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February 2012 Briefing - Gastroenterology

Last Updated: March 01, 2012.

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Gastroenterology for February 2012. 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.

Drug Ups Effect of Gemcitabine in Pancreatic Cancer

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The efficacy of gemcitabine in treating pancreatic cancer can be greatly improved by a second drug that increases gemcitabine levels by preventing its breakdown, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in Cancer Discovery.

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FDA Approves Label Changes for Statins

TUESDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The recommendation to remove routine monitoring of liver enzymes is among safety label changes recently approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for statins, according to a Feb. 28 Drug Safety Communication issued by the agency.

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Multimodal Palliative Approach OK for Advanced Esophageal CA

MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with advanced esophageal cancer, use of an individualized, multimodal approach with palliative intention achieves an acceptable mean survival time, with initial use of photodynamic therapy (PDT) offering significantly longer median survival compared to other modalities, according to the results of a single medical center study published online Feb. 14 in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Heartburn Controlled With Step Down to Once Daily Therapy

MONDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patients who take twice-daily proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy, are able to successfully step down to management of heartburn with a daily dose of dexlansoprazole modified release (MR), according to a study published in the March issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Children Now Eligible for Screening Test for Bacterium

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded approval for a breath test that screens for a common ulcer-causing germ, to include children aged 3 years to 17.

CDC

Complications Seen in 40 Percent of Living Liver Donors

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Complications of living donor hepatic lobectomy occur in 40 percent of cases, with the vast majority resolving within one year, according to research published online Feb. 15 in the American Journal of Transplantation.

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Model Predicts Death Due to Acetaminophen Overdose

FRIDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Model for Acetaminophen-induced Liver Damage (MALD), a mathematical model that utilizes commonly obtained laboratory values, including overdose amount and time elapsed since overdose, is effective for predicting outcomes in patients with acute liver failure due to acetaminophen overdose, according to research published online Feb. 13 in Hepatology.

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Virtual Colonoscopy Useful in Screening Older Adults

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomography (CT) colonography is useful as a primary screening method for detecting colorectal neoplasia in adults over the age of 65 years, with sensitivity and specificity similar to that seen for younger adults, according to research published online Feb. 23 in Radiology.

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Bisphosphonate Use Linked to Reduced Colorectal Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to bisphosphonates (BPs) is associated with a reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), a reduction that is significant only for risedronic acid, according to a study published in the March 1 issue of Cancer.

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Colonoscopic Removal of Adenomas Cuts CRC Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Colonoscopic removal of adenomatous polyps reduces colorectal cancer mortality, and interim analysis shows that fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) yields similar results to colonoscopy; however, more polyps are identified with colonoscopy screening compared to FIT, according to two studies published in the Feb. 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Pharmacist-Led Intervention Reduces Medical Errors

TUESDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- For clinics with computerized medical records, a pharmacist-led intervention significantly reduces the risk of medical errors and is likely to be cost-effective, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in The Lancet.

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By 2007, Hep C Superseded HIV As Cause of Death in U.S.

MONDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Hepatitis C virus (HCV) superseded HIV as a cause of death by 2007; and birth cohort screening is cost-effective for HCV, according to two studies published in the Feb. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Caffeine Reduces Fibrosis Risk in Nonalcoholic Liver Disease

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Coffee caffeine consumption (CC) substantially reduces the risk of fibrosis in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to a study published in the February issue of Hepatology.

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No Increase in Intussusception After RV5 Rotavirus Vaccine

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of intussusception is not increased in infants aged 4 to 34 weeks who receive the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine (RV5) compared with infants who do not receive the vaccine, according to research published in the Feb. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Reduced Caloric Nourishment Doesn't Reduce Ventilator Use

TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Providing lower amounts of nutritional support does not reduce ventilator-free days, risk of death at 60 days, or infectious complications for critically ill patients with acute lung injury compared to providing full caloric nourishment, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Exercise Test May Predict Post-Liver Transplant Survival

MONDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Anaerobic threshold (AT), as determined by submaximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), may have value in predicting 90-day post-transplant survival for patients undergoing liver transplantation, according to a study published in the February issue of Liver Transplantation.

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Alanine Aminotransferase Levels ID Liver Disease Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels can be used to discriminate between individuals infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA and those at low risk for liver disease (negative HCV RNA and hepatitis B surface antigen, low alcohol consumption, no evidence of diabetes, and normal body mass index and waist circumference), according to a study published in the February issue of Hepatology.

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Patients With IBD Experience More Travel-Related Illness

FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience more travel-related illness when visiting industrialized, but not developing, countries than healthy individuals, according to research published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Sarcopenia Predictive of Mortality in Cirrhosis

FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with cirrhosis being evaluated for liver transplantation, sarcopenia is associated with increased mortality and significantly lower median survival time, according to research published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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High Alcohol Intake, Family History Impact Colon CA Risk

FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals who consume 30 g alcohol or more per day have a significantly elevated risk of colon cancer, especially those with a family history of colorectal cancer, according to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Smoking Increases Progression Risk in Barrett's Esophagus

FRIDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Barrett's esophagus who currently smoke have twice the risk of developing esophageal cancer compared with never smokers, according to a study published in the February issue of Gastroenterology.

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Personalized Liver Cells Support Hepatitis C Virus

THURSDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Liver-like cells produced from an individual's own cells can support the entire life cycle of hepatitis C virus, potentially making it possible to study why people respond differently to the virus, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Gleevec Approval Widened to Include Rare Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the Novartis drug Gleevec has been expanded to include adults who have had surgical removal of CD117-positive gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), the agency said in a news release.

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Live Liver Donation Doesn't Impact Long-Term Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of early death for live liver donors is 1.7 per 1,000 donors, and long-term mortality is similar to that of healthy individuals, according to a study published in the February issue of Gastroenterology.

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Repeat Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Increases Detection of CRC

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Repeated screening by flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSG) increases the detection of colorectal cancer or advanced adenoma in women and men, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Ups Hip Fracture Risk for Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women are at a 35 percent increased risk of hip fractures if they regularly use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and that risk increases to more than 50 percent among women with a history of smoking, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in BMJ.

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