UEG Week: Colorectal and pancreatic cancer rates up 10% in last 30 years, reveals major global study

(Barcelona, October 22, 2019) The results of a major study across 195 countries, presented today at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, indicate that global death rates for pancreatic cancer and incidence rates for colorectal cancer both increased by 10% between 1990 and 2017. 

The Global Burden of Disease study, is the first to provide comprehensive worldwide estimates of the burden, epidemiological features and risk factors of a number of digestive diseases. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the study has also been published today in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.  Key findings also include:
  • The number of pancreatic cancer cases increased by 130% over the 27-year study period, from 195,000 in 1990 to 448,000 in 2017
  • Gastric (stomach) cancer dropped from the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide to the third, behind both lung and colorectal cancer
  • The number of cases of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) increased 84%, from 3.7 million in 1990 to 6.8 million in 2017 
Commenting on the study, Professor Herbert Tilg, Chair of the UEG Scientific Committee, stated, “This analysis provides the most comprehensive picture of the global burden of digestive disease to date. Examining these cross-populational trends offers vital information on the changing burden of disease and aids the correct allocation of resources to improve patient outcomes.”  Pancreatic cancer patients more likely to survive in 1990 than today As well as an increase in pancreatic cancer cases, the number of deaths also rose from 196,000 in 1990 to 448,000 in 2017. Whilst some of this increase can be explained by the rising population and longevity, even after accounting for population changes, age-standardised incidence and death rates for pancreatic cancer increased by 12% and 10% respectively. Of note, the highest incidence and death rates were found in higher-income countries.  Experts believe the increase is related to a rise in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes, as reflected by the risk factors of high BMI and higher blood glucose levels which are two of the leading risk factors for pancreatic cancer.  Professor Reza Malekzadeh, lead author of the study, commented, “Pancreatic cancer is one of the world’s deadliest cancers, with an overall five-year survival rate of just 5% in high, middle and low-income countries. Major risk factors for the disease, such as smoking, diabetes and obesity, are largely modifiable and present a huge opportunity for prevention.”  Screening key in reducing the burden of colorectal cancer From 1990 to 2017, age-standardised incidence rates for colorectal cancer increased 9.5% globally but, by contrast, age-standardised death rates decreased by 13.5%. The researchers believe that this is due to the introduction of colorectal cancer screening programmes, leading to earlier detection and an increased chance of survival. Similarly, in countries where screening programmes were established two or three decades ago, reductions in death rates were observed, supporting the benefits attributable to screening interventions.  The study also indicated that the risk factors for colorectal cancer are different in males and females, and should therefore be considered in national policy and prevention programmes. Alcohol use, smoking and diets low in calcium, milk and fibre had a considerable burden on males. For females, dietary risks, but not alcohol use or smoking, were found to be the most attributable risks.  Experts recommend local strategies to tackle gastric cancer  Age-standardised incidence and death rates for gastric cancer decreased steadily between 1990 and 2017. However, this decline has not necessarily led to a lower burden on the health system in high-risk countries and experts believe that specific local strategies should be tailored to each country’s risk factor profile.  “This research shows how gastric cancer presents vast geographical variations, and understanding these differential trends is essential for formulating effective preventative strategies”, commented Professor Reza Malekzadeh. “Beyond the current decline in incidence and death rates, a decrease in the absolute number of cases and deaths will be possible if the burden in east Asia, where currently almost half of the cases and deaths occur, is further reduced.”  - ENDS - Notes to Editors  For further information, or to arrange an expert interview with, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or +44 (0) 7732 499170 or media@ueg.eu  We kindly ask that a reference to UEG Week 2019 is included when communicating any information within this press release. Links to Full Papers: Colorectal Cancer Pancreatic Cancer Stomach Cancer IBD About Professor Herbert Tilg Professor Herbert Tilg is the Chair of the UEG Scientific Committee and a Professor at the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria.  About Professor Reza Malekzadeh Professor Reza Malekzadeh is a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Digestive Disease Institute at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. 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 medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Our member societies represent more than 30,000 specialists from every field of gastroenterology. Together, we provide services for all healthcare professionals and researchers, in the broad area of digestive health. The role of UEG is to take concerted efforts to learn more about digestive disease by prevention, research, diagnosis, cure and raising awareness of their importance.  To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, 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
  • 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
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:     Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu  Follow UEG on Twitter References
  1. Malekzadeh, R. et al (2019). The global, regional and national burden of pancreatic cancer and its attributable risk factors in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, October 22, 2019. Published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  
  2. Malekzadeh, R. et al (2019). The global, regional and national burden of colorectal cancer and its attributable risk factors in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, October 22, 2019. Published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  
  3. Malekzadeh, R. et al (2019). The global, regional and national burden of stomach cancer in 195 countries, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, October 22, 2019. Published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  
  4. Malekzadeh, R. et al (2019). The global, regional and national burden of inflammatory bowel disease in 195 countries and territories, 1990-2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2019, October 22, 2019. Published in The Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology.  

UEG Week: Resistance to antibiotics used to treat harmful stomach infection doubles in 20 years, new study finds 

(Barcelona, October 21, 2019) Resistance to commonly-used antibiotics for treating harmful bacteria related to a variety of stomach conditions has more than doubled in 20 years, new research presented today at UEG Week Barcelona 2019 has shown. 

The study, which analysed 1,232 patients from 18 countries* across Europe, investigated resistance to antibiotics regularly taken for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, a harmful bacterium associated with gastric ulcer, lymphoma and gastric cancer. Resistance to clarithromycin, one of the most established antimicrobials used to eradicate H. pylori, had increased from 9.9% in 1998 to 21.6% last year, with increases in resistance also seen for levofloxacin and metronidazole. Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to survive exposure to medications designed to kill or halt their growth. It is one of the greatest threats to global health today, causing more than 750,000 deaths every year and, without urgent action, this number is expected to rise dramatically in the future.  Presenting the study today, lead researcher Professor Francis Megraud, explained, “H. pylori infection is already a complex condition to treat, requiring a combination of medications. With resistance rates to commonly used antibiotics such as clarithromycin increasing at an alarming rate of nearly 1% per year, treatment options for H. pylori will become progressively limited and ineffective if novel treatment strategies remain undeveloped. The reduced efficacy of current therapies could maintain the high incidence rates of gastric cancer and other conditions such as peptic ulcer disease, if drug resistance continues to increase at this pace.”   H. pylori is one of the most common bacterial infections in humans and is estimated to be present in one-half of the world’s population. H. pylori leads to inflammation of the stomach lining, namely gastritis, which can result in peptic ulcers. H. pylori is also the most important risk factor for gastric cancer, the seventh leading cause of cancer death in Europe and the third worldwide. In recent years, H. pylori antibiotic resistance has become a prominent and urgent issue across the globe. Underlining the severity of the situation, in 2017, the World Health Organisation identified clarithromycin-resistant H. pylori as a high priority bacterium for antibiotic research and development. The survey also found that the rates of primary clarithromycin resistance in H. pylori were highest in Southern Italy (39.9%), Croatia (34.6) and Greece (30%), aligning with previous reports that predict that both Italy and Greece will have the highest number of deaths due to antimicrobial resistance amongst EU members by 2050. The high levels of resistance exhibited in these countries has been attributed to the overconsumption of antibiotics for conditions including cold and flu, and a lack of institutional support for antibiotic resistance containment strategies.   “The findings of this study are certainly concerning, as H. pylori is the main cause of peptic disease and gastric cancer,” commented Mário Dinis-Ribeiro, President of the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. “The increasing resistance of H. pylori to a number of commonly-used antibiotics may jeopardize prevention strategies.”

Country

Rate of ‘primary’ clarithromycin resistance in H. pylori in Europe in 2018 (%)

Southern Italy

36.9

Croatia

34.6

Greece

30.0

Poland

28.5

Bulgaria

26.9

Ireland

25.6

Austria

23.5

France

22.5

Germany

22.2

Portugal

20.0

Belgium

17.4

Spain

17.1

Slovenia

16.0

Lithuania

13.0

Netherlands

9.2

Norway

8.9

Latvia

6.8

Denmark

5.0

- ENDS -  Notes to Editors Participating countries included; Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Southern Italy and Spain.  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Francis Megraud, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or +44 (0) 7732 499170 or by email media@ueg.eu  We kindly ask that a reference to UEG Week 2019 is included when communicating any information within this press release.  About Professor Francis Megraud Professor Francis Megraud is the Professor of Bacteriology at University of Bordeaux (France) and founder and current secretary of the European Helicobacter & Microbiota Study Group.  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 medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Our member societies represent more than 30,000 specialists from every field of gastroenterology. Together, we provide services for all healthcare professionals and researchers, in the broad area of digestive health. The role of UEG is to take concerted efforts to learn more about digestive disease by prevention, research, diagnosis, cure and raising awareness of their importance.  To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, 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
  • 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
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:     Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter References
  1. Megraud, F et al., 2019. European survey of Helicobacter pylori primary resistance to antibiotics – Evolution over the last 20 years. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona October 21, 2019
  2. Glupczynski et al. EJCMID 2001, Megraud et al. Gut 2013 and Megraud, F et al., 2019. European survey of Helicobacter pylori primary resistance to antibiotics – Evolution over the last 20 years
  3. ReAct AMR, The global threat of antibiotic resistance (ONLINE): Available at https://www.reactgroup.org/antibiotic-resistance/the-threat/
  4. European Cancer Information System (ECIS), Incidence and mortality 2018. (ONLINE). Available at: https://ecis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/explorer.php?$0-0$1-AE28$4-1,2$3-All$6-0,14$5-2008,2008$7-7$CEstByCancer$X0_8-3$CEstRelativeCanc$X1_8-3$X1_9-AE28
  5. Rawla et al., 2018. Epidemiology of gastric cancer: global trends, risk factors and prevention. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6444111/ 
  6. World Health Organisation, WHO publishes list of bacteria for which new antibiotics are urgently needed. (ONLINE). Available at: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/27-02-2017-who-publishes-list-of-bacteria-for-which-new-antibiotics-are-urgently-needed
  7. OECD. Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year. (ONLINE) Available at: https://www.oecd.org/newsroom/stopping-antimicrobial-resistance-would-cost-just-usd-2-per-person-a-year.htm

UEG Week: IBD prevalence three times higher than previous estimates and expected to rise further, new study reveals

(Barcelona, October 21, 2019) The number of people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) is three times higher than previous estimates, with sufferers also at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC), according to new research presented today at UEG Week Barcelona 2019. 

Researchers from Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS trust and the University of Birmingham examined IBD cases from the beginning of the century to attain accurate data on ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease (CD) prevalence in the UK. Previously, only limited or old data existed, but by utilising data from the Health Improvement Network (THIN), a nationally representative UK primary care database, this new evidence demonstrates that IBD prevalence is three times higher than previously reported, with UC and CD prevalence increasing by 55% and 83% respectively, between 2000 and 2017. The study also showed that IBD prevalence is predicted to rise by almost a quarter from 2017 to 2025.   Affecting over 3 million people across Europe, inflammatory bowel diseases are a group of disorders involving chronic inflammation of the gut. The severity of the symptoms and the long-lasting nature of the diseases can have an extremely debilitating impact on the lives of sufferers. For example, higher rates of depression and reduced workforce participation in patients with UC and CD has been reported in previous studies, with an estimated 44% of IBD sufferers claiming they had lost or quit their job because of IBD. Researcher, Dominic King, from the University of Birmingham, who is presenting the findings for the first time at UEG Week, comments “Our study suggests that IBD prevalence is likely to rise substantially over the next decade. As there is currently no known cure for IBD, patients will often need complex and costly treatments throughout their lives. This predicted rise in prevalence may place an even greater strain on already overburdened healthcare systems.”  “The burden of IBD is compounded further by an association with colorectal cancer”, comments Dr King. “Our study found that patients suffering from Crohn’s disease had a 23% increased risk of developing CRC compared to matched controls, whilst ulcerative colitis patients had a significantly elevated risk of 43%. The rise in prevalence of IBD could therefore potentially lead to an associated rise in CRC cases.”  Accurate evidence on the IBD burden is essential for service planning to ensure patients receive an excellent standard of care across Europe. “The results of the study are alarming, particularly if we consider the fact that Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are lifelong diseases that can begin at a young age and have a huge impact on a patient’s quality of life”, commented Salvo Leone, President of the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA). “The cost to society, either through direct medical costs or indirect costs such as lost days at work, lost educational opportunities, or caring for an affected family member, are enormous. We need to put all our efforts into developing effective treatment and disease management strategies that allow patients and their families to lead happier and healthier lives.” Notes to Editors  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Dominic King, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or +44 (0) 7732 499170 or by email media@ueg.eu  We kindly ask that a reference to UEG Week 2019 is included when communicating any information within this press release.   About Dr Dominic King Dr Dominic King is a gastroenterology trainee based in the West Midlands, UK. He attained his medical degree at the University of Birmingham. He is currently undertaking a doctoral research programme, investigating the inflammatory bowel diseases using routinely gathered data from both primary and secondary care.  About EFCCA The European Federation of Crohn's & Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA) is an umbrella organisation representing 39 national Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis (collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD) patient associations.  We are an organization of people united in our commitment to improve the life of the over 10 million people living with IBD worldwide (3.4 million in Europe alone) and to give them a louder voice and more visibility.  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 medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health.  Our member societies represent more than 30,000 specialists from every field of gastroenterology. Together, we provide services for all healthcare professionals and researchers, in the broad area of digestive health. The role of UEG is to take concerted efforts to learn more about digestive disease by prevention, research, diagnosis, cure and raising awareness of their importance.  To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, 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
  • 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
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository. 
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:     Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu  Follow UEG on Twitter  References
  1. King. D et al. 2019. Incidence and Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the UK between 2000 and 2016 and Associated Mortality and subsequent risk of Colorectal Cancer. Presented at UEG Week October 21, 2019.
  2. The European Federation of Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA), Basic Information, Brussels. (ONLINE): Available at: http://www.efcca.org/en/basic-information
  3. Burisch. J, Jess. T, Martinato. M, Lakatos. P, on behalf of ECCO-EpiCom (2013). The burden of inflammatory bowel disease in Europe. Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp. 322-337. 

Millions of Europeans at risk of chronic digestive diseases, new report reveals

(Vienna, May 21, 2019) Poor nutritional choices, including a high intake of ultra-processed foods and trans-fats, are putting millions of Europeans at an increased risk of a range of chronic digestive diseases, including digestive cancers, wheat related disorders and functional GI disorders, as well as obesity, a new report shows. 

‘Nutrition and Chronic Digestive Diseases’, launched today by United European Gastroenterology (UEG) and supported by twelve medical associations, patient organisations and NGOs, canvasses the opinion of a number of leading experts in the fields of nutrition, digestive cancers, liver diseases, functional gastrointestinal disorders and paediatrics.  The Ultra-processed Food Endemic:
The report outlines how ultra-processed foods, which are often high in fat, added sugar and salt, now frequently contribute to up to half of modern European energy intake and, in some countries, over 75% of mean energy intake.  Consumption of ultra-processed foods has dramatically increased in recent decades, with common examples including soft drinks, confectionary, crisps and frozen ready meals. Studies have shown that the consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with an increased risk of cancer and suggest that the rapidly increasing consumption of these food types may be driving the growing cancer burden. A 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet, for example, is associated with a 12% increased overall cancer risk.  In addition to a raised risk of chronic diseases, high consumption of these foods also increases the prevalence of obesity. Alarmingly, over half (52%) of the EU’s population aged 18 and over is now overweight or obese and 1 in 3 of Europe’s school children are estimated to be overweight. “Obesity, often driven by poor nutritional choices, increases the risk of a range of serious digestive health conditions and causes a significant healthcare burden, high societal costs, misery for patients and, ultimately, shortens lives”, explains Professor Markus Peck, Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria. “Healthy balanced diets and lifestyles can help prevent chronic digestive diseases but the difficulty we face is ensuring our citizens make the right choices in following these lifestyles.” An Action Plan for Europe:
The report makes a number of recommendations in order to reduce the risk and impact of chronic digestive diseases, including: 
  • Less than 10% (<50 grams), but ideally 5%, of total daily energy intake of sugar
  • Less than 10% of total daily energy intake of saturated fats
  • Less than 1% of total daily energy intake of trans-fats
  • Less than 5g of salt per day
“We need the European Commission and national governments to act now on initiatives to change the way in which we buy and consume food”, states Professor Peck. “Our aim should be to achieve a European-wide transformation to healthy diets by 2050. This would require the consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes to double, and consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar to be reduced by more than 50% over the next 30 years.”  “If we are to fight the burgeoning prevalence of overweight, obese and unhealthy people in Europe, and the healthcare burden and loss of life that it brings, then we must act now”, concludes Professor Peck.  

% Adult Obesity Rates in Europe (*self-report data)

Country

Male Obesity %

Female Obesity %

Malta

36.9

31.3

Romania

29.4

34.1

Greece

27.9

25.6

England

27.4

30

Cyprus

27

28.8

Scotland

27

30

Ireland (Northern)

26

27

Ireland (Republic)

25.8

21.3

Portugal

25.5

32

Italy

24.5

24.9

Poland

24.2

23.4

Luxembourg

24.1

21

Czech Republic

23.9

22.3

Germany

23.3

23.9

Spain

22.8

20.5

Hungary*

22

20.4

Wales*

22

23

Slovenia *

21

17.4

Croatia

20.7

16.8

Finland

20.4

19

Estonia*

19.1

21.5

Latvia*

18.8

23.3

Slovakia

18.1

15.9

France

16.8

17.4

Sweden

15.5

14.4

Denmark *

14.1

15.6

Belgium

13.9

14.2

Austria

13.4

10.7

Bulgaria

13.4

19.2

Lithuania

11.3

15.2

Netherlands

10.4

10.1

  

% Childhood Overweight Rates in Europe (*self-report data)

Country

Male Overweight %

Female Overweight %

Malta

43.2

38.7

Croatia

38.7

31

Italy

37.2

34.7

Spain

32.3

29.5

Cyprus

31.5

25.6

Greece

31

29.1

Portugal

30.9

32

Bulgaria

30.4

28.3

Denmark*

29.3

21.1

England

28.6

29

Ireland (Northern)

28

25

Austria

28

25.9

Slovenia*

27.4

22.7

Wales*

27.1

27

Latvia*

25

21

Romania

24.6

22.6

Germany

24.2

23.8

Scotland

24

29

Finland

23.8

20.1

Czech Republic

23

20

Luxembourg

23

22

Slovakia

22.6

20.7

Sweden

22.6

21.2

Lithuania

21.4

19.9

Hungary*

21.4

23.7

Poland

20.8

14.4

Belgium

16.9

13.5

Netherlands

16.8

15.4

Ireland (Republic)

16

19

France

14.4

18.7

Estonia*

13.6

14.9

Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an expert interview, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About the Report Access ‘Nutrition and Chronic Digestive Diseases: An Action Plan for Europe’ The report was produced by UEG, with support and endorsement from:
  • The Association of European Coeliac Societies (AOECS)
  • Digestive Cancers Europe (DiCE)
  • The European Association for Gastroenterology, Endoscopy and Nutrition (EAGEN)
  • The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL)
  • The European Cancer Organisation (ECCO)
  • The European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA)
  • The European Helicobacter and Microbiota Study Group (EHMSG)
  • The European Society of Digestive Oncology (ESDO)
  • The European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility (ESNM)
  • The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN)
  • The European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN)
  • The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO)
About Professor Markus Peck
Professor Markus Peck is the Chairman at the Department of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology (IMuG) at Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee in Klagenfurt, Austria. He is the Chair of the UEG Public Affairs Committee. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Together, its member societies represent over 30,000 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 the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, 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
  • 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
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository. 
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:               Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu

Failures in colonoscopy affecting detection of colorectal cancer across Europe 

(Vienna, March 26, 2019) Leading European gastroenterologists are calling for widespread improvements in the quality of colonoscopies throughout the continent to help reduce colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality rates.

Colonoscopy is a widely performed procedure for patients with lower gastrointestinal symptoms, conducted to aid CRC detection and explore causes of unexplained changes in bowel habits. An integral element of CRC screening programmes, it is fundamental that colonoscopy procedures are of the highest possible quality to maximise early cancer detection and ensure patient comfort and wellbeing.

Leading CRC expert, Professor Evelien Dekker, from United European Gastroenterology (UEG), explains, “Progression from non-cancerous polyps to colorectal cancer will usually take between 10-15 years, leaving a long window of opportunity to detect and even prevent this disease. Besides prevention, early detection of colorectal cancer can lead to a 90% chance of survival and, to ensure these survival rates are achieved, high levels of quality in colonoscopy procedures are essential.”

Experts also believe that the Netherlands can act as a best practice example for the rest of Europe after becoming the second European country to report on quality indicators of colonoscopy.[1] Their CRC screening programme demonstrates the highest participation levels across the continent [73%] and recent pilot and implementation studies have taken place to investigate the most effective way of organising screening programmes, including the choice of the screening method and how to encourage participation from members of the public.[2] “Our studies concluded that the Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is the optimal screening method”, commented Professor Dekker. “Those with a positive result are referred for a colonoscopy.”

A key indicator of colonoscopy quality are rates of post-colonoscopy colorectal cancer (PCCRC)[3], which occurs when individuals receive a negative colonoscopy result but are subsequently diagnosed with cancer. Whilst this can be the result of a rapidly growing new tumour that was not present during the colonoscopy, it is more commonly an indicator of suboptimal endoscopy quality. PCCRCs are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage than screen-detected cancer[4], decreasing the chance of survival.

To ensure colonoscopies are performed at a quality level that minimises the incidence of PCCRCs, the Dutch CRC screening programme outlines certain criteria and requirements for endoscopists conducting the procedure (see Table 1). In line with this, the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE), in collaboration with UEG, has recommended seven key performance measures that should be adopted across Europe. (see Table 2)

“We believe that our Dutch experience can serve as an example for colonoscopy quality assurance programmes across Europe”, comments Professor Dekker. “As well as ensuring that the programme maximises detection rates, the criteria assesses patient comfort scores so we can analyse and account for the wellbeing of our patients. Performing procedures that are as comfortable as possible for patients will help to reduce the negative stigma associated with colonoscopies.”

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 

CRC is the second most common cancer in the EU, with over 378,000 new cases each year[5]. With almost 175,000 deaths annually, it’s the EU’s second largest cancer killer behind lung cancer[6].

To raise awareness of CRC, European Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month takes place throughout March. To mark the month, UEG have developed an animated video to educate European policymakers, members of the public and healthcare professionals on the importance of reducing CRC incidence and mortality rates through participation in cost-effective screening and heightening awareness of key CRC symptoms and risk factors.

View the Face Up To Colorectal Cancer video

Table 1: Overview of all quality criteria for endoscopists performing colonoscopy with the Dutch CRC screening programme, defined by the national working group for quality requirements of colonoscopy[7]

Quality Criteria

Description

Accreditation Criterion

Audit Criterion

Qualifications and Experience

Professional registration

Endoscopists are responsible for professional and re-registration according to the Individual Health Care Occupations Act

Demonstratable

Demonstratable

Accreditation

Accreditation based on the final attainment levels for an endoscopist according to the Dutch Society of Gastroenterologists

Demonstratable

Demonstratable

Number of colonoscopies

Total number of colonoscopies performed

≥500 lifetime

≥200 per year

Number of polypectomies

Number of polypectomies performed

≥50 lifetime

≥50 per year

Completeness of Examination

(Unadjusted) cecal intubation rate

Percentage of colonoscopies with cecal intubation

≥90% (unadjusted)

≥95% (unadjusted)

Bowel preparation

Percentage of colonoscopies in which the colon is sufficiently clean to inspect the mucosa

-

≥90%

Withdrawal time

Percentage of negative colonoscopies* with a withdrawal time of at least 6 minutes

-

≥90%

Detection Rates

Cancer detection rate

Percentage of colonoscopies in which (more than) one cancer is detected

-

Monitoring

Adenoma detection rate

Percentage of colonoscopies in which (more than) one adenoma is detected

≥20%

≥30%

Mean number of adenomas per colonoscopy

Mean number of adenomas per procedure (colonoscopy)

-

Monitoring

Mean number of adenomas per positive colonoscopy

Mean number of adenomas per positive procedure (colonoscopy)

-

Monitoring

Removal Rates

Polyp removal rate

Percentage of polyps removed relative to the total number of polyps detected at colonoscopy

≥90%

≥90%

Polyp retrieval rate

Percentage of polyps retrieved for histologic evaluation relative to the total number of polyps detected at colonoscopy

Monitoring

≥90%

Tattooing

Tattooing

The percentage of cancers that were tattooed, except from those cancers located in the cecum and up to 4cm from the dentate line

-

Monitoring

Wellbeing of Patients

Adverse event record

Keeping a complete adverse event record

Demonstratable

Demonstrable

Adverse events during colonoscopy

Percentage of colonoscopies in which an adverse event occurred (up to 30 days after the procedure)

-

Monitoring

Perforation rate colonoscopy

Perforation rate of all colonoscopies (up to 30 days after the procedure)

-

Monitoring

Perforation rate polypectomy

Perforation rate for colonoscopies with polypectomy (up to 30 days after the procedure)

-

Monitoring

Polypectomy bleeding

The rate of bleeding for colonoscopies with polypectomy (up to 30 days after the procedure)

-

Monitoring

Patient Satisfaction

Comfort score

Percentage of colonoscopies in which the patient experiences moderate or severe discomfort

-

Monitoring


*Negative colonoscopies are colonoscopies in which no colorectal polyps or CRC has been detected.

Table 2: The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) and United Gastroenterology’s (UEG) list of seven key performance measures for lower gastrointestinal endoscopy[8]

Performance Measure

Standard

1.     Rate of adequate bowel preparation

Minimum standard 90%

2.     Cecal intubation rate

Minimum standard 90%

3.     Adenoma detection rate

Minimum standard 25%

4.     Appropriate polypectomy technique

Minimum standard 80%

5.     Complication rate

Minimum standard not set

6.     Patient experience

Minimum standard not set

7.     Appropriate post-polypectomy surveillance recommendations

Minimum standard not set

Notes to Editors

For further information, or to arrange an expert interview, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu

About Professor Evelien Dekker

Professor Evelien Dekker is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and a CRC screening expert at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers (location AMC), Dept of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, The Netherlands.

About UEG

UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Together, its member societies represent over 30,000 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 the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, 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
  • 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
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:              
Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu  References:
  1. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2019. Quality assurance of colonoscopy within the Dutch national colorectal cancer screening program.
  2. Dutch Ministry of Public Health. 2019. Available at: https://www.rivm.nl/bevolkingsonderzoek-darmkanker-voor-professionals/achtergrond-en-ontwikkelingen/feiten-en-cijfers. (Accessed 14 March 2019).
  3. BMJ. Post-colonoscopy colorectal cancer (PCCRC) rates vary considerably depending on the method used to calculate them: a retrospective observational population-based study of PCCRC in the English National Health Service. Available at: https://gut.bmj.com/content/64/8/1248. (Accessed 14 March 2019).
  4. United European Gastroenterology. One in four cases of CRC diagnosed within two years of a negative screening result. Available at: https://www.ueg.eu/press/releases/ueg-press-release/article/one-in-four-cases-of-crc-diagnosed-within-two-years-of-a-negative-screening-result/. (Accessed 14 March 2019).
  5. ECIS. Estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in 2018, for all cancer sites. Available at: https://ecis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/explorer.php?$0-0$1-AE28$4-1,2$3-All$6-0,14$5-2008,2008$7-8$2-All$CEstByCancer$X0_8-3$CEstRelativeCanc$X1_8-3$X1_9-AE28. (Accessed 14 March 2019).
  6. ECIS. Estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in 2018, for all cancer sites. Available at: https://ecis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/explorer.php?$0-0$1-AE28$4-1,2$3-All$6-0,14$5-2008,2008$7-8$2-All$CEstByCancer$X0_8-3$CEstRelativeCanc$X1_8-3$X1_9-AE28/. (Accessed 14 March 2019).
  7. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 2019. Quality assurance of colonoscopy within the Dutch national colorectal cancer screening program.
  8. NCBI. 2017.Performance measures for lower gastrointestinal endoscopy: a European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) quality improvement initiative. Available at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28507745. (Accessed 14 March 2019).

UEG Week: European colorectal cancer rates in young adults increasing by 6% per year

(Vienna, October 23, 2018) Colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence rates across Europe in adults aged 20 to 39 years increased by 6% every year between 2008 and 2016, new research has shown.

Data from 20* European national cancer registries was used to analyse trends in incidence rates of young adults with CRC across Europe over the last 25 years. For colon cancer, incidence rates increased by 1.5% per year between 1990-2008 and, more substantially, by 7.4% annually between 2008-2016. For rectal cancer, incidence rates increased by 1.8% per year from 1990-2016. In adults aged 40 to 49 years, overall CRC incidence rates increased by 1.4% every year from 2005. Presenting the research for the first time at UEG Week Vienna 2018, Dr Fanny Vuik explained, “We are aware of investigations in the North American population that demonstrates that colorectal cancer is increasing in young adults. In Europe, however, information until now has been limited and it’s worrying to see the startling rates at which colorectal cancer is increasing in the young.” Traditionally considered a disease that affects people over the age of 50, CRC is the second most common cancer across Europe, with approximately 500,000 new cases every year and incidence rates higher in men than women. Studies have found that young-onset CRC is often more aggressive and more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage than CRC in older populations. “The cause for this upward trend is still unknown, although it may be related to increasingly sedentary lifestyles, obesity and poor diets, all of which are known colorectal cancer risk factors”, added Dr Vuik. “Increased awareness and further research to elucidate causes for this trend are needed and may help to set up screening strategies to prevent and detect these cancers at an early and curable stage.” Strong evidence supports that screening for CRC reduces incidence and mortality rates, although many CRC screening programmes in Europe commence at the ages of 50 and 55. Inequalities in the type of screening offered, as well as participation and detection rates, are currently present throughout the continent. Dr Vuik adds, “The highest increase in incidence was found in adults between 20-29 years of age. Therefore, identifying those young adults at high risk of CRC is essential to ensuring early diagnosis and optimal patient outcomes.” * The countries included in the research were; Belgium, Catalonia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Fanny Vuik, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Dr Fanny Vuik Dr Fanny Vuik is PhD candidate under supervision of Dr. Manon Spaander, Associate Professor in Gastroenterology at the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam the Netherlands. 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 medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Together, its member societies represent over 30,000 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 the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, 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
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact: 
Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter References
  1. Vuik, F. et al. 2018). Increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in young adults in Europe. Presented at UEG Week Vienna, October 22, 2018.
  2. ECIS - European Cancer Information System. 2018. Estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in 2018, for all cancer sites. Available here. [Accessed 18 September 2018].
  3. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2017. Colorectal cancer in young adults: A difficult challenge. Available here. [Accessed 18 September 2018].

UEG Week: Does the gut microbiota hold the key to improved diagnosis and treatment of oesophageal cancer?

(Vienna, October 23, 2018) Oesophageal microbiota may help to improve the diagnosis and management of oesophageal cancer, according to the results of a study presented today. Researchers from Italy directed by Professor Cammarota have found a unique pattern of microbes living in the oesophagus of people with oesophageal cancer or Barrett’s oesophagus, which could potentially be used to identify at-risk individuals and pave the way for new types of treatment in the future.  

Speaking at UEG Week 2018 in Vienna, Austria, lead researcher, Dr Loris Riccardo Lopetuso from the Catholic University of Rome, Italy, said: “Despite the introduction of novel therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, the prognosis for people with oesophageal cancer remains poor. We need to develop a better understanding of what causes normal oesophageal cells to become malignant so we can find at-risk individuals as early as possible and develop alternative therapeutic strategies.” Oesophageal cancer is the 8th most common cancer worldwide and the 6th most common cause of cancer-related death. Most people present with established disease, so rates of mortality are high in most countries. Known risk factors include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD), obesity, smoking, low fruit/vegetable intake, and alcohol consumption, but other factors, including upper digestive tract microbiota are thought to be involved. In the study presented today, researchers aimed to characterize the composition of the oesophageal microbiota in patients with oesophageal cancer compared with patients with Barrett’s oesophagus and a control group of people with no evidence of the disease. Biopsy samples from six newly-diagnosed patients with oesophageal cancer, 10 with Barrett’s oesophagus and 10 controls were analysed for microbiota composition. A higher level of bacterial diversity was reported for patients with oesophageal cancer compared with the controls; there was a relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and a relative paucity of Firmicutes (different categories of microbiota) in the patients with oesophageal cancer compared with the controls. There were also lower levels of Streptococcus, and higher levels of Veillonella, Porphyromonas, and Prevotella (different types of bacteria) in those with oesophageal cancer compared with Barrett’s oesophagus patients and the controls. “These results indicate that there is a unique microbial signature for oesophageal cancer that might represent a risk factor for this condition,” said Dr Lopetuso. “If these findings are confirmed in our further analyses, it may be possible to imagine innovative diagnostic and therapeutic tools to help us manage this condition more successfully.” Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Loris Riccardo Lopetuso, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu 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, 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
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • 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
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:         Follow UEG on Twitter References
  1. Lopetuso LR, Ianiro G, Severgnini M, et al. Characterization of esophageal microbiota in patients with Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. UEG Journal 2018. Presented at UEG Week Vienna 2018.
  2. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Dikshit R, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: sources, methods and major patterns in GLOBOCAN 2012. Int J Cancer. 2015;136(5):E359-86.
  3. Gupta B, Kumar N. Worldwide incidence, mortality and time trends for cancer of the oesophagus. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2017;26(2):107-118.
  4. Engel LS, Chow WH, Vaughan TL, et al. Population attributable risks of esophageal and gastric cancers. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003 Sep 17;95(18):1404-13.
  5. Yang L, Chaudhary N, Baghdadi J, et al. Microbiome in reflux disorders and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Cancer J. 2014;20(3):207-10.

UEG Week: Long-term aspirin use reduces the incidence of digestive cancers by up to 47%

(Barcelona, October 31, 2017) The long-term use of aspirin has been shown to significantly reduce the incidence of digestive cancers, new research presented today at the 25th UEG Week has found. 

In a study involving over 600,000 people, researchers compared patients who were prescribed aspirin over a long period (for at least six months, average duration of aspirin prescribed was 7.7 years) with non-aspirin users and assessed the incidences of a number of cancers. Those prescribed with aspirin showed a 47% reduction in liver and oesophageal cancer incidence, a 38% reduction in gastric cancer incidence, a 34% reduction in pancreatic cancer incidence and a 24% reduction in colorectal cancer incidence. Digestive cancers account for almost a quarter of cancer cases in Europe. Colorectal, gastric and pancreatic cancer are within the top five cancer killers throughout the continent, with digestive cancers representing 30.1% of cancer deaths.  The effect of long-term use of aspirin on cancer incidence was also examined for cancers outside of the digestive system. Here, a significant reduction was shown for some (leukaemia, lung and prostate) but not all (breast, bladder, kidney and multiple myeloma) cancers.  Aspirin is used across the globe to treat a number of health conditions, ranging from short-term pain relief to long-term prescriptions. Whilst the use of aspirin is subject to debate within the medical community, a recent study found that patients who stopped taking aspirin were 37% more likely to have an adverse cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, than those who continued with their prescription. Lead researcher, Professor Kelvin Tsoi from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, presented the study today at the 25th UEG Week in Barcelona. “The findings demonstrate that the long-term use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing many major cancers” commented Professor Tsoi. “What should be noted is the significance of the results for cancers within the digestive tract, where the reductions in cancer incidence were all very substantial, especially for liver and oesophageal cancer.” Access the press release in Spanish References 
  1. Tsoi, K. et al. Long-term use of aspirin is more effective to reduce the incidences of gastrointestinal cancers than non-gastrointestinal cancers: A 10-year population based study in Hong Kong. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2017.
  2. GLOBOCAN, IARC (2012). Section of Cancer Surveillance.
  3. Stopping aspirin treatment raises cardiovascular risk by over a third (2017). Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319541.php
Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Kelvin Tsoi, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Professor Kelvin Tsoi Professor Kelvin Tsoi is a research associate Professor of the Stanley Ho Big Data Decision Analytics Research Centre, and an associate Professor of the School of Public Health and Primary Care in the Chinese University Hong Kong. He is a digital epidemiologist and his research interests are in cancer epidemiology and big data research on digital health.    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, including:  
  • 25th UEG Week, celebrate with us at our jubilee meeting, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • 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
  • Activity Grants, funding Live Educational Events, Online Courses and Standards & Guidelines Initiatives organised by UEG Member Societies and other providers.
  • UEG Journal, 10 issues per year covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, united for digestive health in Europe – prioritising Gastroenterology on the EU health agenda
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter

UEG Week: Bacteria eradication reduces gastric cancer risk by 22% in the over-60s, new research shows

(Barcelona, October 31, 2017) Treating Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection of the stomach could lead to a marked reduction in the risk of stomach cancer – particularly in the elderly – according to results of a study presented today at the 25th UEG Week in Barcelona. The population-based study, which involved more than 63,000 people who had received antibiotic-based treatment for H. pylori infection, showed a 22% reduction in the risk of developing stomach cancer in those aged 60 years and over compared with the general population. 

The research analysed the risk of gastric cancer development in a large group of individuals who had received antibiotic therapy to treat H. pylori infection – a type of bacteria that lives in the lining of the stomach. Of those who had been treated over the age of 60, 0.8% developed gastric cancer, in comparison to 1.1% of patients in an age-matched general population sample.  Gastric cancer is the fourth largest cancer killer in the world, accounting for 754,000 deaths in 2015. It mainly affects older people, with an average age of 69 years at the time of diagnosis.  Classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the H. pylori infection is the most significant factor leading to the development of gastric cancer, representing 78% of all global gastric cancer cases. The infection is thought to affect more than 50% of the world’s population, although most people do not know that they are infected until they develop symptoms of gastric irritation, such as heartburn or dyspepsia. A diagnosis is usually made using a blood or breath test, but can also be made through an endoscopy or a stool test. Presenting the results of this major study at the Opening Plenary session of the 25th UEG Week in Barcelona, Professor WK Leung from the Department of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, explained; “We saw a significantly lower risk of gastric cancer in people over 60 who received antibiotic therapy for their H. pylori infection, in comparison to the general population. The 22% reduction is remarkable, and suggests that there is real value in the treatment of this infection.”  “Although it has been commonly thought that it may be too late to give H. pylori eradication therapy to older subjects, we can now confidently recommend that the H. pylori infection should be treated in the elderly to help reduce their risk of developing gastric cancer” added Professor Leung. Access the press release in Spanish References
  1. Leung WK, Wong IO, Chan EW et al. Benefits of H. pylori eradication in preventing gastric cancer in the older population: Results from a population-based study. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2017.
  2. World Health Organisation. Cancer Fact Sheet 2017. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/. Accessed 18 August 2017.
  3. American Cancer Society. What are the key statistics about stomach cancer? Available from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/stomach-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed 18 August 2017.
  4. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Helicobacter pylori Working Group (2014). Helicobacter pylori eradication as a strategy for preventing gastric cancer. Lyon, France. Available from:   http://www.iarc.fr/en/publications/pdfs-online/wrk/wrk8/Helicobacter_pylori_Eradication.pdf. Accessed 18 August 2017.
Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Leung, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Professor WK Leung  Professor WK Leung is currently the Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation Professor in Gastroenterology of the University of Hong Kong. His research interests are on prevention and early detection of gastric and colon cancer. 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, including: 
  • 25th UEG Week, celebrate with us at our jubilee meeting, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • 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
  • Activity Grants, funding Live Educational Events, Online Courses and Standards & Guidelines Initiatives organised by UEG Member Societies and other providers.
  • UEG Journal, 10 issues per year covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, united for digestive health in Europe – prioritising Gastroenterology on the EU health agenda
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:            Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter

UEG Week: Artificial intelligence: is this the future of early colorectal cancer detection?

(Barcelona, October 30, 2017) A new endoscopic system powered by artificial intelligence (AI) has today been shown to automatically identify colorectal adenomas during colonoscopy. The system, developed in Japan, has recently been tested in one of the first prospective trials of AI-assisted endoscopy in a clinical setting, with the results presented today at the 25th UEG Week in Barcelona, Spain.

AI-assisted endocytoscopy – how it works The new computer-aided diagnostic system uses an endocytoscopic* image ­– a 500-fold magnified view of a colorectal polyp – to analyse approximately 300 features of the polyp after applying narrow-band imaging (NBI) mode or staining with methylene blue. The system compares the features of each polyp against more than 30,000 endocytoscopic images that were used for machine learning, allowing it to predict the lesion pathology in less than a second. Preliminary studies demonstrated the feasibility of using such a system to classify colorectal polyps, however, until today, no prospective studies have been reported. Prospective study in routine practice The prospective study, led by Dr Yuichi Mori from Showa University in Yokohama, Japan, involved 250 men and women in whom colorectal polyps had been detected using endocytoscopy1. The AI-assisted system was used to predict the pathology of each polyp and those predictions were compared with the pathological report obtained from the final resected specimens. Overall, 306 polyps were assessed real-time by using the AI-assisted system, providing a sensitivity of 94%, specificity of 79%, accuracy of 86%, and positive and negative predictive values of 79% and 93% respectively, in identifying neoplastic changes. Speaking at the Opening Plenary at UEG Week, Dr Mori explained; “The most remarkable breakthrough with this system is that artificial intelligence enables real-time optical biopsy of colorectal polyps during colonoscopy, regardless of the endoscopists’ skill. This allows the complete resection of adenomatous polyps and prevents unnecessary polypectomy of non-neoplastic polyps.” “We believe these results are acceptable for clinical application and our immediate goal is to obtain regulatory approval for the diagnostic system” added Dr Mori. Moving forwards, the research team is now undertaking a multicentre study for this purpose and the team are also working on developing an automatic polyp detection system. “Precise on-site identification of adenomas during colonoscopy contributes to the complete resection of neoplastic lesions” said Dr Mori. “This is thought to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer and, ultimately, cancer-related death.” Access the press release in Spanish
References
  1. Mori Y, Kudo S-E, Misawa M et al. Diagnostic yield of “artificial intelligence”-assisted endocytoscopy for colorectal polyps: a prospective study. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2017.
  2. Mori Y, Kudo SE, Chiu PW et al. Impact of an automated system for endocytoscopic diagnosis of small colorectal lesions: an international web-based study. Endoscopy 2016;48(12):1110-18.
  3. Misawa M, Kudo SE, Mori Y, et al. Characterization of colorectal lesions using a computer-aided diagnostic system for narrow-band imaging endocytoscopy. Gastroenterology 2016;150(7):1531-32. 
Notes to Editors *Endoscytoscope is a prototype endoscope provided by Olympus Corp. For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Mori, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Dr Yuichi Mori Dr Yuichi Mori is an assistant professor of Digestive Disease Centre, Showa University Northern Yokohama Hospital, Yokohama, Japan. His research interest is on colonoscopy and developing computer-aided diagnosis for endoscopy. 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, including:  
  • 25th UEG Week, celebrate with us at our jubilee meeting, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • 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
  • Activity Grants, funding Live Educational Events, Online Courses and Standards & Guidelines Initiatives organised by UEG Member Societies and other providers.
  • UEG Journal, 10 issues per year covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, united for digestive health in Europe – prioritising Gastroenterology on the EU health agenda
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter

UEG Week: Colorectal cancer screening should start at 45, new research shows

(Barcelona, October 30, 2017) Screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) should begin at 45 years of age to match rising mortality rates in young adults, research presented today at the 25th UEG Week Barcelona reveals.

Scientists in France analysed 6,027 colonoscopies and found a 400% increase in the detection of neoplasia (the new, uncontrolled growth of abnormal tissue) in patients aged between 45-49 in comparison to patients aged 40-44. The neoplasia detection rate was also 8% higher in people aged between 45-49 than it was between 50-54, leading to calls for CRC screening programmes to begin at 45 years of age. The mean number of polyps (growths on the inner lining of the colon that can turn cancerous if left untreated) and the adenoma detection rate (proportion of individuals undergoing a colonoscopy who have one or more adenomas detected) also increased by 95.8% and 95.4% respectively between the 40-44 and 45-49 age groups. This was far more substantial than the increase between the 45-49 and 50-54 age groups, which was 19.1% and 11.5% respectively. Lead researcher, Dr David Karsenti, who will present the findings for the first time today at UEG Week, explains; “These findings demonstrate that it is at 45 years old that a remarkable increase in the colorectal lesions frequency is shown, especially in the detection rate of early neoplasia. Even when patients with a familial and personal history of polyps or cancer are excluded from the findings, there is still a noticeable increase in detection rates in patients from the age of 45.” CRC is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in Europe, killing 215,000 Europeans every year, with research recently revealing that three in ten CRC diagnoses are now among people younger than 55. There is strong evidence to demonstrate that screening for CRC reduces incidence and mortality rates, yet there are vast inequalities in CRC screening across Europe with both organised and opportunistic schemes, different types of tests and varying participation and detection rates. Despite the dramatic rise of CRC in young adults, the vast majority of screening programmes throughout Europe commence between the ages of 50 and 55, with some not beginning until the age of 60. Dr Karsenti adds “Regardless of the type of screening that is in place, the results of our research strongly indicate that screening for colorectal cancer should begin at the age of 45. This will this help us to increase the early detection of colorectal cancer in young adults and also enable the identification and safe removal of polyps that may become cancerous at a later date." Access the press release in Spanish
References
 
  1. Karsenti, D. et al (2017), Adenoma detection rate according to age: colonoscopy screening should start at 45 years old, Presented at the 25th UEG Week Barcelona, October 30, 2017.
  2. Epidemiology of colorectal cancer: international comparison, 4th European Colorectal Cancer Days 2015. Available at: http://www.crcprevention.eu/index.php?pg=colorectal-cancer-epidemiology
  3. Dramatic rise in colorectal cancer in younger adults (2017), Medscape. Available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/876409
Notes to Editors Download our leaflet – Colorectal Screening Across Europe – for further insight into screening in your country and across the continent.  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Karsenti, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Dr David Karsenti Digestive Endoscopy Unit – Clinique de Bercy, Charenton-le-Pont, France 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, including:  
  • 25th UEG Week, celebrate with us at our jubilee meeting, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • 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
  • Activity Grants, funding Live Educational Events, Online Courses and Standards & Guidelines Initiatives organised by UEG Member Societies and other providers.
  • UEG Journal, 10 issues per year covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, united for digestive health in Europe – prioritising Gastroenterology on the EU health agenda
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter

Focus screening efforts to ‘Save Thousands of Lives’ from digestive cancers - say experts

(Prague, 26 September, 2017) Experts from United European Gastroenterology (UEG), presenting at the European Digestive Cancer Days (EDCD) Conference in Prague today, are calling on European governments to focus their efforts on developing early diagnosis techniques, in order to save thousands of lives from digestive cancers including a more targeted approach to ensure at risk patients don’t ‘slip through the early-detection net’.

Digestive cancers account for 3 of the top 5 European cancer killers, 23.4% of European cancer incidence and 30.1% of European cancer deaths. Currently, of the 5 primary digestive cancers, only colorectal cancer (CRC) is screened for and whilst some significant progress has been made in CRC screening in many European countries, early detection of other digestive cancers is still not sufficiently developed, even in high risk patients. Experts, legislators and patient organisations from across Europe are meeting at the EDCD to present and discuss new developments and research in digestive cancer screening and early detection and will be calling upon governments to focus their efforts on developing specific screening and early detection techniques. “Today, we are recommending that European governments focus their efforts on improving early detection of digestive cancers by funding and encouraging research in four specific areas; to give at-risk patients the best possible chance of survival. Public health authorities also need to think smarter when delivering screening, including looking at opportunities to screen for more than one cancer at the same time and using new cancer profiling techniques as they become available.” says UEG’s Professor Thierry Ponchon. UEG is highlighting specific areas for review in digestive cancer screening which they claim could not only improve outcomes but once developed could be straightforward to implement, such as: 
  • Look to the future to implement faecal microbiota screening (FBS) to predict colorectal cancer (CRC) before it develops. Early studies show that gut microbiota-based prediction is more accurate than the current faecal occult blood test, with the potential to predict CRC before it develops rather than just detect its indicators this is a promising prospect for the future of CRC screening, once further research shows this is proven on a population level.
  • Look to screen patients with heartburn or acid-reflux, using the Cytosponge™ or ‘pill on a string’ within the doctor’s practice, to increase early detection of Barrett’s oesophagus - an early precursor to oesophageal cancer. Experts report that existing screening methods for oesophageal cancer are expensive and ineffective, with evidence from the United States showing that only about 7% of people with oesophageal adenocarcinoma are detected through existing endoscopic screening approaches. However, evidence of the use of an affordable, easy, non-invasive test known as a ‘pill on a string’ has shown to be safe, preferable and accurate and if proven on a population basis, should be widely adopted.  
  • Microbiota screening in alcohol dependent patients at risk of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to determine levels of cancer-protecting short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Research indicates that microbiota profiling in alcohol-dependent patients could determine whether the patient’s gut is lacking cancer-protecting SCFAs and could more effectively verify the likelihood of liver cancer developing.
  • Gastric cancer screening should be implemented alongside CRC screening in European countries with an intermediate incidence (10 > 100,000). New evidence presented at the EDCD shows, for the first time, that screening for gastric cancer in at least 14 European countries with an intermediate incidence rate would be cost effective if combined with a pre-scheduled colonoscopy for CRC. There is currently no screening provision for gastric cancer in any European country.
Despite the significance of digestive cancer incidence and mortality, progress in establishing digestive cancer screening lags behind breast and prostate cancer and UEG expert, Monique van Leerdam concludes; “Whilst we are making good progress in colorectal cancer screening, we need to focus research on developing  new targeted opportunities for screening in all digestive cancers and ensure that we give every patient, especially those at higher risk, the opportunity for earlier intervention – it could save many more European lives”. For more information, visit www.ueg.eu
Notes to Editors Media Enquiries For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact James M. Butcher on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Professor Thierry Ponchon Professor Thierry Ponchon is from the Herriot University Hospital in Lyon, France. He is chairman of the UEG Public Affairs Committee, chairman of the European Digestive Cancer Days, a UEG endoscopy specialist and a member of the ESGE Quality Improvement Committee. About Dr. Monique van Leerdam Dr Monique van Leerdam is a UEG CRC screening expert. She is head of the department of Gastrointestinal Oncology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. She is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee, the ESGE Guideline Committee and the Advisory Council of the European Society for Digestive Oncology About the European Digestive Cancer Days The European Digestive Cancer Days: Prospects and Challenges in Prevention and Screening. Together with the Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic, the UEG Public Affairs Committee is hosting the 3rd European Digestive Cancer Days, this year in Prague, Czech Republic. The conference looks at prevention, screening and early diagnosis of digestive diseases in the light of cutting edge, up-to-date evidence and practical experiences. The conference is set to discuss the success and variances in existing screening programmes, propose steps for early detection of other digestive diseases and detail the priorities across the continent – covering cost effectiveness, programme methods, parameters for monitoring, quality assurance and logistic organisation. The conference is taking place September 25-27, 2017 in Prague. CRC Screening Leaflet UEG have produced an information leaflet on Colorectal Cancer Screening across Europe, with a new edition being launched at the European Digestive Cancer Days. To view or download the leaflet, visit: https://www.ueg.eu/publications/ 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:
  • 25th UEG Week, celebrate with us at our jubilee meeting, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • 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
  • Activity Grants, funding Live Educational Events, Online Courses and Standards & Guidelines Initiatives organised by UEG Member Societies and other providers.
  • UEG Journal, 10 issues per year covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, united for digestive health in Europe – prioritising Gastroenterology on the EU health agenda 
References
  1. GLOBOCAN 2012 (IARC) Section of Cancer Surveillance (29/8/2017)
  2. Ai, Luoyan, et al. "Systematic evaluation of supervised classifiers for fecal microbiota-based prediction of colorectal cancer." Oncotarget 8.6 (2017): 9546.
  3. Vaughan TL, Fitzgerald RC. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2015;12:243–8
  4. United European Gastroenterology. 2017. Alcohol, GI cancer and microbiota. Available at: https://www.ueg.eu/education/latest-news/article/article/alcohol-gi-cancerand-microbiota/. [Accessed 23 June 2017].
  5. Areia, Miguel, et al. "Endoscopic screening for gastric cancer: A cost-utility analysis for countries with an intermediate gastric cancer risk." United European Gastroenterology Journal (2017): 2050640617722902

Pancreatic cancer set to become third biggest cancer killer in EU next year

(Vienna, 7 November, 2016) The number of deaths from pancreatic cancer will overtake breast cancer mortality rates in the EU in 2017, a study has found.

The findings, recently presented at UEG Week 2016, mean that pancreatic cancer will become the third leading cause of death from cancer in the EU behind lung and colorectal cancer. Pancreatic cancer mortality rates are increasing in many countries across the EU and it is estimated that 91,500 deaths will occur from the disease next year, compared with 91,000 from breast cancer (see Figure 1 below). The research used time-linear prediction models to estimate mortality rates until 2025, when deaths from pancreatic cancer (111,500) across Europe are projected to have increased by almost 50% since 2010 (76,000). All countries included in the study show varying increases in pancreatic cancer mortality rates from 20% to a staggering 131% increase over the 15-year period (see Figure 2 below).

“Pancreatic cancer survival rate is lower than any other cancer. Consequently, it is absolutely vital that patients receive a diagnosis as early as possible to allow for surgery, which is currently the only potential for a cure” - Professor Matthias Löhr

Despite being the third biggest cancer killer, the incidence of pancreatic cancer across Europe is relatively low in comparison with colorectal, lung and breast cancer. This demonstrates the extremely poor outlook for patients that are diagnosed with the disease which, unlike many other cancers, has not changed in the last 40 years.   Research shows that the median five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer across Europe is 5% and patients lose 98% of their healthy life expectancy at the point of diagnosis. Despite these alarming statistics, 64% of Europeans state that they know very little about pancreatic cancer and currently there is no feasible screening method. Ahead of World Pancreatic Cancer Day on November 17, experts are calling for increased awareness of the disease to allow patients to be diagnosed in time for life-saving surgery. Professor Matthias Löhr, UEG pancreatic cancer specialist, explains, “Pancreatic cancer survival rate is lower than any other cancer. Consequently, it is absolutely vital that patients receive a diagnosis as early as possible to allow for surgery, which is currently the only potential for a cure”. “Members of the public as well as doctors are therefore advised to increase their knowledge of the signs for pancreatic cancer, which include new-onset diabetes, abdominal and back pain, a change in bowel habits and jaundice” adds Professor Löhr. A new video to help increase public awareness of pancreatic cancer is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhQMyCg0LFA&feature=youtu.be
Notes to Editors
Download an infographic on pancreatic cancer For further information and interviews with Professor Matthias Löhr, please email media@ueg.eu or call Luke Paskins on 0044 (0)1444 811099 About Professor Matthias Löhr Professor Matthias Löhr is a UEG pancreatic cancer expert from the Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. 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 by visiting www.ueg.eu 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
  • 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
References
  1. Ferlay J., Partensky C., Bray F. More deaths from pancreatic cancer than breast cancer in the EU by 2017. ACTA Oncologica, August 2016.
  2. International Agency for Research On Cancer
  3. Carrato A., et al. A Systematic Review of the Burden of Pancreatic Cancer in Europe: Real-World Impact on Survival, Quality of Life and Costs. Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer, May 2014.
  4. Ipsos Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Survey: Global Online Omnibus Survey. November 2014. 

Figure 1 - recorded and projected number of pancreatic and breast cancer deaths in the EU
Figure 1 - recorded and projected number of pancreatic and breast cancer deaths in the UE

Figure 2 - % increase of pancreatic cancer deaths by 2025 Figure 2 - % increase of pancreatic cancer deaths by 2025
Figure 3 - Pancreatic cancer infographic Figure 3 - Pancreatic cancer infographic

UEG Week: New advances in imaging to enhance the detection of GI cancers

(Vienna, October 17, 2016) A new imaging technique is under development with the aim of detecting and characterising early cancerous changes in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. 

The technique, which is today being presented at UEG Week Vienna 2016, involves using a standard endoscopy system with a novel set of camera filters, increasing the number of colours that can be visualised during endoscopy and potentially improving the ability to detect abnormal cells in the lining of the gut.

Dr Sarah Bohndiek, from the University of Cambridge, UK, who is leading on the development, explains the new technique. “In traditional endoscopy, we use white light and detectors that replicate our eyes, which detect light in red, green and blue colour channels. We are now developing an approach called ‘hyperspectral imaging’, which will increase the number of colour channels that can be visualised from three to over 50.”

We believe our new fluorescence HSI system, which could be readily incorporated into standard clinical endoscopies, brings the diagnostic power of hyperspectral imaging one step closer to being used for the rapid detection of early cancerous changes within the GI tract.

“Since cell changes associated with the development of cancer lead to colour changes in the tissues, we believe that hyperspectral imaging could help us to improve the specificity of lesion identification because we can use these colours to identify abnormal tissues”, added Dr Bohndiek.

Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum. In contrast to the human eye, which sees colour primarily in three bands (red, green and blue), spectral imaging divides the colour spectrum into many more bands and can be extended beyond the visible range of light. The images obtained by HSI can provide information about the physiology and chemical composition of human tissues, and the technique is emerging as having great potential for non-invasive diagnosis and image-guided surgery.

“Hyperspectral imaging is a powerful tool that can reveal the chemical composition of human tissues and together with different fluorescent dyes, can identify a range of biological processes,” said Dr Bohndiek. “The technique has many potential applications within cancer diagnostics, with exciting developments already reported in the detection of Barrett’s oesophagus, which is a precancerous condition in some people.”

Dr Bohndiek and colleagues from Cambridge University have been working to overcome some of the limitations of currently-available instruments used for HSI, which are complex, bulky and expensive, and are not suitable for widespread clinical use. The team have developed a small, low-cost and robust fluorescence HSI system that has already been used to image a range of dyes in realistic tissue backgrounds.

“We believe our new fluorescence HSI system, which could be readily incorporated into standard clinical endoscopies, brings the diagnostic power of hyperspectral imaging one step closer to being used for the rapid detection of early cancerous changes within the GI tract.”

Access the release in German (PDF)
Access the release in English (PDF)

References

1.    Lu G, Fei B. Medical hyperspectral imaging: a review. J Biomed Opt 2014;19(1):10901.

2.    Luthman AS, Dumitru S, Quiros-Gonzalez I et al. Wide field fluorescence hyperspectral imaging (fHSI) for biomedical applications. Manuscript in submission.

Notes to Editors

For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Sarah Bohndiek, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu

About Dr Sarah Bohndiek

Dr Bohndiek is a University Lecturer in Biomedical Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK. She is the Group Leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute. Dr Bohndiek is presenting her findings during the Opening Plenary Session at UEG Week Vienna 2016.

About Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald (UEG Spokesperson)

Professor Fitzgerald is a member of the UEG Scientific Committee and a consultant physician at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK.

About UEG Week

UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress, attracting up to 13,000 participants from 116 countries. 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, including: 

  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world.
  • 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 by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:           

Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu

Follow UEG on Twitter

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