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: Experts call for urgent change in the care of young adults with IBD

(Vienna, October 19, 2016) Today, world leading digestive health experts are presenting a pioneering new programme that could have a significant impact on the quality of life of young adults living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Experts believe that the programme could help combat the poor and, in some cases, life-threatening care offered to young IBD patients across Europe.

IBD can be an extremely debilitating condition and one of the key issues concerning clinicians is the transition from paediatric to adult care. This is fraught with difficulty and, with the incidence of paediatric IBD currently rising, many young people enter adult care with extreme and complex forms of the disease which is often mismanaged. The lack of support and effective management during the transition can have severe consequences for both the individual and the healthcare system. 

The Berliner TransitionsProgramm (BTP), established in Germany, has reported its first successes in the safe and effective transition of childhood IBD patients into adult care. The programme lasts two years for each child and involves close collaboration between paediatricians and adult care colleagues.

Professor Britta Siegmund, a member of the BTP Task Force discussed the encouraging findings at UEG Week 2016. “Following the success of results in other disease areas, IBD was incorporated into the programme two years ago. Transitioning programmes are initiated in the paediatric setting and involve a gradual process aimed at building the young person’s understanding of their condition to help prepare them and their families for a move into adult care. So far, our experience demonstrates that the young people who have taken part have arrived into adult care very positively.” 

The BTP can serve as a role model that can be adapted to the health service of each country.

One in four cases of IBD are diagnosed during childhood and over 50% of sufferers believe that IBD negatively effects their education. “With the change of care occurring at such a crucial age for our patients, it highlights the importance of a smooth and supportive transition to enable young adults to lead normal lives and prevent the disease from impacting their education and lifestyle” says Professor Siegmund. 

As well as IBD, the BTP also includes other long-term paediatric conditions, such as juvenile diabetes, epilepsy, arthritis, kidney disease and asthma. When a patient is included in the programme, a case manager is assigned who takes care of all the practical issues, maintains contact with the patient throughout the process and ensures that they are comfortable throughout the programme. Where needed, the patient can see both their paediatrician and their new treatment team during the transition.  

Providing all the materials, structure and support required to transition children safely, Professor Siegmund hopes that the success of the programme will provide a framework that can be incorporated across the rest of Europe. She explains, “The BTP can serve as a role model that can be adapted to the health service of each country. One of the critical success factors for the programme is to ensure that children are transitioned into the care of specialists who really understand adolescents and are willing to invest the time in them. All physicians who agree to take part in the programme fulfil this requirement and are committed to the success of the project.”

For more information on the BTP, please visit: http://www.drk-kliniken-berlin.de/westend/krankenhaus-westend/berliner-transitionsprogramm/

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

References 

1.    UEG  EU Affairs. Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe: Early Nutrition, Liver Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Available at: https://www.ueg.eu/epaper/UEG_Paediatric_Digestive_Health_Report/index.html

2.    Baldassano RN, Piccoli DA. Inflammatory bowel disease in pediatric and adolescent patients. Gastroenterol Clin North Am 1999;28:445–58.

3.    Trivedi I, Holl JL, Hanauer S et al. Integrating adolescents and young adults into adult-centered care for IBD. Curr Gastroenterol Rep 2016;18:21.

4.    The IMPACT Survey, 2011, EFCCA. Available at: http://efcca-solutions.net/

Notes to Editors 

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

About Professor Britta Siegmund

Professor Siegmund is from the Medical University of Berlin and is a member of the Berliner TransitionsProgramm in inflammatory bowel disease. Her interests include contributing towards the understanding of inflammatory bowel disease and identifying possible novel therapeutic targets.

About Professor Gigi Veereman (UEG Spokesperson)

Professor Veereman is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and Secretary General at the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. 

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

UEG Week: Clinicians welcome new initiatives to help improve outcomes for patients with functional GI disorders

(Vienna, October 18, 2016) European clinicians and research scientists attending UEG Week 2016 have welcomed the publication of new criteria for the diagnosis and classification of functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, together with the launch of several major initiatives designed to enhance understanding of these disorders and help clinicians in the care of their patients. Delegates attending UEG Week in Vienna embraced the initiatives, which have been inspired by publication of the new Rome IV criteria for functional GI disorders and were showcased today by Dr Douglas A. Drossman, the current President of the Rome Foundation.  

Speaking at UEG Week, Dr Drossman outlined the need to update the definitions and conceptual understanding of functional GI disorders, leading to the development of the Rome IV classification and the research and educational initiatives that have followed. “The Rome III criteria were published in 2006 and, in the last 10 years, we have seen unprecedented progress in our understanding of functional GI disorders and now have better treatments available for many of them,” he said. “In developing the Rome IV criteria, we wanted to include new diagnoses, emphasize the importance of the gut­–brain interaction in the pathophysiology of these conditions, and improve their diagnosis and treatment using new learning tools.”

We now want to help clinicians in Europe and around the world to understand the new criteria, integrate them into their own diagnostic work-ups and optimize their patient management.

What’s new in Rome IV?

The Rome IV criteria contain a number of major changes, which were based on both new evidence and expert consensus. Major changes in Rome IV include: 

  • The redefinition of functional GI disorders as ‘disorders of the gut–brain interaction’ and the removal of the term, ‘functional’ when not needed.
  • The addition of new diagnoses, including opioid-induced constipation, narcotic bowel syndrome, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome and reflux hypersensitivity.
  • Threshold changes for diagnostic criteria to improve their clinical meaningfulness.
  • Revision of sphincter of Oddi (SOD) disorder criteria
  • Reconceptualization of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and its sub-types, with removal of the term ‘discomfort’ from its diagnostic criteria. 

“These changes reflect our growing understanding of many different aspects of functional GI disorders and they should help support future research and enhance clinical practice,” said Dr Drossman. “We now want to help clinicians in Europe and around the world to understand the new criteria, integrate them into their own diagnostic work-ups and optimize their patient management.” 

To aid in the communication of the Rome IV concepts to clinicians, the educational materials have been published as the Rome IV 2-volume textbook and also supplementary clinically oriented books. These include diagnostic algorithms, multimodal treatment using the Multi-Dimensional Clinical Profile, as well as paediatric and primary care books. “In this manner, the clinician can find the book that is best targeted to his or specific interests” said Dr Drossman. 

Rome IV Interactive Clinical Decision Toolkit

As a means to further reach the needs of clinicians, the Rome Foundation has been working with new software to develop a powerful on-line, interactive toolkit that presents a combination of Rome IV diagnostic algorithms and Multidimensional Clinical Profile (MDCP) treatment guidelines. The toolkit guides clinicians through the complex challenges of working with patients with functional GI disorders, with users seeing all relevant decision pathways, and, by inputting their patients’ information, activating the pathways that lead to treatment recommendations for optimal outcomes. 

“Both the Rome IV diagnostic criteria and the MDCP guidelines are innovative in their learning approaches and we are pleased to have been able to combine these approaches in this interactive on-line toolkit,” explained Dr Drossman. “We anticipate that clinicians will be able to develop a more comprehensive knowledge and optimize the care of their patients by accessing the most up-to-date information developed by world experts.” 

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

References

1.    Drossman DA, Chang L, Chey WD, Kellow J, Tack J, Whitehead WE (eds). Rome IV functional gastrointestinal disorders: disorders of gut–brain interaction. Raleigh, NC: Rome Foundation, 2016.

2.    Drossman DA, Chang L, Chey WD, Kellow J, Tack J, Whitehead WE and the Rome IV Committees (eds). Rome IV Multidimensional Clinical Profile for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (2nd edition). Raleigh, NC: Rome Foundation, 2016. 

Notes to Editors

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

About Dr Douglas Drossman

Dr Drossman is the current President of the Rome Foundation and his research relates to the clinical, epidemiological, psychosocial and treatment aspect of functional GI disorders. He has served as the Associated Editor of the journal Gastroenterology and has written over 500 articles and book chapters. 

About Professor Magnus Simren (UEG Spokesperson)

Professor Magnus Simren is the Chair of the UEG Scientific Committee and is a Consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. Professor Simren also sits on the Rome IV Committee, within the Microbiota Working Team.

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

UEG Week: New breakthrough for IBS patients 

(Vienna, October 18, 2016) A low-FODMAP diet is now an established treatment for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but the diet is controversial and challenging to follow, and not all IBS sufferers have a positive response to the intervention. Today, scientists at UEG Week have announced that bacterial profiles in the faeces differ between people who do and do not respond to a low-FODMAP diet, allowing doctors to predict who might benefit most from using the diet. 

Presenting their findings for the first time at the opening session of UEG Week 2016, Dr Sean Bennet from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, told delegates that, in the right people, a low-FODMAP diet can be highly effective, but identifying those individuals is currently impossible. “A low-FODMAP diet has been shown in a recent clinical trial to significantly reduce the symptoms of IBS in around half of the people who tried it,” he said. “Unfortunately, this is a very demanding diet that requires the exclusion of entire food groups, so we have been looking at ways to predict who will gain the greatest benefit from trying it.”

Being able to predict if a patient is unlikely to respond to a low-FODMAP diet means that other therapies could be discussed earlier, and these patients could be spared a demanding diet that might have no effect, or even worsen, their symptoms.

What is the low-FODMAP diet?

Dietary interventions are considered to be first-line treatments for patients with IBS. A ‘traditional’ IBS diet focusses on optimizing eating patterns and reducing the intake of specific foodstuffs that are known to worsen symptoms in some people. The low-FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols) diet requires restriction of certain carbohydrates, including foods such as wheat, barley, onion and legumes, foods rich in free fructose (including many fruits), and artificially sweetened products.

“We know that the low-FODMAP diet is effective in many IBS patients, but we also know that the diet can alter the composition of the gut bacteria,” said Dr Bennet. “We wanted to compare the effects of the ‘traditional’ and low-FODMAP diets on the gut bacteria and see whether the bacterial profiles can be used to predict patient response to each treatment.” 

Predicting low-FODMAP diet responders: latest research

The study* presented today by Dr Bennet and colleagues involved an analysis of data from 61 patients with moderately severe or severe IBS symptoms who took part in a previous clinical trial. In that trial, patients followed a ‘traditional’ or low-FODMAP diet for 4 weeks, with faecal samples collected before and after the dietary interventions. Bacterial profiling of the samples found differences in the impact of each diet on the gut bacteria composition and also revealed that the faecal bacterial profiles differed between patients who responded to the low-FODMAP diet and those who did not. 

“Patients who did not respond to the low-FODMAP diet were found to have more abnormalities in their gut bacterial profiles before they started the diet than those who responded to the diet,” said Dr Bennet. “This raises the possibility that faecal bacterial profiling could be undertaken before dietary interventions are considered. 

“Being able to predict if a patient is unlikely to respond to a low-FODMAP diet means that other therapies could be discussed earlier, and these patients could be spared a demanding diet that might have no effect, or even worsen, their symptoms.”

*This study was selected as one of the top five abstracts submitted to UEG Week 2016

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

References 

1.    Böhn L, Störsrud S, Liljebo T et al. Diet low in FODMAPs reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as well as traditional dietary advice: a randomized controlled trial. Gastroenterology 2015;149(6):1399­–1407.

2.    Halmos EP, Power VA, Shepherd SI et al. A diet low in FODMAPs reduces symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Gastroenterology 2014;146(1):67–75.

3.    Halmos EP, Christophersen CT, Bird AR et al. Diets that differ in their FODMAP content alter the colonic luminal microenvironment. Gut 2015;64(1):93-100.

4.    Bennet SMP, Böhn L, Störsrud S et al. Multivariate modelling of gut microbial profiles predicts responsiveness to a diet low in FODMAPs. Oral presentation at UEG Week 2016, 15–19 October, Vienna, Austria. Abstract 3474.

Notes to Editors

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

About Dr Sean Bennet

Dr Bennet is from the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His study on gut microbial profiles and low-FODMAP diets has been selected as one of the top five abstracts submitted to UEG Week Vienna 2016: https://www.ueg.eu/awards-grants/ueg-week-awards/top-abstract-prize/

About Professor Hans Törnblom

Professor Törnblom is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

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

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

UEG Week: New study links protein in wheat to the inflammation of chronic health conditions 

(Vienna, October 17, 2016) Scientists have discovered that a protein in wheat triggers the inflammation of chronic health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis, and also contributes towards the development of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. 

With past studies commonly focusing on gluten and its impact on digestive health, this new research, presented at UEG Week 2016, turns the spotlight onto a different family of proteins found in wheat called amylase-trypsin inhibitors (ATIs). The study shows that the consumption of ATIs can lead to the development of inflammation in tissues beyond the gut, including the lymph nodes, kidneys, spleen and brain. Evidence suggests that ATIs can worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, lupus and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as inflammatory bowel disease.

As well as contributing to the development of bowel-related inflammatory conditions, we believe that ATIs can promote inflammation of other immune-related chronic conditions outside of the bowel.

ATIs make up no more than 4% of wheat proteins, but can trigger powerful immune reactions in the gut that can spread to other tissues in the body. Lead researcher, Professor Detlef Schuppan from the Johannes Gutenberg University, Germany, explains, “As well as contributing to the development of bowel-related inflammatory conditions, we believe that ATIs can promote inflammation of other immune-related chronic conditions outside of the bowel. The type of gut inflammation seen in non-coeliac gluten sensitivity differs from that caused by coeliac disease, and we do not believe that this is triggered by gluten proteins. Instead, we demonstrated that ATIs from wheat, that are also contaminating commercial gluten, activate specific types of immune cells in the gut and other tissues, thereby potentially worsening the symptoms of pre-existing inflammatory illnesses”.

Clinical studies are now due to commence to explore the role that ATIs play on chronic health conditions in more detail. “We are hoping that this research can lead us towards being able to recommend an ATI-free diet to help treat a variety of potentially serious immunological disorders” adds Professor Schuppan.

ATIs and Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity

Further to inflaming chronic health conditions outside of the bowel, ATIs may contribute to the development on non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. This condition is now an accepted medical diagnosis for people who do not have coeliac disease but benefit from a gluten free diet. Intestinal symptoms, such as abdominal pain and irregular bowel movements, are frequently reported, which can make it difficult to distinguish from IBS. However, extraintestinal symptoms can assist with diagnosis, which include headaches, joint pain and eczema. These symptoms typically appear after the consumption of gluten-containing food and improve rapidly on a gluten-free diet. Yet, gluten does not appear to cause the condition.

Professor Schuppan hopes that the research will also help to redefine non-coeliac gluten sensitivity to a more appropriate term. He explains, “Rather than non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, which implies that gluten solitarily causes the inflammation, a more precise name for the disease should be considered.”

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

References 

1.    Zevallos V, Weinmann-Menke J, Meineck M et al. Alpha-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) accelerate murine systemic lupus erythematosus. Poster presentation at the 16th International Coeliac Disease Symposium, 21–24 June 2015, Prague, Czech Republic. Poster P168.

2.    Zevallos V, Yogev N, Nikolaev A et al. Consumption of wheat alpha-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATIs) enhances experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice. Oral presentation at the 16th International Coeliac Disease Symposium, 21–24 June 2015, Prague, Czech Republic.

3.    Junker Y, Zeissig S, Kim S-J et al. Wheat amylase trypsin inhibitors drive intestinal inflammation via activation of toll-like receptor 4. J Exp Med 2012;209(13):2395-408.

4.    Fasano A, Sapone A, Zevallos V et al. Nonceliac gluten and wheat sensitivity. Gastroenterology 2015;148(6):1195-204.

5.    Schuppan D, Pickert G, Ashfaq-Khan M et al. Non-celiac wheat sensitivity: Differential diagnosis, triggers and implications. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol 2015;29(3):469–76.

Notes to Editors

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

About Professor Detlef Schuppan

Professor Schuppan is from the Institute of Translational Immunology at Mainz University Medical Centre, Germany. Professor Schuppan is an international expert in the fields of fibrosis and coeliac research and is presenting his findings at the Opening Plenary Session at UEG Week Vienna 2016. 

About Professor Antonio Gasbarrini (UEG Spokesperson)

Professor Gasbarrini is a member of the UEG Scientific Committee from the Gemelli University Hospital in Rome, Italy.

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

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New research shows impact of Crohn’s disease on brain function

(Vienna, 24 August 2016) New research published in the UEG Journal has found that Crohn’s disease sufferers experience slower response times than matched individuals that do not have the disease.

In a study of patients with Crohn’s disease, cognitive response times were 10% slower than normal and significantly correlated with symptoms of active inflammation, including abdominal pain and fatigue. Notably, the response times in Crohn’s patients were slower than those assessed in people over the legal drink drive limit in most EU countries (blood alcohol content above 0.05 g/100ml) when assessed with the same computer-based cognitive test in a similar study by the same group.  The results demonstrate the presence of mild cognitive impairment in Crohn’s patients and support patients’ frequent complaints of difficulties in concentration, clouding of thought and memory lapses. The study also demonstrated that Crohn’s patients had a higher median depression score and a poorer rating of sleep quality, which were associated with more severe cognitive impairment.  Crohn’s disease, one of the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) alongside ulcerative colitis, has seen a sharp increase throughout much of Europe in recent decades with higher incidence levels documented in northern and western parts of the continent. The disease can be extremely debilitating for patients and there is no solitary cause, although it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

The research highlights the need for regular interventions with multi-disciplinary IBD teams to address the wide issues that are presented with Crohn's disease.

As well as the recognised bowel-related symptoms of Crohn’s disease such as abdominal pain and diarrhoea, the condition has now also been shown to impact cognitive function. Patients frequently experience cognitive symptoms, yet these symptoms are often ignored by clinicians. Dr Daniel van Langenberg, the lead researcher behind the findings, comments, “These results reinforce the notion that Crohn’s has a wide range of multi-systemic consequences with the impact of the disease affecting patients not only within but well beyond the digestive tract.”
Dr van Langenberg adds, “The findings appear consistent with experiments that have shown that bowel inflammation results in an upregulation of inflammatory hippocampus activity in the brain. This, in turn, might account for the slower response times that were observed in the study.” Professor Gigi Veereman, UEG inflammatory bowel disease expert, comments “This research highlights the need for regular interventions with multi-disciplinary IBD teams to address the wide issues that are presented with Crohn’s disease. This will enable a greater understanding of this complex condition and therefore improve the service and care offered to each patient.” Access the research in the UEG Journal Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Find out more 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
About Dr van Langenberg Dr Daniel van Langenberg is the Head of IBD Service, Eastern Health and a Senior Lecturer at Monash University in Victoria, Australia. He is involved with clinical and research activities with specific interest and expertise in inflammatory bowel disease and function gastrointestinal disorders. About Professor Gigi Veereman Professor Gigi Veereman is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and Secretary General of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN).   References  
  1. van Langenberg DR, Yelland GW, Robinson SR, Gibson PR. Cognitive impairment in Crohn’s disease is associated with systemic inflammation, symptom burden and sleep disturbance. UEG Journal. August 2016: http://ueg.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/08/07/2050640616663397.full.pdf+html
  2. Roberts SE, Samuel DG, Williams JG, et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part one: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014: http://ueg.sagepub.com/content/suppl/2014/10/13/2050640614554154.DC1/Full_Survey.pdf

New report calls for universal vaccination for hepatitis to reduce the crippling economic burden of the disease

(Vienna, July 28, 2016) To coincide with World Hepatitis Day, a new report, commissioned by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), calls for all European countries to adopt universal vaccination and harmonised screening programmes for hepatitis, as well as improved neonatal screening, to help speed up the eradication of the disease.

Almost 30 million people in the EU suffer from a chronic liver condition, one of the primary causes of which is hepatitis infection. Many of those with a chronic liver condition will have suffered since childhood and will require a lifetime of care at considerable economic cost. 

“Paediatric liver disease is becoming increasingly common in young children and, more importantly, chronic liver diseases in children represent a rising problem, with significant effects on public health and economic burden throughout Europe”, explains UEG liver expert, Helena Cortez-Pinto. “We urgently need to find a cost effective solution to control the spread of hepatitis and reduce the socio-economic burden of the disease and medical opinion suggests that the best solution in the current environment would be the adoption of universal vaccination for hepatitis B, and screening of high-risk groups”. Although the incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has declined significantly since the implementation of universal immunisation programmes in several countries, several member states still do not carry out routine childhood vaccination programmes and a significant number of children are still infected each year. In addition, there is no vaccine yet against Hepatitis C and infection rates continue to rise in Europe, with diagnosis rates rising by a third in England and considerably higher rates being recorded in southern Europe, including Italy, Romania and Spain. Both viruses not only cause severely impaired quality of life and developmental delay but also carry significant risk of cirrhosis and cancer. The European Liver Patients’ Association (ELPA), warns of the financial impact of liver disease, specifically hepatitis, in their “White Paper Project – the socio-economic burden of hepatitis in Europe” and urges policy makers to consider that early screening and prevention would actually help save EU resources in the long-term. In support of World Hepatitis Day, the World Hepatitis Alliance launches its new campaign ‘#NOhep’ which aims to eradicate viral hepatitis by 2030. The Alliance estimates that more than 7 million lives could be saved worldwide by 2030 if universal vaccination programmes were introduced. For further information, go to worldhepatitisday.org/. View 'Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe'   Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Find out more 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. 
  • NOW OPEN FOR PRESS REGISTRATION
  • 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
  • About World Hepatitis Day
Organised by The World Hepatitis Alliance to eradicate hepatitis. For further information on the Alliance visit www.worldhepatitisalliance.org. Contact Information For further information about the UEG report, UEG’s activities relating to hepatitis or to speak to a paediatric liver expert please contact Luke Paskins at UEG on +44 (0)1444 811099 or email media@ueg.eu References
  1. United European Gastroenterology. Paediatric Health Across Europe. 2016
  2. European Liver Patients Association. 2005 [cited; Available from: http://www.elpa-info.org/]
  3. Public Health England. 2013
  4. ECDC – Hepatitis B and C. Current situation in the EU/EEA
  5. El-Shabrawi MH, Kamal NM. Burden of Pediatric hepatitis C. World J Gastroenterol. 2013 Nov 28; 19 (44): 7880-7888

IBD drug availability putting children at risk of lifelong health complications

(Vienna, June 21, 2016) At least a quarter of all patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) present symptoms during childhood. However, delays in paediatric clinical trials result in off-label adult medications being prescribed for children, with serious lifelong health risks, including growth failure and cancer. 

To halt the health risks for children and improve outcomes in the future, IBD experts across Europe are calling for an urgent increase in investment into paediatric clinical trials to ensure more drugs become available to improve treatment efficacy and reduce serious and unnecessary risks of therapy. Professor Gigi Veereman, spokesperson for United European Gastroenterology (UEG) and Consultant in Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, is leading the call for change and explains; “In spite of recent investment to advance the care of patients with paediatric inflammatory bowel disease all over Europe, there is still an urgent need for more paediatric clinical trials. We need to speed up the availability of appropriately formulated licensed treatments with proven safety profiles so that children with IBD can attain their full psycho-social and physical potential into adulthood, without any unnecessary long-term health risks such as growth failure, severe  infections and cancer. In addition, research on the effect of nutrition and the environment on these chronic diseases is very much needed.” According to UEG’s Survey of Digestive Health across Europe, the incidence of IBD has been steadily increasing across Europe over the last few decades and as many as 30% of all cases are diagnosed during childhood. However, traditional adult based therapies currently prescribed for children with inflammatory bowel disease can have potentially negative effects on the developing body, an example being the effects of corticosteroid therapy on bone density.  In fact, prolonged corticosteroid use has been found to contribute to the significant reduction in final adult height of almost 1 in 5 children.  Furthermore, recent studies report that younger patients also have treatment related complications, including the development of malignancies.  Specifically, some immunosuppressants have been found to increase the risk of skin cancers and uterine cervical cancers.  Currently, most of the drugs that are used in paediatric IBD have only been tested in children in small uncontrolled trials and only a few of the drugs have been approved for use in children after proper multicenter trials, resulting in a substantial proportion being prescribed off-label. As Professor Veereman highlights; “Children with IBD have different specific treatment needs and medication should aim beyond symptom control and also include restoration of growth and prevention of pubertal delay.” Luisa Avedano, CEO of the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Association (EFCCA) adds; “IBD is becoming more and more common in children and can have a more severe disease course and worse prognosis than when diagnosed in adulthood. Children with inflammatory bowel disease often present around the time of their pubertal growth spurt, a time of dramatic psychological and physical transition for a child, so specific attention with medication should be paid to preventing disturbances in growth and development.” Significant improvements in the availability of specific paediatric IBD drugs is just one of a number of issues being raised by UEG as part of its initiative to improve the state of paediatric digestive health for the next generation throughout Europe. Notes to Editors For further information or to speak with Professor Gigi Veereman (or local paediatric digestive health expert) please contact Luke Paskins at UEG on +44 (0)1444 811099 or email media@ueg.eu Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe – a report by UEG on the current state of early nutrition, liver disease and inflammatory bowel disease across Europe is available here.  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. NOW OPEN FOR PRESS REGISTRATION
  • 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. United European Gastroenterology Journal: (1) Farthing M, Roberts S, Samuel D, Williams D, et al, Survey of digestive health across Europe: Final report. Part 1: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe, 2014 2: 195-196
  2. United European Gastroenterology Journal: (1) Farthing M, Roberts S, Samuel D, Williams D, et al, Survey of digestive health across Europe: Final report. Part 1: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe, 2014 2: 195-196
  3. Heuschkel R, Salvestrini C, Beattie RM et al. Guidelines for the management of growth failure in childhood inflammatory bowel disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2008 Jun; 14 (6): 839-49
  4. Jauregui-Amezaga A, Vermeire S, Prenen H ‘Use of biologics and chemotherapy in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases and cancer.’ Ann Gastroenterol. 2016 Apr-Jun; 29 (2): 127-36
  5. Malmborg P, Hildebrand P ‘The emerging global epidemic of paediatric inflammatory disease – causes and consequences.’ Journal of Internal Medicine 2016 March; 279 (3): 241-258
  6. United European Gastroenterology. Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe. May 2016

Children’s digestive health across Europe in crisis

(Brussels, 31 May, 2016) A report investigating the current state of digestive health in children has revealed alarming trends in disease incidence and inequalities in the provision of digestive healthcare services for children across Europe. 

‘Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe’, commissioned by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), is published today and highlights how the current health burden and economic pressure of paediatric digestive health issues, in particular the increasing levels of childhood obesity, have become a pandemic issue throughout the continent.  The report canvasses the opinion of a number of paediatric GI specialists, including experts from UEG and current and past presidents of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), who highlight three particular areas of digestive health that show worrying trends and require urgent action. These include:  
  • In 46 European countries, one in every three children aged 6-9 years is now overweight or obese
  • Childhood onset of inflammatory bowel disease now accounts for 20-30% of all IBD cases
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease has become the most common cause of chronic liver disease among children and adolescents in Western countries, with cases documented in children as young as 3 years old
Commenting on the current state of paediatric digestive health care in Europe, Professor Michael Manns, President of UEG, explains; “Across Europe we have leading paediatric experts and many centres of excellence. However, these are not widespread and currently cannot meet the needs of children throughout the continent. This has an impact on not just individuals and their families but on society and wider health service provision”. A call for change across Europe One of the main findings in the report is that many areas of digestive health follow a ‘one size fits all’ approach with many children following adult care pathways. Professor Berthold Koletzko, President of ESPGHAN, comments; “It is important for stakeholders and policy makers to appreciate that children have complex physical, psychological and social needs and these must be met by trained paediatric specialists to improve the accessibility of optimal care for children today and in future generations”. The report calls for urgent attention and resource investment in paediatric digestive health treatments and services to improve the prognosis for children who suffer from varying digestive health conditions.  A 6 point action plan, targeting key policy makers, stakeholders and health service providers, is outlined within the report to help encourage and deliver change and improve paediatric care across Europe. The 6 key actions are:  
  1. Further development of national strategies and public health campaigns for education, prevention and early intervention
  2. Improve and harmonise training standards through the development of a pan-European digestive health syllabus
  3. Enhance paediatric subspecialty training to understand the complex physical, psychological and social needs of children
  4. Develop transition services as patients move from teenage to adult care
  5. Encourage further research into childhood digestive diseases and early life programming to enable improved prevention strategies
  6. Further development of specialised centres for the optimal management of children with digestive diseases
The report will be issued to European policy makers today at the European Parliament, who will meet with leading health experts to discuss the latest research and areas for development examined in the review. The report is unveiled as part of UEG’s Digestive Health Month to raise awareness of digestive health issues across the continent. “In spite of 20% of the European population being children and the incidence of gastrointestinal diseases increasing, it is extremely worrying that only 1 out of 58 topics currently receiving EU research funding is focused on paediatric health” explains Professor Koletzko. “Priorities need to change quickly to appreciate the specific issues of paediatric digestive provision and ensure greater investment into prevention, cost-effective diagnostic measures and harmonised training”. Professor Manns adds; “UEG hope this report will encourage policy makers, stakeholders and health service providers to adopt the recommendations and prioritise the development of specific paediatric focused strategies for improving the digestive health of children today and for future generations”.

Access the report

Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Find out more 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. 
  • NOW OPEN FOR PRESS REGISTRATION
  • 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
About the Report Commissioned by UEG, Paediatric Digestive Health Across Europe, is a report that highlights the current levels of quality in paediatric digestive health throughout Europe, the current state of service provision and the potential impact on longer-term health outcomes and economies. The opinions of leading gastroenterologists and patient organisations have been utilised to help identify priority areas for improvement both now and in the future. Other key trends raised in the report include: 
  • It is predicted that the global number of children under five who are overweight will rise from the current 41 million to 70 million by 2025
  • The high cost of treating obesity and related disorders now represents up to 10% of total healthcare costs and threatens the sustainability of public healthcare systems across Europe
  • Delays in diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease are taking up to 5 years for 18% of under 18’s
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease prevalence continues to rise among paediatric patients, affecting up to 10% of Europe’s paediatric population
UEG Digestive Health Month The first UEG Digestive Health month, organised by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), has taken place throughout May. Held to raise awareness of digestive health conditions in Europe and highlight opportunities to help advance the treatment and prevention of related diseases, activity has featured on social media via the hashtag #DigestiveHealthMonth Contact Information For further information about the report and UEG’s activities, or to speak to a paediatric digestive health expert please contact Luke Paskins at UEG on +44 (0)1444 811099 or email media@ueg.eu References 
  1. http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/nutrition/policy
  2. United European Gastroenterology Journal: (1) Farthing M, Roberts S, Samuel D, Williams D, et al, Survey of digestive health across Europe: Final report. Part 1: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe, 2014 2: 539-543
  3. Day CP. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a massive problem. Clin Med. 2011; 11:176-178
  4. 1000 Days: http://thousanddays.org/the-issue/obesity/
  5. Early Nutrition Project: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lsm/research/divisions/wh/newsevents/newsarchive/earlynutritionfactsheet.pdf
  6. B. Wilson, S. Lönnfors, S. Vermeire. The true impact of IBD: a European Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis patient life. IMPACT Survey 2010-2011 http://efcca.org/media/files/press-Join-Fight/3PRESS_KIT_IBD_IMPACT_REPORT_BCN.pdf
  7. http://www.childliverdisease.org/News/Research-funded-by-Birmingham-charity-identifies-genetic-variant-in-childhood-liver-disease-

MEPs call for more early screening in fight to prevent cancers

(Brussels, May 26, 2016) Members of the European Parliament, together with European health organisations, are calling for more early screening to prevent digestive cancers that kill more than 500,000 people in Europe every year.

The MEPs against Cancer (MAC), led by MEP Pavel Poc (Czech Republic, S&D), made the call during a policy discussion “Prevention, Promotion and Screening: European Code against Cancer” held today in the European Parliament. The event was organised to draw attention to the 4th European Code against Cancer and the importance of early detection. MEP Poc said that the recommendations of the Code are very simple, yet scientifically proven actions, which can be taken to help prevent cancer. “I encourage everyone to get familiar with the Code and share the recommendations with friends and family. Especially in current times, with the EU facing many crises that cast shadows over the health agenda, we should make our best efforts to avoid yet another one - this time in public health”. MEP Poc said that in the EU, more than one and a quarter million people die from cancer every year, which is just over one quarter of the total number of deaths. It was pointed out that almost half of all deaths due to cancer in Europe could be avoided if everyone followed the recommendations in the European Code against Cancer. The latest edition of the code recommends 12 actions that can be taken. The event was organised in the framework of the European Week against Cancer (May 25 to May 31) by United European Gastroenterology (UEG), the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) and MEPs against Cancer (MAC). The policy discussion focused particularly on digestive cancers. Thierry Ponchon, Chair UEG Public Affairs Committee, explained that the current rates for CRC screening programmes vary from as little as 17% in areas of Poland and just 22% in Belgium, to a healthier rate of 64% in Norway and 70% in Finland. “As health professionals we are committed to all efforts that would help to make uptake of cancer screening programmes higher,” he said. Health professionals play an essential role in the prevention and early detection of major chronic diseases. The actions to prevent specific chronic diseases also apply to the prevention of other major chronic illnesses. Health professionals are integral to making this connection work in practice. Dr Sakari Karjalainen, ECL President said: “as part of our long-term strategy, ECL strongly supports equitable access to quality controlled cancer screening programmes in accordance with EU guidelines and the best available international evidence, as outlined in the recommendations of the European Code Against Cancer.” He welcomed the collaborative initiatives “ECL is delighted to partner with important health professional associations such as UEG with whom we have collaborated previously for the European Colorectal Cancer Days,” he added. “Health professionals are absolutely essential actors for improving public health via the promotion of all of the messages of the European Code against Cancer.” Access Colorectal Cancer Screening Across Europe leaflet Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Find out more 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 Digestive Health Month, in May, is in an initiative being held to raise awareness about digestive health in Europe and to highlight how additional funding can help to advance the understanding of related diseases. In the framework of the initiative, UEG is hosting two events in the European Parliament and also features on social media with the hashtag #DigestiveHealthMonth.
  • 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
About Professor Thierry Ponchon Professor Thierry Ponchon is from the Herriot University Hospital in Lyon, France. He is a UEG endoscopy specialist and a member of the ESGE Quality Improvement Committee. To interview Professor Ponchon, or for further information, please contact Luke Paskins at UEG on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Association of European Cancer Leagues The role of ECL is to facilitate the collaboration between cancer leagues throughout Europe and to influence EU and pan-European policies.  The mission of the Association of European Cancer Leagues is to influence and improve cancer control and cancer care in Europe through collaboration between its members in their fight against cancer, and to influence EU and pan-European policies. About MEPs against Cancer MAC is a group of MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) dedicated to supporting cancer prevention and control at the EU level and beyond. MAC is led by MEP Alojz Peterle. About MEP Pavel Poc Pavel Poc is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Czech Republic and is a member of S&D Group (Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament). MEP Poc is a Vice Chair of the ENVI Committee and Vice Chair of initiative MEPs against Cancer. Contact Details: UEG Brussels Office +32 2 536 86 68 publicaffairs@ueg.eu
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