Vice President of UEG to advise European Commission on medical research policies.

(Vienna, March 12, 2015) The Scientific Panel for Health was recently constituted to assume its official role of advising the European Commission on medical research policy.

Among the members of this newly created body is the Vice President of United European Gastroenterology (UEG), Professor Michael Manns. He accepted his nomination by the European Commission to contribute his expertise in the field of digestive and liver health. The Scientific Panel for Health was established by the European Commission to provide scientific guidance for research and innovation in health under the current funding programme of the European Union, ‘Horizon 2020’. Its task is to identify obstacles to medical innovation, recommend research priorities, and propose strategies for their effective implementation. The Panel’s 27 members comprise distinguished researchers from different medical disciplines and stakeholder communities who have displayed expertise in health research and innovation. The nomination of Professor Manns is testament to the importance of digestive and liver diseases as a growing public health concern that affects an increasing number of EU citizens. “Gastrointestinal disorders are a major threat to public health and are responsible for almost 500,000 deaths per year in Europe alone. The political priorities we take today will directly affect citizens across Europe for years to come. It is important for medical research policies to respond to such threats, and the Scientific Panel for Health will be important in helping EU decision makers shape policies that are conducive to innovative research”, says Professor Manns. Professor Michael Manns is Vice President of UEG and heads the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology at the Medical School of Hannover, Germany. He has a longstanding interest in viral and autoimmune liver diseases, hepatocellular carcinoma and gastrointestinal oncology. His experience in health innovation includes founding a national viral hepatitis network for Germany and he has been a spokesperson for German research initiatives in hepatology and transplantation. Click here for further information on the Scientific Panel for Health.  Notes to Editors: References 1. Roberts SE, Samuel DG, Williams JG, et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part one: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. August 2014. 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. UEG is a member of the Alliance for Biomedical Research in Europe, a consortium of 21 societies promoting the interests and value of research throughout all medical disciplines in Europe. Find out more about UEG’s work, visit www.ueg.eu. Contact Information UEG Media Office +44 1444 811099 media@ueg.eu UEG Public Affairs (Brussels) Office +32 (0)2 5027771 publicaffairs@ueg.eu

Advanced screening test to improve European colorectal cancer survival rates.

<h3>(Vienna, March 2, 2015) Colorectal cancer is the most common type of GI cancer in Europe, with 342,137 new cases recorded in the EU in 2012. It accounts for about half of all gastrointestinal malignancies in Europe and the annual incidence is predicted to rise by 12% by 2020.</h3>  As early detection results in a 90-95% survival rate, United European Gastroenterology (UEG), is urging all European men and women over 50 to ‘Step Up, Take the Test’ and undertake screening for colorectal cancer. In support of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (March), UEG also calls upon all EU countries to evaluate advanced screening techniques, such as a simple faecal immunological test, to help increase uptake and survival rates. Faecal immunochemical testing (FIT) is more advanced than the traditional three sample stool test, guaiac-based faecal occult blood tests (gFOBTs). It requires just a single stool sample to check for the presence of blood, a possible indicator of adenomas or CRC and with an easy collection device, it has been found to increase participation uptake. More importantly, FIT offers substantial clinical benefits due to its superior analytical technique. The gFOBT method relies on simple oxidation which can be adversely affected by the influence of dietary haemoglobin. However, the FIT technique is more sensitive. Specific analysis for haemoglobin detects smaller levels of bleeding and therefore more early cancers as well as more adenomas. The number of false positives is also reduced as there is unlikely to be significant interference from dietary haemoglobin found in faeces. If an adverse result is detected, patients are then referred for a colonoscopy. FIT’s simple collection system and enhanced sensitivity offers an attractive alternative to existing gFOBT stool tests as a first-line screening procedure. It will also make it easier for Europeans at risk to get screened and ensure colorectal cancer gets detected as early as possible, enabling thousands to receive successful treatment,” explains UEG CRC screening expert Dr. Monique van Leerdam, from the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Colorectal cancer is treatable when detected early, yet it is estimated to claim the lives of over 500 Europeans every day. According to the recent Survey of Digestive Health across Europe, although CRC screening programmes are now well established in most European countries, many programmes are still not population based and participation rates vary widely. Rates for colorectal cancer screening programmes vary from as little as 15% in areas of Poland and just 22% in Belgium to a healthier rate of 64% in Norway and 70% in Finland.  However, uptake generally throughout Europe remains alarmingly low, with the percentage of eligible adults screened in many countries falling way short of the 65% rate considered desirable by the European Commission and already achieved in the USA. #screeningsaveslives Notes to Editors: To download a map of CRC Incidence & Mortality in Europe, please follow this link: https://www.ueg.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/Press/CRC_Incidence_Map.pdf To download an infographic about CRC screening please follow this link: https://www.ueg.eu/press/crceurope/ Available for interview The following members of the UEG CRC screening ‘Task Group’ are available for interview: 
  • Thierry Ponchon – Department de Hepato-gastroenterologie, Herriot University Hospital, FRANCE
  • Evelien Dekker - Agaplesion Markus Hospital, Frankfurt, GERMANY
  • Monique van Leerdam - NETHERLANDS Cancer Institute
  • Nurdan Tozun - Acibadem University Hospital, Istanbul, TURKEY
  • Roger Jones - Dept. of General Practice, Kings College London UK
Press contact Justin Wilkes media@ueg.eu Tel:+44(0)1444811099 @UEGMedia About UEG United European Gastroenterology is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. Find out more about UEG’s work at www.ueg.eu  References 1. Roberts SE, Samuel DG, Williams JG, et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part one: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014. 2. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 3. Mosen DM, Liles EG, Feldstein AC, et al. Participant uptake of the fecal immunochemical test decreases with the two-sample regimen compared with one-sample FIT. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2014 Nov; 23(6): 516–523 4. Allison JE, Fraser CG, Halloran SP, Young GP. Population screening for colorectal cancer means getting FIT: The past, the present and future of colorectal cancer screening using the fecal immunochemical test for haemoglobin (FIT) 5. Overall USA screening rate, Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 2010

Make your call for gastrointestinal and liver disease research funding before EU budget cuts.

(Vienna, February 13, 2015) With recent plans to cut billions from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 funding programme, United European Gastroenterology (UEG) is urgently calling on the GI community to apply now for much needed research funding.

 According to the results of UEG’s major ‘Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe', gastrointestinal (GI) and liver diseases remain one of the most common causes of death and hospitalisation in Europe and are responsible for almost 500,000 deaths per year in Europe alone. “Although GI and liver diseases are on the increase and draining European healthcare resources, gastroenterology gets relatively little attention from a policy perspective compared with other specialities. However, research is essential to facilitate the development of more effective treatments and to improve mortality rates,” explains Professor Farthing.
Horizon 2020 is the European Union's biggest ever research programme with nearly 80 billion of overall funding available from 2014 to 2020. In spite of the EU Commission's proposal to cut billions from Horizon 2020's €24 billion scientific research programme, a healthy €154,000,000 is still available specifically for research grants on the topic of 'FET-Open- Novel ideas for radically new technologies'. “However, the deadline is looming with a call for proposals by 31st March 2015 so scientists need to take prompt action to develop steering groups and submit their application,” urges UEG President, Professor Michael Farthing.
“Gastrointestinal disorders remain a major threat to public health and it is important for medical research policies to respond to such threats;” adds Professor Michael Manns, UEG Vice President. To maximise the chance of a successful application, UEG advises scientists to consider the following 3 key points before submitting their proposal:
Commission’s priorities - does their work fit within the EU Commission's guidelines?
Organisation’s capabilities - can their organisation realistically manage and deliver the proposal? Economical and social impact - will their work provide return on investment and reduce the economic and social burden?
Further information and guidelines on the application process can be found at: www.ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/funding. Notes to Editors: Available for interview Professor Michael Farthing, UEG President; Professor Michael Manns, UEG Vice President Press contact Samantha Forster media@ueg.eu Tel:+44(0)1444811099 @UEGMedia Further information for Horizon 2020 Funding Applications is available at: General Information and Funding Opportunities - Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation - Horizon 2020 How to get Funding - Horizon 2020 About UEG United European Gastroenterology is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. Find out more about UEG's work at www.ueg.eu UEG Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe The Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe was commissioned by UEG in the spring of 2013 at the request of its own Future Trends Committee. An experienced research group from Swansea University in Wales, UK, initiated a detailed assessment of digestive health across Europe, focussing on the clinical and economic burden of disease and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across 28 European Union (EU) member states, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Russia. The aim of the survey was to draw together all the available evidence and provide up-to-date information on the human health consequences and public health burden of GI disorders. References 1. Roberts SE, Samuel DG, Williams JG, et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part one: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014. 2. Anderson P, Dalziel K, Davies E et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part two: The economic impact and burden of gastrointestinal diseases across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014.

Eating less salt may reduce the risk of stomach cancer: UEG calls for greater salt-awareness across Europe.

(Vienna January, 12, 2015) Stomach cancer is diagnosed in around 80,000 people in the European Union (EU) each year and is associated with a very poor prognosis. The most well-established risk factor for stomach cancer is infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), which causes inflammation within the stomach that can progress to stomach cancer.

Now scientists believe that eating too much salt also increases the risk of stomach cancer, with a direct relationship found between salt consumption and cancer risk. According to Professor John Atherton, UEG Secretary General and a leading H. pylori expert, the combination of H. pylori infection and a high salt intake appears to be especially dangerous. “Although we don’t know exactly why salt increases the risk of stomach cancer, studies suggest that it may encourage the growth of H. pylori and make it more toxic to the cells of the stomach,” he says. Stomach cancer in the EU The recent Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe reported that more than 80,000 new cases of stomach cancer were identified in the EU in 2012, with twice as many men as women affected. H. pylori infection, which typically occurs during childhood and is difficult to detect, has been estimated to be responsible for around three-quarters of all stomach cancers. Excessive salt consumption is thought to contribute to a quarter of all cases. “Most of us know that salt is associated with high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke,” says Prof. Atherton. “However, I suspect very few people are aware that a high-salt diet may also increase the risk of stomach cancer.” Salt consumption guidelines The European Commission and many individual European countries have taken positive action towards reducing salt consumption across the continent. Current guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) suggest that no more than 5 g of salt (less than 1 teaspoon) should be eaten per day – a challenging target given that most salt in our diets is not added by us, but comes from processed foods such as bread, cheese, breakfast cereals and ready meals. “In the UK, our salt target for adults is no more than 6 g per day, which should theoretically reduce the risk of stomach cancer as well as other salt-related health problems,” says Prof. Atherton. “Although we need more studies to confirm that eating a low-salt diet reduces the incidence of stomach cancer, there is preliminary evidence from Japan to suggest this would be the case.” It is straightforward to reduce salt in your diet: take special care when shopping to, buy low-salt versions of your favourite foods; moderate your intake of some foods such as cured meat, bread, cheese and table sauces; and to add no salt during cooking or at the table. This will reduce your risk of a variety of diseases, particularly heart disease and stroke and it now looks as though it will also reduce your risk of developing stomach cancer. References: 1. WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer. http://eu-cancer.iarc.fr/. 2. D’Elia L, Rossi G, Ippolito R, et al. Clin Nutr 2012;31(4):489–98. 3. 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. August 2014. 4. Parkin DM. Br J Cancer 2011;105:S31–S33. 5. Tominaga S, Kuroishi T. Int J Cancer 1997;10(Suppl):2–6. 6. World Action on Salt & Health. Salt and stomach cancer. Available at: http://www.worldactiononsalt.com/salthealth/factsheets/stomach/index.html. Last accessed 5 January 2015. Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Find out more about UEG’s work, visit www.ueg.eu Available for interview UEG Spokesperson, Professor John Atherton is the UEG Secretary General and also a leading H. pylori expert at The University of Nottingham. Press contact Samantha Forster media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 @UEGMedia

Study: 1 in 10 Inflammatory Bowel Disease patients are misdiagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

(Vienna December, 15, 2014) A new study, published in the latest issue of the UEG Journal reveals that 10% of IBD patients are misdiagnosed with IBS and in 3% of cases the misdiagnosis can persist for five or more years. The case-controlled study, conducted in the UK, assessed the proportion of patients with IBS recorded prior to the IBD diagnosis to reveal the alarming statistics.

Leading IBD researcher and United European Gastroenterology (UEG) spokesperson Dr Michael Scharl says, “IBS has been estimated to affect at least 10% of the population in Europe and it causes distressing symptoms that disrupt normal life.” He explains, “We have known for some time that there are similarities between symptoms of IBS and IBD, but when it comes to diagnosis and treatment, this differs greatly.” He adds, “Misdiagnosis is understandable as many symptoms such as diarrhoea, abdominal cramping and pain are common to both and the specific alarm symptoms for IBD such as bloody stool, weight loss or fever are often absent in IBD patients in the initial phase of their disease. However, increased use of faecal calprotectin testing would help doctors distinguish between inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and non-inflammatory bowel diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome.” IBS has been estimated to affect at least 10 of the population in Europe. The initial misdiagnosis of IBD has serious consequences for patients, in particular those with Crohn's disease, since delays in diagnosis is correlated with an increased risk of bowel stenosis and CD-related intestinal surgery. Considering that the misdiagnosis of IBD might have severe consequences for a patient’s life, UEG are calling for increased efforts to be undertaken to screen symptomatic IBS patients for IBD. Screening tests for intestinal inflammation should be included in the work up of all new patients presenting with diarrhoea and pain. References: 1. Timothy R Card, Jesse Siffledeen and Kate M Fleming. Are IBD patients more likely to have a prior diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome? Report of a case-control study in the General Practice Research Database. 2: 505-512, UEG Journal December 2014. Available at: http://ueg.sagepub.com/content/2/6/505.full Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu Available for interview UEG Spokesperson, Dr Michael Scharl is an expert in both IBS and IBD and has recently been awarded a ‘UEG Rising Star’ award for his research which opens avenues for completely new treatment strategies for IBD and Crohn’s disease. Press contact Samantha Forster media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 @UEGMedia

UEG puts the need for better care for IBD patients in Europe on the political agenda.

(Vienna, December, 02, 2014) With inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) thought to cost the European Community over €2 billion in annual healthcare costs, United European Gastroenterology (UEG) is calling for EU politicians and leading decision-makers to take a more active role in reducing the burden of the disease.

Presenting the results of a major ‘Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe’, to  the European Parliament in Brussels today, UEG aim to draw attention to the impact IBD and other digestive and liver diseases have on the health and economy of the European community. The ‘Survey of Digestive Health across Europe’ highlights major differences in the incidence of gastrointestinal disorders and long-term health outcomes amongst European communities. Amongst IBD sufferers, incidence of Crohn’s disease was found to be highest in northern and western regions of Europe whilst ulcerative colitis had the highest incidence in Ireland, Denmark and Finland and the highest incidence of IBD overall is in France. According to UEG President, Professor Michael Farthing, “IBD has an increasingly crippling impact both to society and to individuals, particularly, the huge proportion of young people who suffer. UEG aim to raise awareness amongst the European Parliament of the debilitating symptoms and resulting impact on quality of life and performance.”  As many as 30% of all IBD patients presenting with symptoms are between the ages of 10 and 19 and nearly a fifth of under 18 year olds have to wait more than 5 years to receive a final diagnosis. Symptoms of IBD include faecal incontinence, abdominal cramping and extreme fatigue often resulting in depression and low self-esteem. The ‘Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe’ reveals that  21% of IBD sufferers across Europe felt they had been discriminated against in the workplace with 44% reported to have lost or had to leave their job. “The cost of IBD care has increased significantly over the past decade and it is vital that additional funding is made available to help reduce the health and societal burden of the disease through ensuring a quicker diagnosis and equitable access to the best treatment for all patients across Europe” adds Professor Farthing. Notes to Editors: About UEG United European Gastroenterology is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. Find out more about UEG’s work at www.ueg.eu UEG Events at European Parliament, Brussels – December 2nd, 2014 Digestive Health Survey and Healthcare in Europe 2040: Scenarios and Implications for Digestive and Liver Diseases presentations Host/Chairs: MEP Pavel Poc and Professor Michael Farthing (UEG President) “Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A  rising threat to the health of young Europeans” Debate Host/Chairs: MEPs Rebecca Harms/Michele Rivasi and Professor Theirry Ponchon (Chair, UEG Public Affairs Committee) Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe The Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe was commissioned by UEG in the spring of 2013 at the request of its own Future Trends Committee. An experienced research group from Swansea University in Wales, UK, initiated a detailed assessment of digestive health across Europe, focussing on the clinical and economic burden of disease and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across 28 European Union (EU) member states, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Russia. The aim of the survey was to draw together all the available evidence and provide up-to-date information on the human health consequences and public health burden of GI disorders. Available for interview Professor Michael Farthing, UEG President Press contact Samantha Forster media@ueg.eu Tel:+44(0)1444811099 @UEGMedia References 1. Roberts SE, Samuel DG, Williams JG, et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part one: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014. 2. Anderson P, Dalziel K, Davies E et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part two: The economic impact and burden of gastrointestinal diseases across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014. 3. Problems in the diagnosis of IBD in children. H.A  Buller. Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam – The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 4. EFCCA Impact of IBD Study 2010-2011. Published J Crohns and Colitis. 2014 March 21 5. The Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Young People - The impact on education and employment report - downloadable from the www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk

What will the European healthcare system look like in 2040?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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