What will the European healthcare system look like in 2040?

(Vienna, October 21, 2014) United European Gastroenterology (UEG) has today launched ‘Future Scenarios’, three plausible models for future healthcare delivery in Europe, to encourage healthcare professionals and policy makers to start planning for a more sustainable future for patients with digestive and liver diseases.

These ‘Future Scenarios’, which have taken more than a year to develop, will challenge current thinking and aim to inspire the gastroenterology community to work together to shape a better future for patients.

“Current models for healthcare delivery in Europe are unsustainable, with a rapidly ageing population, volatile political and economic landscapes as well as a shrinking workforce and increasing lifestyle diseases,” says UEG President, Professor Michael Farthing. “If we don’t start planning for change now, we are all going to be facing a pretty uncertain future.” Unsustainable burden of GI diseases Gastrointestinal (GI) diseases contribute significantly to the healthcare burden in Europe, accounting for substantial morbidity, mortality and cost. Digestive diseases - gastrointestinal and liver disorders - are common across Europe, causing more than 500,000 deaths in 2008 in the 28 EU member states (and more than 900,000 deaths in the whole of Europe, including Russia and other non-EU states).  Over one-third of all acute hospital admissions are due to GI diseases and most Europeans will visit a gastroenterologist at least once in their lives. “We know that the incidence and prevalence of most major GI disorders are rising across Europe and there is already poor access to care in many countries,” said Prof. Farthing. “Since changing the way we deliver healthcare in the future seems inevitable, we decided to take a bold approach and highlight possible scenarios, inspiring everyone to get involved and play their part in shaping a better future for digestive and liver disease healthcare.” Healthcare in Europe 2040: Scenarios and implications for digestive and liver diseases Over the past year, UEG’s Future Scenarios Working Group has been collaborating with specialist scenario planners to develop a set of plausible, relevant and challenging scenarios that may impact the delivery of GI healthcare in 2040. These scenarios – entitled Ice Age, Silicon Age and Golden Age – will be launched today at UEG Week 2014, with more than 600 gastro and liver disease specialists as well as a wide range of stakeholder groups joining the debate. The healthcare scenarios for 2040 to be launched are: ·         Ice Age: Where European impoverishment will have led to two-tier medicine and eventually to the collapse of public healthcare in Europe. ·         Silicon Age: Where advancements in technology, science and social interactions will have led to very extensive automation of diagnoses and treatments and redirected health behaviour, resulting in a positive change in healthcare. ·         Golden Age: Where a strong, well-coordinated, unified Europe will ensure high-quality healthcare for ALL European citizens. “The three scenarios we have developed, which could all form the shape of healthcare in Europe in 2040, will help focus our thinking and encourage us to have courageous conversations about the future of gastroenterology practice,” said Prof. Farthing. “We see today’s launch as the start of those conversations and hope everyone will join the debate and work together to deliver high-quality care whatever the future holds.” Starting the Conversation Help us plan for a better future for people with digestive and liver diseases Visit www.ueg.eu/research/gi2040/ and vote for the scenario you think is most likely. Post your thoughts and comments on the future of digestive and liver diseases throughout Europe @my_UEG #GI2040. Notes to Editors About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. From October 18-22, 2014, UEG will connect everyone to its annual meeting via livestream on www.ueg.eu. State-of-the-art lectures of Europe’s largest GI meeting may be followed online from around the world. Include #UEGWeek in your tweets. UEG Week 24/7 features all recorded sessions from UEG Week and provides convenient and direct access to the complete congress material, including E-posters and abstracts. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives besides UEG Week, including: · UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology · EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter @my_ueg and @UEGMedia Press Contacts Samantha Forster Email: media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 Press Release Translations Download press release Download der Pressemitteilung Descarga nota de prensa Télécharger le communiqué de presse Download comunicato stampa Download プレスリリース Download 新闻稿 

Scientists identify promising blood biomarkers for colorectal cancer: screening blood test within reach?

(Vienna, October 22, 2014) The search for blood-borne biomarkers that could be used to screen for colorectal cancer (CRC) has uncovered two promising candidates that may one day lead to the development of a simple blood test.

Scientists have been piecing together the molecular events involved in the development of CRC and have identified abnormal DNA methylation patterns and the presence of microRNAs as major players in the carcinogenic process.

Speaking to journalists at the 22nd United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG Week 2014) in Vienna, Austria, Dr Antonio Castells from the Institute of Digestive Diseases Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, Spain, said these were exciting times to be working in CRC biomarker research. “Blood-borne biomarkers are opening up exciting avenues of investigation in colorectal and other cancers,” he said. “We now have a better understanding of the molecular events participating in the development of CRC and these provide valuable targets for both the early detection of CRC and the development of novel treatments.” CRC screening: why do we need a blood test? Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world. Several studies have confirmed that CRC screening is both effective and cost-effective in the average-risk population, with the two recommended strategies being stool tests that identify occult blood or exfoliated DNA associated with cancer, and structural examinations such as colonoscopy that detect both cancer and pre-malignant lesions. “Participation in CRC screening programmes across Europe is worryingly low and there seems little doubt that people are put off by the nature of the current tests,” said Dr Castells. “A simple blood test would encourage more people to come forward for screening, potentially saving thousands of lives every year.” The search for CRC screening biomarkers Cancer biomarkers are biological changes that signal the presence of cancer in the body and are usually related to alterations in DNA, RNA or protein expression.1 Several protein biomarkers of CRC have already been identified, however, none have been useful for CRC screening.1 More recently, researchers investigating tumour-derived DNA in the blood have observed abnormal DNA methylation patterns – specifically, abnormally methylated SEPT9 DNA – in the patients with CRC, suggesting a potential new DNA-based biomarker for screening.1 The second potential screening approach outlined by Dr Castells involves assessing the profile of small, non-coding RNAs, known as microRNAs, which have been shown to be increased in the plasma from patients with CRC.2 A recent study conducted by Dr Castells and colleagues found that patients with CRC or advanced adenomas had a significantly different pattern of microRNA expression compared with healthy individuals, leading the group to conclude that plasma microRNA testing was a promising screening test for CRC that warrants further investigation.2 “Both of these potential new CRC screening approaches have shown promise in preliminary studies and should be explored further in larger cohorts of patients,” he told journalists. “There is no doubt in my mind that having an accurate, blood-based screening method would increase adherence to CRC screening guidelines and reduce the number of patients reluctant to be screened.” References 1.     Summers T, et al. J Cancer 2013; 4: 210–216. 2.     Giráldez MD, et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2013;11: 681–688.e3. Notes to Editors About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. From October 18-22, 2014, UEG will connect everyone to its annual meeting via livestream on www.ueg.eu. State-of-the-art lectures of Europe’s largest GI meeting may be followed online from around the world. Include #UEGWeek in your tweets. UEG Week 24/7 features all recorded sessions from UEG Week and provides convenient and direct access to the complete congress material, including E-posters and abstracts. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives besides UEG Week, including: · UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology · EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter @my_ueg and @UEGMedia Press Contacts Samantha Forster Email: media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 Press Release Translations Download press release Download der Pressemitteilung Descarga nota de prensa Télécharger le communiqué de presse Download comunicato stampa Download プレスリリース Download 新闻稿 

UK expert highlights research innovation and is optimistic about the future of IBS treatment.

(Vienna, October 21, 2014) Patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may at last be able to hope for a brighter future as innovative new treatments emerge and researchers clarify the role of current therapies.

Dr Alexander C. Ford from the Leeds Gastroenterology Institute in Leeds, UK, tells journalists attending the 22nd United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG Week 2014) in Vienna, Austria, that significant progress was being made in drug development for IBS, thanks to the intense research efforts of scientists around the world. “Researchers have dedicated many years to the task of unravelling the pathophysiology of IBS, and it’s thanks to these efforts that novel molecular therapies are now in development,” he says.

Current therapies for IBS IBS is a chronic, relapsing–remitting functional disorder of the gastrointestinal tract, estimated to affect between 5% and 20% of the general population. The symptoms of IBS include recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort and changes in bowel habit, including diarrhoea and/or constipation. Treatment is typically targeted towards the predominant symptoms, with increased intake of soluble fibre and antispasmodic agents frequently used as first-line therapies. Other treatment options with proven efficacy in IBS include certain antidepressants, psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy, and some probiotics.1 “We currently have a number of fairly effective short-term treatments available for patients with IBS, but, unfortunately, no drug treatment has so far been shown to alter the clinical course of IBS, and the long-term efficacy of current therapies is still unknown,” says Dr Ford. Emerging drug therapies Several promising new types of drug therapy have emerged in recent years for the treatment of IBS. Pro-secretory agents have been found to be effective in constipation-predominant IBS although their precise roles in the IBS treatment algorithm is not yet determined. Bile acid modulators are currently under investigation in IBS patients, with initial studies suggesting efficacy in constipation-predominant IBS. “The number of novel agents in clinical development for the treatment of IBS is a clear reflection of our growing understanding of the pathogenesis of the condition, but it also demonstrates the extent of the unmet medical need,” he says. “I think with the intensity of the research effort going into new IBS treatments, we can be optimistic for both IBS sufferers and the physicians who treat them.” Notes to Editors About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. From October 18-22, 2014, UEG will connect everyone to its annual meeting via livestream on www.ueg.eu. State-of-the-art lectures of Europe’s largest GI meeting may be followed online from around the world. Include #UEGWeek in your tweets. UEG Week 24/7 features all recorded sessions from UEG Week and provides convenient and direct access to the complete congress material, including E-posters and abstracts. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives besides UEG Week, including: · UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology · EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter @my_ueg and @UEGMedia Press Contacts Samantha Forster Email: media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 Press Release Translations Download press release Download der Pressemitteilung Descarga nota de prensa Télécharger le communiqué de presse Download comunicato stampa Download プレスリリース Download 新闻稿

Survey reveals changing trends and inequalities in healthcare provision for GI disorders across Europe.

(Vienna, October 20, 2014) A major pan-European survey into the burden of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and the delivery of care has revealed changing trends in many important GI and liver diseases and worrying inequalities in the provision of healthcare services across the continent.

The results of the survey, which was commissioned by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), have been announced today and led to calls for greater political and public awareness of the burden of GI disorders across Europe and for more funding to be made available to improve service provision and support Europe-wide research.

“This extensive survey has highlighted major differences between countries in terms of both the risk of developing GI disorders and their long-term health outcomes,” said UEG President, Professor Michael Farthing. “We are particularly concerned about the increasing incidence of most major GI disorders across Europe and the clear differences in outcomes for patients between Eastern and Western nations.” Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe1,2 The Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe was commissioned by UEG in the spring of 2013 at the request of its own Future Trends Committee. Experienced research teams from the College of Medicine at Swansea University in Wales, UK, initiated a detailed assessment of digestive health across Europe, focussing on the clinical and economic burden of disease and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across 28 European Union (EU) member states, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Russia. The aim of the survey was draw to together all the available evidence and provide up-to-date information on the human health consequences and public health burden of GI disorders. “Gastroenterology is a medical specialty that gets relatively little attention from a policy perspective compared with other specialties and attracts minimal independent research funding,” said Professor Farthing. “We wanted to take a long, hard look at the situation today across Europe in order to ensure we prioritise our efforts where it is needed most.” Changing trends in GI disorders The Digestive Health survey revealed a number of evolving trends in terms of the incidence and prevalence of GI disorders. According to the survey results, most European countries have witnessed increases in the incidence of major GI disorders such as upper GI bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease [IBD], coeliac disease, alcoholic liver disease, gallstone disease, and colorectal and oesophageal cancer, with disease rates highest amongst older people. Incidence or prevalence rates were found to be higher in most Eastern European countries compared with other regions in Europe, with mortality from  GI disorders (other than cancer and infectious diseases) highest in Eastern and North Eastern countries and lowest in parts of Scandinavia and the Mediterranean Islands. GI cancer is now the leading cause of cancer death in Europe, and while mortality rates for colorectal cancer (CRC) have fallen for several decades in almost all Western, Northern and Central European countries, rates continue to rise in many parts of Eastern Europe and some parts of Southern Europe. “We need to look more closely at the reasons behind these worrying statistics and find ways to overcome the regional differences observed and reduce the growing burden of GI cancers,” said Professor Farthing. Inequalities in healthcare provision          The survey identified major inequalities in healthcare provision across Europe. While CRC screening programmes are now well established in most European countries, participation rates vary widely and there is no standardised approach to screening. Upper GI bleeding is managed variably across Europe, with a lack of consensus on best practice. Endoscopy services are patchy and not currently viewed as a priority by policymakers, which could have serious implications for meeting future service demands. Training of medical students in gastroenterology varies between countries and is poorly documented. “This survey was wide-ranging and has highlighted some areas of good practice, but many areas that require attention at both a national and European level,” said Professor Farthing. “Our hope is that, ultimately, the survey and the reports generated will help to improve care and health outcomes and reduce inequalities across the continent.” References 1.     Roberts SE, Samuel DG, Williams JG, et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part one: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014. 2.     Anderson P, Fitzsimmons D, Hale J, et al.. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part two: The economic impact and burden of gastrointestinal diseases across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014. Notes to Editors About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. From October 18-22, 2014, UEG will connect everyone to its annual meeting via livestream on www.ueg.eu. State-of-the-art lectures of Europe’s largest GI meeting may be followed online from around the world. Include #UEGWeek in your tweets. UEG Week 24/7 features all recorded sessions from UEG Week and provides convenient and direct access to the complete congress material, including E-posters and abstracts. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives besides UEG Week, including: · UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology · EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter @my_ueg and @UEGMedia Press Contacts Samantha Forster Email: media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 Press Release Translations Download press release Download der Pressemitteilung Descarga nota de prensa Télécharger le communiqué de presse Download comunicato stampa Download プレスリリース Download 新闻稿 

New pill-only regimens cure patients with hardest-to-treat hepatitis C infection.

(Vienna, October 17, 2014) Two new pill-only regimens that rapidly cure most patients with genotype 1 hepatitis C (HCV) infection could soon be widely prescribed across Europe. Two recently-published studies confirmed the efficacy and safety of combination therapy with two oral direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs), with around 90% of patients cured after just 12-weeks of treatment.

At the 22nd United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG Week 2014) in Vienna, Austria, Professor Michael P. Manns from Hannover Medical School in Germany will be presenting this data and says this represents a massive step forward in the treatment of this life-threatening infection. “These new pill-only regimens have the potential to offer more effective, safer and faster virus eradication than current therapies, even in traditionally hard-to-cure patients,” he says. “We hope that a pill-only regimen will encourage more people to come forward and accept treatment so we can one day eradicate this deadly virus.” Burden of hepatitis C infection Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a global epidemic, with more than 180 million people thought to have chronic HCV infection worldwide. HCV genotype 1 represents the majority of infections in Europe and is considered the most difficult to cure. Until recently, the standard of care for chronic HCV genotype 1 infection involved a combination of drugs, was associated with severe side-effects and involved complicated injection and tablet regimens lasting up to 1 year. “These treatment regimens, although effective, are difficult to manage and poorly tolerated by many patients, and some clinicians won’t even use them,” says Prof. Manns. “We desperately need simpler treatment regimens that are highly effective, that can be used in more patients, and that do not cause such severe toxicity.” New pill-only regimens Two recently-published studies used different combinations of oral antivirals to treat patients with chronic HCV genotype 1 infection. In the first study – called the HALLMARK-DUAL study1 – 645 patients with HCV genotype 1b infection received an NS3 protease inhibitor twice-daily plus once-daily NS5A replication complex inhibitor or placebo. Twelve weeks after the end of a 24 week treatment period (the primary endpoint), the combination regimen had provided a sustained virological response (SVR) – which is considered a cure – in 90% of previously untreated patients and 82% of patients who had failed to respond to, or could not tolerate, their previous treatment. “This is a vast improvement over standard triple therapy, with efficacy observed across the board – even in patients with liver cirrhosis and those who have failed other treatments,” says Prof. Manns. “The combination treatment was also well tolerated by most patients.” In a second study – called the COSMOS study2 – 167 patients with HCV genotype 1a and 1b infection were randomized and treated with a second generation NS3/4A protease inhibitor once-daily plus a NS5B polymerase inhibitor once-daily with or without ribavirin. After 12 weeks of treatment, 93% of patients (including those with cirrhosis and interferon non-responders) had achieved an SVR. Again, the combination regimen was well tolerated, with less than 2% of patients reporting serious adverse events or withdrawing from treatment because of adverse events. “The results from these two studies suggest that interferon- and ribavirin- based treatment for chronic HCV infection may soon become a thing of the past,” says Prof. Manns. “With several more pill only regimens having also been reported this year, this is a key moment in the history of HCV treatment and represents an important step towards universally effective, needle-free treatments for HCV.”3,4,5.   References 1.     Manns M, et al. Lancet. E-Pub:Jul 26  2014 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61059-X 2.     Lawitz E, et al. The Lancet  2014: 383: 9916:515-523 3.     Afdhal N, et al,  NEJM 2014: 370:1483-149 4.     Feld J,  et al, NEJM  2014: 370:1594-603 5.     Sulkowski M, , NEJM 2014: 370:222-232 Notes to Editors About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. From October 18-22, 2014, UEG will connect everyone to its annual meeting via livestream on www.ueg.eu. State-of-the-art lectures of Europe’s largest GI meeting may be followed online from around the world. Include #UEGWeek in your tweets. UEG Week 24/7 features all recorded sessions from UEG Week and provides convenient and direct access to the complete congress material, including E-posters and abstracts. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives besides UEG Week, including: · UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology · EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter @my_ueg and @UEGMedia Press Contacts Samantha Forster Email: media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 Press Release Translations Download press release Download der Pressemitteilung Descarga nota de prensa Télécharger le communiqué de presse Download comunicato stampa Download プレスリリース Download 新闻稿 

New e-learning developments shaping the future of gastroenterology and hepatology.

(Vienna, October 08, 2014) Ahead of UEG Week 2014, Vienna (18 October – 22nd October 2014) United European Gastroenterology (UEG) are delighted to announce their new and improved e-learning portal, providing a unique education platform with exciting innovations for the gastroenterology and hepatology community.

The UEG e-learning portal has grown exponentially and now includes thousands of categorised and searchable documents, media clips, CME courses as well as meeting content. As Dr Charles Murray, gastroenterologist at London’s Royal Free Hospital and Chair of UEG’s e-learning Taskforce, explains in the October edition of the UEG Journal, “The strength and advantage of the UEG educational platform is that the UEG Member Societies and UEG National Society Members feed into it, shaping a unique and comprehensive portal with extensive GI-related material and educational resources.” UEG provides high quality, accessible and independent education and training in gastroenterology. We carry out a range of activities, including training courses (both as e-learning and hands-on residential courses), hosting a huge online library and providing the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion. “UEG now look to improving their educational resources. We aim to do so by further engagement with Member Societies and National Societies through sharing of information, research and news and look forward to any ideas from members and specialists. UEG Education is at the beginning of an exciting stage in its development and we value input in shaping the future,” adds Dr Charles Murray. Throughout UEG Week in Vienna (18 October – 22nd October) attendees will be able to visit the UEG Education Lounge, a dedicated area at the Congress providing free access to UEG’s educational activities including the e- learning platform. UEG Week 24/7 – is a dedicated area on the UEG website, which also provides access to abstracts, e-posters and recordings from UEG Week all year round, allowing the whole gastroenterological community access to unrivalled expertise and knowledge anywhere and at any time. Notes to Editors About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. From October 18-22, 2014, UEG will connect everyone to its annual meeting via livestream on www.ueg.eu. State-of-the-art lectures of Europe’s largest GI meeting may be followed online from around the world. Include #UEGWeek in your tweets. UEG Week 24/7 features all recorded sessions from UEG Week and provides convenient and direct access to the complete congress material, including E-posters and abstracts. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives besides UEG Week, including: · UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology · EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter @my_ueg and @UEGMedia Press Contacts Samantha Forster Email: media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099

Study finds link between depression and abnormal brain response to visceral pain in patients with IBS.

(Vienna, October 02, 2014) High rates of anxiety and depression amongst patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have led many researchers to believe there could be a causal relationship between psychological factors and IBS symptoms.

Now, scientists in Germany have found clear evidence that patients with IBS process pain signals from the gut abnormally, and that disturbed brain responses to pain are particularly pronounced in patients with more depression symptoms1.

At the 22nd United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG Week 2014) in Vienna, Austria, Professor Sigrid Elsenbruch from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany, will be presenting a new study which suggests that depression, but not anxiety, contributes to the abnormal pain processing observed in IBS in a model that addresses central pain inhibition during placebo analgesia. “Our study has shown that patients with IBS are less able to suppress pain signals in the brain coming from the bowel and that depression plays a role herein,” she says. “This study confirms the complex relationship between the gut and the brain and shows that affective disorders may contribute to the development or maintenance of disturbed pain processing in IBS.” IBS, anxiety and depression IBS is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder with prevalence rates of up to 23% reported.2 The condition is characterised by recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort, in combination with bloating and altered bowel habits (e.g. diarrhoea and/or constipation). Depression and anxiety frequently co-exist with IBS, with a recent study reporting that 38% of IBS patients had clinically-confirmed depression (compared with 6% of healthy controls) and 32% had anxiety (compared with 13% of healthy controls).3 “The fact that so many people with IBS have anxiety and depression has led many to speculate that IBS is primarily a psychological, not a physical, disorder,” says Prof. Elsenbruch. “However, the condition is complex and most likely results from an interplay between psychological and biological factors. In fact, we don’t really know whether anxiety and depression result from having IBS or whether they contribute to the development or maintenance of symptoms. In many patients, both possibilities may be true at the same time.” The “brain–gut” axis in IBS There has been significant scientific interest in the role of central nervous system mechanisms along the “brain–gut” axis in IBS. Neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that neural processing of visceral stimuli (i.e. stimuli generated from internal organs such as the intestine) is altered in IBS, with many IBS patients showing lowered pain thresholds.4 In Prof. Elsenbruch’s latest study, painful rectal distensions were performed using a pressure-controlled barostat system in 17 patients with IBS and 17 sex- and age-matched healthy controls.1 Neural activation in pain-related brain areas was assessed using functional MRI (fMRI) while subjects received sequential intravenous administrations of saline and what they thought was an anti-spasmolytic drug (but was actually a saline placebo), in order to observe activation patterns during a typical placebo pain response. The fMRI results in the healthy volunteers demonstrated reduced neural activation in pain-related brain areas during both the saline and sham treatment (placebo), indicating significant central pain inhibition. However, there was no such inhibition in the group of IBS patients, suggesting a deficiency in central pain inhibitory mechanisms in IBS. Interestingly, higher depression (but not anxiety) scores on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were associated with reduced central pain inhibition in this study. “Our findings suggest that patients with IBS do not process visceral pain signals in the same way as healthy people and are unable to suppress pain signals in the brain and, as a result, experience more pain from the same stimuli,” says Prof. Elsenbruch. “The fact that the presence of depression was associated with altered brain responses suggests that depression may contribute to these abnormal pain processes in IBS patients.” References 1. SchmidJ, et al. Gut 2014. May 15. pii: gutjnl-2013-306648. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2013-306648. 2. www.aboutibs.org/site/what-is-ibs/facts/statistics 3. Shah E, et al. Ann Gastroenterol 2014;27:224-30. 4. Elsenbruch S. Brain Behav Immun 2011;25:386–94. Notes to Editors About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. From October 18-22, 2014, UEG will connect everyone to its annual meeting via livestream on www.ueg.eu. State-of-the-art lectures of Europe’s largest GI meeting may be followed online from around the world. Include #UEGWeek in your tweets. UEG Week 24/7 features all recorded sessions from UEG Week and provides convenient and direct access to the complete congress material, including E-posters and abstracts. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives besides UEG Week, including: · UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology · EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter @my_ueg and @UEGMedia Press Contacts Samantha Forster Email: media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 Press Release Translations Download press release Download der Pressemitteilung Descarga nota de prensa Télécharger le communiqué de presse Download comunicato stampa Download プレスリリース Download 新闻稿 

Faecal microbiota transplantation officially recommended for treatment of C. difficile infection.

(September 25, 2014) The transplantation of faecal microbiota has been shown in recent clinical studies to be a safe and highly effective treatment for recurrent Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection and is now recommended in European treatment guidelines.1,2

FMT has emerged as a revolutionary, potentially life-saving treatment for this common infection, and is showing promise in the management of other microbiota-related conditions.3,4

Presenting at the 22nd United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG Week 2014) in Vienna, Austria, Professor Antonio Gasbarrini from the Gemeli University Hospital in Rome believes that FMT should now be used more widely in order to reduce both the clinical and economic burden of microbiota-related disease. “FMT is an old procedure that has gained in popularity in recent years,” he says. “When used in patients with recurrent C. difficile infections, which are extremely difficult to treat, FMT eradicates the bacteria in around 90% of cases with a good safety profile.” The challenges of C. difficile infection C. difficile infection is the most common cause of hospital-acquired diarrhoea, and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in hospitalized patients. Infection rates have been rising rapidly in Europe and reports of emerging new strains, growing antibiotic resistance, and increased susceptibility in non-hospitalized individuals are of grave concern. C. difficile infection causes severe diarrhoea, intestinal inflammation and toxin-mediated cell death that, in severe cases, can lead to shock, hypotension, ileus or megacolon. Standard first-line therapies include the antibiotics, vancomycin or metronidazole, which are initially effective in most individuals. Unfortunately, approximately 20% of successfully-treated patients will have an infection recurrence, and many of these will experience multiple recurrences.5 “Recurrent C. difficile infections are particularly difficult to treat, with long courses of antibiotics further disrupting the normal gut microflora, putting the patient at great risk of serious complications such as sepsis or perforation of the bowel,” says Prof. Gasbarrini. “There is an urgent need for more effective treatments for recurrent C. difficile infections and FMT is definitely one of them.” FMT for C. difficile infection FMT is an innovative treatment that was first described in C. difficile infection in the 1950s, and is being used increasingly in everyday practice. In FMT, healthy microbiota harvested from a donated stool sample is transplanted into the intestine of the recipient – often by colonoscopy or enema – where it helps to restore the normal composition of the gut flora and overcome the toxic consequences of C. difficile infection. Studies in patients with C. difficile infection have confirmed that the treatment has a good safety record and is highly effective – quickly eradicating recurrent infections in around 90% of patients.5,6 While once considered a last-resort option for only the brave or desperate, FMT is now officially recommended in influential European treatment guidelines for recurrent C. difficile infections.1,2 “FMT can be considered a very simple form of organ transplantation that does not require immunological matching of donor and recipient and does not need immunosuppression after the procedure,” says Prof. Gasbarrini. “I am delighted that FMT has now been formally recognised as an effective treatment for recurrent C. difficile infection and I hope the technique will now be used more widely in an effort to relieve some of the burden of this troublesome infection.” References 1. Debast SB, et al. Clin Microbiol Infect 2014; 20 (Suppl 2): 1–26. 2. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Faecal microbiota transplant for recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. NICE interventional procedure guidance 485. March 2014. 3. Cammarota, et al. Intern Emerg Med 2014; 9: 365–373. 4. Smits LP, et al. Gastroenterology 2013; 145: 946–953. 5. Cammarota G, et al. J Clin Gastroenterol 2014 Jan 16. 6. Van Nood E, et al. N Engl J Med 2013; 368: 407–415. Notes to Editors About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. From October 18-22, 2014, UEG will connect everyone to its annual meeting via livestream on www.ueg.eu. State-of-the-art lectures of Europe’s largest GI meeting may be followed online from around the world. Include #UEGWeek in your tweets. UEG Week 24/7 features all recorded sessions from UEG Week and provides convenient and direct access to the complete congress material, including E-posters and abstracts. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives besides UEG Week, including: · UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology · EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter @my_ueg and @UEGMedia Press Contacts Samantha Forster Email: media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 Press Release Translations Download press release Download der Pressemitteilung Descarga nota de prensa Télécharger le communiqué de presse Download comunicato stampa Download プレスリリース Download 新闻稿 

Wheat-related disorders – Gluten-free diet may do more harm than good.

(September 18 , 2014) Cereals such as wheat have long been considered a fundamental food source, yet growing numbers of people are intolerant to them and the list of wheat-related conditions seems to grow daily. Now, experts are calling for a greater awareness of wheat-related disorders in order that gluten-intolerant patients are diagnosed more swiftly and receive the best possible treatment.

Cereals such as wheat have long been considered a fundamental food source, yet growing numbers of people are intolerant to them and the list of wheat-related conditions seems to grow daily. Now, experts are calling for a greater awareness of wheat-related disorders in order that gluten-intolerant patients are diagnosed more swiftly and receive the best possible treatment. According to a paper, ‘Wheat-related disorders: A broad spectrum of ‘evolving’ diseases,’ published in this month’s UEG Journal,experts Professor Giovanni Gasbarrini and Dr Francesca Mangiola suggest that people eating a gluten-free diet may also be at risk of developing new food intolerances, due to excessive substitution of alternative carbohydrates and foods containing nickel which may lead to additional health problems. They offer the following practical advice to clinicians on how to differentiate between coeliac disease and other gluten-related disorders to diagnose conditions more effectively and ensure sufferers do not follow a gluten-free diet unnecessarily: ·         Perform a thorough medical history, with particular attention given to the native gut microbiota. ·         Extensively explore the symptoms and assess the presence of any history of allergies. ·         Evaluate the genetic background with great care because it is often important to target or confirm the diagnosis and in some cases, make it unlikely. Gluten: the wheat toxin Gluten is a substance found in wheat, barley and rye that is composed of the two proteins, gliaden and glutenin. Researchers believe that gliaden is the gluten component people react to when they have wheat-related disorders. A number of distinct medical conditions are now recognised to be gluten-related including coeliac disease, wheat allergy and the newly-defined condition, non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. According to Gasbarrini and Mangiola’s paper, among the problematic disorders related to gluten, around 10% may be wheat allergy, 6% may be non-coeliac gluten sensitivity and only 1% is coeliac disease.1 Commenting on the article, UEG Spokesperson, Professor Antonio Gasbarrini said it is important to raise awareness of wheat-related disorders in order that people are not left undiagnosed and suffering. “Gluten-related disorders, like all food allergies, are extremely disabling and can have a major impact on people’s lives,” he said. “Most of us have heard of coeliac disease, but the other conditions are also very distressing and they are far more common.” “Many clinicians struggle to differentiate between the wheat-related disorders so practical advice like this is always helpful,” adds Prof. Gasbarrini. “Hopefully, as clinicians and patients become more aware of the range of conditions associated with wheat and gluten, the quicker they can be diagnosed, receive the most appropriate treatment and prevent associated health problems.” Reference 1.     Gasbarrini GB, Mangiola F. Wheat-related disorders: A broad spectrum of ‘evolving’ diseases. United European Gastroenterol J 2014;2(4):254-62. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4114114/. Notes to Editors About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives besides UEG Week, including:    ·        UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion  ·         Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations ·        UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology ·        EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu

Press contact    

Samantha Forster:

Email: media@ueg.eu

Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099

 

UEG calls for more specialist clinics to improve emotional and mental wellbeing of young people with IBD.

(August, 28, 2014) In response to a new study highlighting the impact of IBD on children, United European Gastroenterology (UEG), Europe’s largest digestive health body, is calling for an increase in specialist IBD Clinics across Europe to quicken diagnosis times and improve treatment, helping to reduce the psychosocial impact IBD has on children and young people.

The Impact of IBD Study1 recently published in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, reveals that almost a quarter of IBD sufferers feel they don’t have adequate access to a specialist and, as many as, 76% believed greater access to a specialist gastroenterologist would help improve IBD healthcare. The study also reports alarming delays in diagnosis, with 17% of under 18’s left waiting more than 5 years before receiving a final diagnosis, which can further impact on the patients’ mental wellbeing. 64% of patients needed emergency care before their diagnosis and 46% of patients were hospitalised for an average of 24 days, adding to the emotional stress of having IBD. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a life-long condition that causes inflammation in the intestine and is increasing in children with 30% of all IBD patients presenting with symptoms between the ages of 10 and 19.3  The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affecting around 70 in every 100,000 children2. Children with IBD are frequently considered emotionally vulnerable with some children found to have behaviour problems, psychiatric disorders, depression and diminished social competence. IBD can also cause delayed growth and development which increases the distress many children experience. UEG call for greater access to specialist gastroenterologists and clinics, particularly for children with IBD to help speed up diagnosis times and offer psycho-social support as part of the treatment plan. Dr Charles Murray, Consultant Gastroenterologist and UEG spokesperson, says, “It’s vital that children and young adults with IBD receive a quick diagnosis so that a treatment plan including psychosocial support can be put in place as soon as possible. Increased access to specialist gastroenterologists and clinics is essential to help these young people manage their condition successfully, enabling them to continue in education and work and significantly improve their quality of life and mental wellbeing.” References 1.     EFCCA Impact of IBD Study 2010-2011. Published J Crohns and Colitis. 2014 March 21 2.    Kappelman MD, Rifas-Shiman SL, Kleinman K et al. The prevalence and geographic distribution of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the United States. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007; 5:1424–9. 3.    Problems in the diagnosis of IBD in children. H.A  Buller. Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 4.    The Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Young People - The impact on education and employment report - downloadable from the www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk 5.    Szigethy E, McLafferty L, Goyal A. Inflammatory bowel disease. Pediatr Clin North Am 2011; 58: 903-20. 6.    Minderhoud IM, Oldenburg B, van Dam PS, van Berge Henegouwen GP. High prevalence of fatigue in quiescent inflammatory bowel disease is not related to adrenocortical insufficiency. Am J Gastroenterol 2003 May: 98 (5): 1088-93. Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu *EFCCA (European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations) Impact of IBD Study The IMPACT study was commissed in 2010-2011 by EFCCA and involved over 5000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), in 27 European countries. To find out more about EFCCA and the Impact Study visit: http://www.efcca.org/ To arrange a press interview with Dr Charles Murray, UEG Spokesperson and Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist at The Royal Free Hospital, please contact Samantha Forster, details below.

Press contacts  

Samantha Forster: samantha@spinkhealth.com

Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099



World Hepatitis Day: Experts call for awareness of the ‘Silent Epidemic’ increasing the risk of liver cancer.

(July, 23, 2014) Ahead of World Hepatitis Day, 28th July 2014, United European Gastroenterology (UEG) call for greater awareness of the symptoms of hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that increases the risk of developing liver cancer.

78% of all primary liver cancer cases are associated with a prior hepatitis B or C infection1. Liver cancer is estimated to be responsible for 746,000 worldwide deaths each year, making it the second most common cause of cancer death2. Speaking on behalf of UEG, hepatology expert Professor Joost Drenth is calling for increased public awareness of hepatitis as controlling the deadly virus is currently proving to be a major challenge for health providers in the UK and across Europe. Professor Drenth explains “90% of people with hepatitis are unaware of their infection because it can remain asymptomatic for decades. Late diagnosis and insufficient access to effective new treatments leave many patients at risk of serious health complications including liver cancer and cirrhosis.” He adds, “Historically, people with the infection have been highly stigmatised as the virus is generally associated with intravenous drug use. However, for a majority of patients the route of infection is unknown. The virus is present in the blood and, to a much lesser extent, the saliva and semen or vaginal fluid of an infected person. GPs, sexual health clinics and GUM (genitourinary medicine) clinics can all test for the disease via a simple blood test.” Professor Drenth explains the symptoms of hepatitis C which can include the following: Flu-like symptoms with increased aches, pains and headaches Extreme fatigue causing you to feel unable to perform certain tasks Depression and loss of interest or pleasure in activities that you normally enjoy Notes to Editors What is Hepatitis C? Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that predominantly infects the cells of the liver3. This can result in inflammation and significant damage4, which can affect the liver’s ability to perform its essential functions. Although it has always been regarded as a liver disease - ‘hepatitis’ means ‘inflammation of the liver’ - recent research has revealed that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects a number of other areas in the body. These can include the digestive system, the lymphatic system, the immune system and the brain. Recent research has also indicated that HCV destroys a key protective tumour-supressing gene5. The course of a chronic hepatitis C infection is extremely varied and unpredictable. Some people experience very few symptoms for as long as a decade, while others suffer symptoms almost from the start. Some will progress to develop fibrosis and cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer or end stage liver disease, while others experience very little liver damage, even after many years. In cases where there is an absence of symptoms, many people do not discover that they have HCV until sometime after they have been infected. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu  Available for interview Professor Joost Drenth, European hepatitis and liver cancer expert Press contact Samantha Forster media@ueg.eu Tel: +44(0)1444 811099 @UEGMedia

UEG calls for increased emotional support from primary care practitioners for children with IBD.

(August, 11, 2014) In response to a new study highlighting the impact of IBD on children, United European Gastroenterology (UEG), Europe’s largest digestive health body, is calling for improved emotional support between doctors and health care professionals during consultations to minimise the psychosocial impact IBD has on children and young people.

The Impact of IBD Study1 recently published in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, reveals that IBD can be difficult to diagnose with patients not always presenting with all the most common symptoms. The study also reports alarming delays in diagnosis, with 17% of under 18’s left waiting more than 5 years before receiving a final diagnosis, which can further impact on the patients’ mental wellbeing. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a life-long condition that causes inflammation in the intestine and is increasing in children with 30% of all IBD patients presenting with symptoms between the ages of 10 and 19.3 The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affecting around 70 in every 100,000 children2. Children with IBD are frequently considered emotionally vulnerable with some children found to have behaviour problems, psychiatric disorders, depression and diminished social competence. IBD can also cause delayed growth and development which adds to the emotional distress many children experience. UEG call for improved consultation techniques for both doctors and healthcare professionals to ensure depth and coverage of IBD issues so that no important information is missed when speaking with patients1. This is especially relevant as 64% of patients needed emergency care before their diagnosis and 46% of patients were hospitalised for an average of 24 days, adding to their stress of having IBD. Dr Nikhil Thapar, Consultant Gastroenterologist and UEG spokesperson, says, “It’s vital that both patients and doctors feel they can discuss all aspects of IBD whether it be diagnosis, treatment or condition management comfortably during a consultation. Doctors should also offer patients the opportunity to raise questions whilst providing them with the psychosocial support they may need to deal with their condition. IBD can make it impossible for young patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease to continue in education and hold down a job. Therefore it is important they receive the psychological support to optimise their emotional and mental wellbeing” References 1. EFCCA Impact of IBD Study 2010-2011. Published J Crohns and Colitis. 2014 March 21 2. Kappelman MD, Rifas-Shiman SL, Kleinman K et al. The prevalence and geographic distribution of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the United States. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007; 5:1424–9. 3. Problems in the diagnosis of IBD in children. H.A Buller. Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 4. The Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Young People - The impact on education and employment report - downloadable from the www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk 5. Szigethy E, McLafferty L, Goyal A. Inflammatory bowel disease. Pediatr Clin North Am 2011; 58: 903-20. 6. Minderhoud IM, Oldenburg B, van Dam PS, van Berge Henegouwen GP. High prevalence of fatigue in quiescent inflammatory bowel disease is not related to adrenocortical insufficiency. Am J Gastroenterol 2003 May: 98 (5): 1088-93. Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu *EFCCA (European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations) Impact of IBD Study The IMPACT study was commissed in 2010-2011 by EFCCA and involved over 5000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), in 27 European countries. To find out more about EFCCA and the Impact Study visit: http://www.efcca.org/ To arrange a press interview with Dr Thapar, UEG Spokesperson and Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, please contact Samantha Forster, details below. Press contacts Samantha Forster: samantha@spinkhealth.com Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099

Incontinence and crippling fatigue disrupts education and ruins job prospects for children with IBD.

(June, 30, 2014) Debilitating daily symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) not only cause depression and psychological complications in young people, but also significantly disrupts their education and ability to stay at work. In response to a new study highlighting the impact of IBD on children, United European Gastroenterology (UEG), Europe’s largest digestive health body, is calling for quicker diagnosis and treatment to minimise the impact IBD has on childrens’ education and future employment.

The Impact of IBD Study1 recently published in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, reveals that a quarter of young IBD sufferers across Europe, had to take over 25 days off work in the last year and almost a third (31%) had lost or had to quit their job.1 61% felt that their symptoms had affected their ability to perform to their full potential in an educational setting1 with many having at least 3 months absent from school per year2 Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a life-long condition that causes inflammation in the intestine and is increasing in children with 30% of all IBD patients presenting with symptoms between the ages of 10 and 19.3  The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affecting around 70 in every 100,000 children4. IBD can be difficult to diagnose with patients not always presenting with all the most common symptoms and the Impact of IBD Study also reports alarming delays in diagnosis with 17% of under 18’s waiting more than 5 years to receive a final diagnosis. This can further impact on the patients’ mental wellbeing and ability to plan for their future. As well as having to cope with the debilitating physical symptoms, including faecal incontinence and abdominal cramping, IBD patients also experience sleep deprivation and continual or profound fatigue which can severely affect their self-esteem5 and a quarter of these patients also suffer from depression.6   In fact, researchers have found that fatigue in people with IBD is comparable to those suffering from cancer7 making it extremely difficult to perform in the classroom or remain at work. Dr Nikhil Thapar, Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist and UEG spokesperson, explains, “Constant fatigue and the fear of abdominal pain and incontinence, can make it impossible for young patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease to continue in education and hold down a job. It is essential that they are diagnosed and begin treatment as quickly as possible to help them manage their symptoms enabling them to stay at school and continue to work.  It is also important that they receive psychological support, to optimise their mental and emotional wellbeing.”  References 1.     EFCCA Impact of IBD Study 2010-2011. Published J Crohns and Colitis. 2014 March 21 2.     Moody G, Eaden JA, Mayberry JF. Social implications of childhood Crohn’s disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1999; 28: S43-5 3.    Problems in the diagnosis of IBD in children. H.A  Buller. Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 4.    Kappelman MD, Rifas-Shiman SL, Kleinman K et al. The prevalence and geographic distribution of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the United States. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007; 5:1424–9. 5.    The Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Young People - The impact on education and employment report - downloadable from the www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk 6.    Szigethy E, McLafferty L, Goyal A. Inflammatory bowel disease. Pediatr Clin North Am 2011; 58: 903-20. 7.    Minderhoud IM, Oldenburg B, van Dam PS, van Berge Henegouwen GP. High prevalence of fatigue in quiescent inflammatory bowel disease is not related to adrenocortical insufficiency. Am J Gastroenterol 2003 May: 98 (5): 1088-93. Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: · UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world · Courses, covering the latest science and clinical information in the field, including diagnosis, treatment and real-life examples · UEG e-learning, an ever-expanding archive of over 11,000 documents and more than 1,000 multimedia items, as well as accredited e-courses · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology · EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe  Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu *EFCCA (European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations) Impact of IBD Study The IMPACT survey was commissed in 2010-2011 by EFCCA and involved over 5000 people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), in 27 European countries. To find out more about EFCCA and the Impact Survey visit: http://www.efcca.org/ To arrange press interview with Dr Nikhil Thapar, UEG Spokesperson and Consultant Gastroenterologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, please contact Samantha Forster, details below

Press contacts  

Samantha Forster: samantha@spinkhealth.com

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Increase in nurse endoscopy training is vital to reduce rising numbers of colorectal cancer deaths across EU.

(June, 12, 2014) Colorectal cancer (CRC) is currently estimated to claim the lives of 214,6751 adults in Europe, equivalent to 1 death every 3 minutes. With this figure predicted to rise by 12% by 2020,2 United European Gastroenterology (UEG), Europe’s largest digestive health body, calls for an urgent increase in screening uptake and the availability of more trained nurse endoscopists across Europe, to prevent rising mortality.

Colorectal cancer is extremely lethal in its advanced stages yet early detection can result in a 90-95% survival rate. Regular screening reduces the risk of dying from the disease by 20-30% using the Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) and it is well established that patients who are maintained free of adenomas by endoscopic polypectomy are generally kept cancer free3.  In fact, recent studies have also suggested that endoscopic screening is associated with a substantial reduction in mortality specifically from colorectal cancer and has a more preventive effect than FOBT screening.4 However, there is currently a considerable lack of nurse endoscopy workforce in the majority of European countries, and the main provider of endoscopy in many countries remains with the physician.  Sweden and the UK are the only European countries to have nurse endoscopists available nationally and Denmark and the Netherlands have nurse endoscopists but just in certain regions.5   United European Gastroenterology (UEG) welcome the vital steps the European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates (ESGENA) are taking to transform nurse endoscopy training and provision across Europe. Michael Ortmann, President of the European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates (ESGENA) explains; “We have established a European Endoscopy Nurses Forum (EENF) which has allowed collaboration between European countries to establish a harmonised training programme for endoscopy nurses and allowed standardisation of the role of endoscopy nurses across Europe, including training requirements, which will have a significant impact on the reduction of colorectal cancer deaths.” ESGENA in combination with ESGE (European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) and the Austrian Society of Endoscopy and GE Nurses and Assistants (IVEPA), will be hosting a conference as part of UEG Week (18-22 October 2014) in Vienna, offering high quality hands on training in small groups and live transmissions for nurses to improve their endoscopic skills. Under the supervision of highly experienced tutors, participants will have the opportunity to take part in valuable training using on bio simulators and also have the opportunity to perform endoscopic techniques on colonoscopy as well as ERCP. Notes to Editors References: 1. Globocan Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence, 2012  2. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 3. Winawer SJ, Zauber AG, O’Brien MJ. Randomised comparison of surveillance intervals after colonoscopic removal of newly diagnosed adenomatous polyps. N Engl J Med 1993; 328: 901-906 4. Young P.E, Womeldorph C.M. Colonoscopy for Colorectal Cancer Screening J Cancer 2013; 4 (3):217-226.  5. Kanavos P, Schurer W. The burden of colorectal cancer: prevention, treatment and quality of services. Eur J Health Econ 2010; 10 Suppl 1:S1-3 About UEG United European Gastroenterology is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. Find out more about UEG’s work at www.ueg.eu 18th ESGENA Conference at UEG Week (October 18-22 2014), Vienna, Austria Hosted by the Austrian Society of Endoscopy and GE Nurses and Assistants (IVEPA) The ESGENA conference is not only an opportunity to meet colleagues from throughout Europe, but also from North and South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. The exchange with nurses from all over the world combined with the opportunity to attend the medical programme of the UEG Week ensures the ESGENA conference is an exceptional educational event. See www.ueg.eu/week/esgena/ for further information and registration details Available for interview Michael Ortmann, ESGENA president  #screeningsaveslives Download a map of CRC Incidence & Mortality in Europe here http://www.ueg.eu/crcmap/ and an infographic about CRC screening here http://www.ueg.eu/crceurope/ Press contact Samantha Forster media@ueg.eu Tel:+44(0)1444811099 @UEGMedia

World Digestive Health Day – 29th May 2014

Poor digestive health linked to serious mental health conditions and neurological diseases, including depression and Parkinson’s Disease.

According to scientists, gut microbiota not only play a vital role in normal digestion and protect us against infection, but also affect our behaviour, thoughts and mood.  Furthermore, recent research reveals increasing links between gut microbiota and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety as well as nervous system diseases, including Parkinson’s Disease1 and Alzheimer’s2 As World Digestive Health Day is marked across the globe today, Europe’s largest digestive health body, United European Gastroenterology (UEG), is urging people to be more symptom-aware to ensure early diagnosis and treatment, helping to prevent serious mental and neurological conditions associated with poor gut health. A study examining the link between gut microbiota and Parkinson’s Disease revealed significantly higher (54% v 8%) small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in patients with Parkinson’s Disease than in control patients and that gastrointestinal motility abnormalities were the most likely explanation.1 “We have known for a long time that the brain can send signals to the gut, which is why stress and other emotions can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms,” explains Professor Lakatos, digestive disease expert and UEG spokesperson. “We now know that signals can travel in the opposite direction, so it is feasible that an unhealthy gut can adversely affect the state of our mind.” Why the stomach has a ‘mind’ of its own The human intestine contains about 100 trillion micro-organisms – ten times the total number of cells in the entire human body. The activities of these organisms are controlled by what is sometimes referred to as the “little brain”, a network of nerve cells that line the intestine and help to co-ordinate gut function.  Digestive disease experts believe that consuming a healthy diet, including foods that boost ‘good bacteria’ and encourage efficient digestion, may have an especially positive effect on mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. “Although research in this area is still in its early stages, studies suggest that microbiota hold the key to improving the treatment of a wide range of mental and neurological conditions and good gut health is essential for optimal mental and physical wellbeing,” says Prof. Lakatos. References [1] Gabrielli M1, Bonazzi P, Scarpellini E, Bendia E, Lauritano EC, Fasano A, Ceravolo MG, Capecci M, Rita Bentivoglio A, Provinciali L, Tonali PA, Gasbarrini A. Prevalence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in Parkinson's disease. Mov Disord. 2011 Apr;26(5):889-92 [2] Surjyadipta Bhattacharjee, Walter J.Lukiw. Alzheimer’s disease nd the microbiome. Front Cell Neurosci. 2013; 7: 153.  Further reading Bested AC et al. Intestinal microbiota, probiotics and mental health: from Metchnikoff to modern advances: part III – convergence toward clinical trials. Gut Pathogens 2013;5:4. Available at: http://www.gutpathogens.com/content/pdf/1757-4749-5-4.pdf Notes to Editors About UEG
United European Gastroenterology is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. Find out more about UEG’s work at www.ueg.eu Available for interview Peter Lakatos, MD, PhD - Associate Professor and Head of Gastroenterology at the Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary. World Digestive Health Day – 29th May 2014 This year’s theme is “Gut Microbes – Importance in Health and Disease”. Healthy Gut Advice
  • Eat plenty of fibre, including beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruit and
    vegetables, all of which feed good bacteria in our gut.

  • Limit sugar, processed foods, animal fats and animal protein as these provide food for unhealthy microbiota.

  • Limit the use of antibiotics, acid blockers, and anti-inflammatories where possible as these can cause an imbalance in gut flora.

  • Drink plenty of water, avoid fizzy drinks, limit your alcohol and caffeine intake.

  • Cut down on fatty, spicy or acidic foods as these can be hard to digest and irritate the stomach.

  • Boost your ‘friendly bacteria’ every day by taking a probiotic supplement or eating live yoghurt.
Watch our video on gut microbiota - Importance for Health and Disease

UEG Media Press contact    

Samantha Forster: samantha@spinkhealth.com

Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099

 

 

UEG Public Affairs Committee

Email: office@ueg.eu

Internet: www.ueg.eu

 

Family doctor intervention is crucial in the fight against Europe’s second biggest cancer killer.

(April, 30, 2014) As healthcare professionals, commissioners and politicians from across Europe convened earlier this month for the third ‘European Colorectal Cancer Days’ meeting in Brno in the Czech Republic, one of the meeting’s supporters, United European Gastroenterology (UEG) is calling for increased intervention from primary care physicians to improve colorectal cancer (CRC) screening uptake rates across Europe.

CRC is currently estimated to claim the lives of 214,6751 adults in Europe – equivalent to 1 death every 3 minutes – and is expected to affect 502,000 Europeans a year by 20202.  CRC screening programmes are currently underused with the uptake throughout much of Europe falling way short of the 65% rate considered desirable by the European Commission. With the annual incidence of Europe’s second most lethal cancer killer predicted to rise by 12% by 20202 UEG is raising awareness that screening saves lives and believes that family doctor intervention is key to preventing rising mortality. “Family doctors play a crucial role in the prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer by raising the subject of screening with eligible adults and explaining the benefits of available screening options,” explains UEG President Professor Michael Farthing. “Research has found that lack of recommendation by a family doctor is a key barrier to colorectal cancer screening uptake. By proactively broaching the subject of screening, general practitioners can overcome common fears and misconceptions as well as the embarrassment factor that so often prevents people talking about and participating in CRC screening.” Colorectal cancer is extremely lethal in its advanced stages yet early detection can result in a 90-95% survival rate. Regular screening reduces the risk of dying from the disease by 20-30% using the Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), 50% using flexible sigmoidoscopy and up to 65% using colonoscopy. Widely available across Europe, the FOBT is generally offered to men and women over the age of 50 via an invitation from their doctor or a national screening programme. The involvement of family doctors in CRC screening in Europe varies. In some countries (Germany, France, the Czech Republic), family doctors actually perform FOB testing in their surgeries; in others, they are tasked with recruiting patients for colonoscopic screening (Poland); while in countries such as the UK and the Netherlands, family doctors are not directly involved in screening but instead are required to encourage patients to participate in national programmes and to advise on the importance of screening. “It is very important in countries with active screening programmes in place that comprehensive colorectal cancer education and support for family doctors is available to help them put screening high on the agenda at a practice level. Motivated and well informed doctors will in turn mobilise patients, and the link between patient screening compliance and practitioner motivation is well documented,” explains Professor Farthing. #screeningsaveslives Which patient groups do/don’t participate in CRC screening?
  • Research has found a higher participation rate of women in FOBT-based screening programmes across Europe than in men.3
  • Age is also a factor. Italian research found that men and women aged 65 years or older were more likely to participate in screening than younger invitees.4
  • Smokers have been found to have poor CRC screening adherence compared to non-smokers and former smokers.5
  • Adherence to other screening programmes e.g. prostate cancer (men) and breast cancer (women) has been positively associated with CRC screening uptake.6
  • Research in Spain found that fear of screening tests and embarrassment were the main barriers that contributed to low participation.7
  • Notes to Editors

    About UEG
    United European Gastroenterology is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy.
    Find out more about UEG’s work at www.ueg.eu

    Press contact

    Samantha Forster media@ueg.eu Tel:+44(0)1444811099 @UEGMedia

    References

    [1] Globocan Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence, 2012

    [2] International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

    [3] M.Von Euler-Cheplin, K.Brasso and E.Lynge, "Determinants of Participation in CRC screening with faecal occult blood testing," Journal of Public Health

    [4] N.Segnan, C. Senore, B. Andreoni et al, "Randomized trial of different screening strategies for colorectal cancer: patient response and detection rates," Journal of the National Cancer Institute

    [5] G.N. Ioannou, M. K. Chapko and J. A. Dominitz, "Predictors of CRC screening participation in the USA," American Journal of Gastroenterology

    [6] R. C. Carlos, A. M. Fendrick, J. Ellis and S. J. Bernstein, "Can breast and cervical cancer screening visits be used to enhance colorectal cancer screening?" Journal of American College of Radiology

    [7] A. Z. Gimeno-Garcia, E Quintero, D Nicolas Perez, A Parra-Blanco and A. Jimenez-Sosa, "Impact of an educational video-based strategy on the behaviour process associated with colorectal cancer screening: a randomized controlled study", Cancer Epidemiology

     

    Colorectal cancer in Europe facts

    Colorectal cancer incidence and mortality in Europe