ulcers Declines in Taiwan
MONDAY, April 13 (HealthDay News) -- A drop in hospitalizations for peptic ulcer disease in Taiwan may be associated with an increase in Helicobacter pylori therapy and proton pump inhibitor use, according to research published in the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Little Progress in Reducing Foodborne Illness
FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Gaps in the current food safety system undermine efforts to reduce the incidence of foodborne disease, and the incidence of food poisoning has changed little in the past three years in the United States, according to a report published in the April 10 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Genetic Components Affect Liver Transplant Prognosis
FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- In liver transplant recipients, killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor genotype and killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor-human leukocyte antigen C ligand compatibility may significantly affect the recurrence and progression of hepatitis C disease, according to a study published in the April issue of Liver Transplantation.
Hepatitis B Infection Often Severe in Hepatitis C Carriers
FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- In chronic carriers of hepatitis C virus, superinfection with hepatitis B virus is frequently severe but it also may lead to clearance of hepatitis C virus infection, according to study findings published in the April issue of Hepatology.
Financial Rewards for Healthy Behavior Can Be Effective
FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Although paying people to engage in healthy behaviors or successfully tackle unhealthy ones can be effective, it may carry unintended consequences, according to an editorial published online April 9 in BMJ.
Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Levels Useful in Prognosis
FRIDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hepatitis B e antigen-negative chronic hepatitis who are treated with peginterferon alfa-2a, on-treatment quantification of hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) may predict which patients are most likely to be cured, according to a report published in the April issue of Hepatology.
Sorafenib May Improve Portal Hypertension
THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with advanced portal hypertension may benefit from sorafenib, researchers report in the April issue of Hepatology.
Diverticular Perforation Up Sharply in United Kingdom
THURSDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Diverticular perforation poses a growing threat in the United Kingdom's aging population, including an increasing incidence and high mortality rates, according to a report in the April issue of the journal Gastroenterology.
Gastric Drug Does Not Improve Asthma Control
WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Treating asymptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease with a proton-pump inhibitor in patients with poorly controlled asthma does not improve asthma control, researchers report in the April 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Treatment May Be Helpful at Various Stages of Cirrhosis
WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with primary biliary cirrhosis may have a better long-term outlook if ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) treatment normalizes their abnormal bilirubin or albumin concentrations, according to research published in the April issue of Gastroenterology.
Lifestyle Changes Key to Cutting Colorectal Cancer in UK
WEDNESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Improved diet, exercise and reduced alcohol consumption could substantially reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer in the United Kingdom by 2024, according to a report released online Feb. 20 in advance of publication in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention.
Healthy Seniors Likely to Forgo Colorectal Screening
TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Among older veterans, colorectal cancer screening rates are low among those without comorbidities, suggesting that many healthy older patients with substantial life expectancies are not being screened, according to study findings published in the April 7 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Broccoli Sprouts Show Effects Against Helicobacter pylori
TUESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Consumption of broccoli sprouts may reduce gastric inflammation in individuals with H. pylori infection, according to research published in the April Cancer Prevention Research.
More Effective Hepatitis Drugs Needed, Math Model Predicts
MONDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- A new mathematical model indicates that more efficacious drugs are needed to overcome severe hepatitis infection and trigger a sustained-virologic response (SVR), especially for those with cirrhosis, according to a report in the April issue of the journal Gastroenterology.
Binge Drinking Causes Half of Alcohol-Related Deaths
MONDAY, April 6 (HealthDay News) -- Binge drinking caused an estimated 43,731 (54.9 percent) of the 79,646 alcohol-related deaths each year from 2001 to 2005 in the United States, and is more common among men than women, with whites aged 18 to 34 those most likely to drink in this way, according to a report published in the April 3 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Plant's Mechanism of Reducing Liver Fibrosis Identified
THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- The ability of curcumin, an antioxidant from turmeric, to reduce liver fibrosis in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is due to its ability to suppress leptin signaling in hepatic stellate cells, according to the results of a study published online March 19 in Endocrinology.
Electronic Prescribing Online-Learning Tools Launched
THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. physicians will be able to better evaluate electronic prescribing systems thanks to a new online learning center on ePrescribing launched April 1 by the American Medical Association.
Gene Variant Predicts Colon Cancer Mortality in Blacks
THURSDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- A variant of the p53 gene is associated with a higher risk of death in black patients with colorectal cancer compared with white patients, researchers report in the April 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.
Cetuximab Plus Drug Combo Slows Colorectal Cancer
WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Adding cetuximab to the combination treatment of fluorouracil and leucovorin (FOLFIRI) for the first-line treatment of metastasized colorectal cancer can retard disease progression, according to a report in the April 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Changes Needed in New-Drug Evaluation Process
WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- The evaluation process for new drugs is overdue for an overhaul, which could provide benefits for the public and the pharmaceutical industry, according to a point-counterpoint commentary published online March 31 in BMJ.
New Health Program Leads to Questions in the UK
WEDNESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new British program to improve patient choices and competition in the health care marketplace may lead to excess capacity in some areas and instability in others, according to a commentary published online March 31 in BMJ.
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