Pancreatic cancer: Is an ‘electronic nose’ the answer to achieving early diagnosis? 

(Vienna, November 16, 2017) Utilising an ‘electronic nose’ could be an effective and affordable screening method for the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, new research suggests. 

In research published in the latest edition of the UEG Journal, Scientists in Finland demonstrated that there is variance in the volatile compounds found in the urine of pancreatic cancer patients to that of healthy controls. Research was then undertaken to assess whether FAIMS (Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry) technology could effectively differentiate between pancreatic cancer patients and healthy individuals as a tool for screening.  FAIMS has recently emerged as a new tool for biomolecular analysis, allowing researchers to distinguish between molecules. The technique is affordable (each test costs approximately €20), non-invasive and it is estimated that up to 20 urine samples could be analysed every hour. When detecting pancreatic cancer and pancreatic pre-malignant lesions, the FAIMS test resulted in a sensitivity and specificity of 85% and 75% respectively.  “The aim is to now improve the sensitivity and specificity of FAIMS technology for pancreatic cancer to 90%” explained researcher Doctor Samuli Nissinen, a specialist in gastroenterology and internal medicine. “We are refining our methods to reach these results, and further tests will soon be undertaken to collect new data”.  "We do believe that FAIMS has the potential to be a screening tool for pancreatic cancer in high-risk groups, such as people with new onset diabetes, pancreatitis and those who have a family history of pancreatic cancer." - Dr Samuli Nissinen The number of deaths from pancreatic cancer in the EU is expected to overtake those of breast cancer within the near future, meaning that pancreatic cancer will become the third leading cause of death from cancer in the EU. The median survival time for someone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Europe is just 4.6 months, with patients losing 98% of their healthy life expectancy at the point of diagnosis. “The number of people dying each year from pancreatic cancer is rising” adds Doctor Nissinen. “Despite its severity, screening the entire population for the disease is not currently plausible. We do believe that FAIMS has the potential to be a screening tool for pancreatic cancer in high-risk groups, such as people with new onset diabetes, pancreatitis and those who have a family history of pancreatic cancer. However, further research is needed to achieve a 90% accuracy”. Calls for more research funding across the EU Meanwhile, over 1,800 digestive health specialists from 99 countries have signed a pledge to call on the EU and its Member States to fund more pancreatic cancer research across Europe. Despite appalling patient outcomes, pancreatic cancer receives less than 2% of overall research funding throughout the continent. Professor Matthias Löhr, UEG pancreatic cancer expert, explains “Pancreatic cancer should be treated as a medical emergency4. There is often a lack of awareness and an ignorance towards pancreatic cancer from all parties involved, including physicians and policy makers. We urgently need more research, more awareness, and a policy supporting the speedy diagnosis and treatment for patients”. To help support this message, increase research and identify the tools for early patient diagnosis, UEG have launched a campaign named #Voice4PanCan. Find out more: https://www.ueg.eu/patient-affairs/voice4pancan/ References: 
  1. Detection of pancreatic cancer by urine electric nose analysis, a proof-of-concept study. Presented at the 25th UEG Week in Barcelona, 31 October, 2017. Published in the 25th United European Gastroenterology Week Barcelona 2017 Abstract Issue of the UEG Journal: https://www.ueg.eu/journal/
  2. Ferlay J., Partensky C., Bray F. More deaths from pancreatic cancer than breast cancer in the EU by 2017. ACTA Oncologica, August 2016.
  3. Carrato et al, 2015. “A Systematic Review of the Burden of Pancreatic Cancer in Europe: Real-World Impact on Survival, Quality of Life and Costs.” DOI 10.1007/s12029-015-9724-1
  4. Löhr, M. 2014. Pancreatic cancer should be treated as a medical emergency. BMJ. Available at: http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g5261
Notes to Editors  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Doctor Nissinen or Professor Löhr, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Doctor Samuli Nissinen Doctor Samuli Nissinen is a specialist in gastroenterology and internal medicine at the Kuopio University Hospital Department of Gastroenterology in Finland. His specialty is within pancreatic carcinoma and his wider research group are currently studying colorectal, prostate and breast carcinoma. About Professor Matthias Löhr Professor Matthias Löhr is a UEG pancreatic cancer expert and member of Pancreatic Cancer Europe. He is from the Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institutet in 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. 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

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

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

In a study involving over 600,000 people, researchers compared patients who were prescribed aspirin over a long period (for at least six months, average duration of aspirin prescribed was 7.7 years) with non-aspirin users and assessed the incidences of a number of cancers. Those prescribed with aspirin showed a 47% reduction in liver and oesophageal cancer incidence, a 38% reduction in gastric cancer incidence, a 34% reduction in pancreatic cancer incidence and a 24% reduction in colorectal cancer incidence. Digestive cancers account for almost a quarter of cancer cases in Europe. Colorectal, gastric and pancreatic cancer are within the top five cancer killers throughout the continent, with digestive cancers representing 30.1% of cancer deaths.  The effect of long-term use of aspirin on cancer incidence was also examined for cancers outside of the digestive system. Here, a significant reduction was shown for some (leukaemia, lung and prostate) but not all (breast, bladder, kidney and multiple myeloma) cancers.  Aspirin is used across the globe to treat a number of health conditions, ranging from short-term pain relief to long-term prescriptions. Whilst the use of aspirin is subject to debate within the medical community, a recent study found that patients who stopped taking aspirin were 37% more likely to have an adverse cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke, than those who continued with their prescription. Lead researcher, Professor Kelvin Tsoi from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, presented the study today at the 25th UEG Week in Barcelona. “The findings demonstrate that the long-term use of aspirin can reduce the risk of developing many major cancers” commented Professor Tsoi. “What should be noted is the significance of the results for cancers within the digestive tract, where the reductions in cancer incidence were all very substantial, especially for liver and oesophageal cancer.” Access the press release in Spanish References 
  1. Tsoi, K. et al. Long-term use of aspirin is more effective to reduce the incidences of gastrointestinal cancers than non-gastrointestinal cancers: A 10-year population based study in Hong Kong. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2017.
  2. GLOBOCAN, IARC (2012). Section of Cancer Surveillance.
  3. Stopping aspirin treatment raises cardiovascular risk by over a third (2017). Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319541.php
Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Kelvin Tsoi, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Professor Kelvin Tsoi Professor Kelvin Tsoi is a research associate Professor of the Stanley Ho Big Data Decision Analytics Research Centre, and an associate Professor of the School of Public Health and Primary Care in the Chinese University Hong Kong. He is a digital epidemiologist and his research interests are in cancer epidemiology and big data research on digital health.    About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:  
  • 25th UEG Week, celebrate with us at our jubilee meeting, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, funding Live Educational Events, Online Courses and Standards & Guidelines Initiatives organised by UEG Member Societies and other providers.
  • UEG Journal, 10 issues per year covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, united for digestive health in Europe – prioritising Gastroenterology on the EU health agenda
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter

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

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

The research analysed the risk of gastric cancer development in a large group of individuals who had received antibiotic therapy to treat H. pylori infection – a type of bacteria that lives in the lining of the stomach. Of those who had been treated over the age of 60, 0.8% developed gastric cancer, in comparison to 1.1% of patients in an age-matched general population sample.  Gastric cancer is the fourth largest cancer killer in the world, accounting for 754,000 deaths in 2015. It mainly affects older people, with an average age of 69 years at the time of diagnosis.  Classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the H. pylori infection is the most significant factor leading to the development of gastric cancer, representing 78% of all global gastric cancer cases. The infection is thought to affect more than 50% of the world’s population, although most people do not know that they are infected until they develop symptoms of gastric irritation, such as heartburn or dyspepsia. A diagnosis is usually made using a blood or breath test, but can also be made through an endoscopy or a stool test. Presenting the results of this major study at the Opening Plenary session of the 25th UEG Week in Barcelona, Professor WK Leung from the Department of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, explained; “We saw a significantly lower risk of gastric cancer in people over 60 who received antibiotic therapy for their H. pylori infection, in comparison to the general population. The 22% reduction is remarkable, and suggests that there is real value in the treatment of this infection.”  “Although it has been commonly thought that it may be too late to give H. pylori eradication therapy to older subjects, we can now confidently recommend that the H. pylori infection should be treated in the elderly to help reduce their risk of developing gastric cancer” added Professor Leung. Access the press release in Spanish References
  1. Leung WK, Wong IO, Chan EW et al. Benefits of H. pylori eradication in preventing gastric cancer in the older population: Results from a population-based study. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2017.
  2. World Health Organisation. Cancer Fact Sheet 2017. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/. Accessed 18 August 2017.
  3. American Cancer Society. What are the key statistics about stomach cancer? Available from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/stomach-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed 18 August 2017.
  4. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Helicobacter pylori Working Group (2014). Helicobacter pylori eradication as a strategy for preventing gastric cancer. Lyon, France. Available from:   http://www.iarc.fr/en/publications/pdfs-online/wrk/wrk8/Helicobacter_pylori_Eradication.pdf. Accessed 18 August 2017.
Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Leung, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Professor WK Leung  Professor WK Leung is currently the Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation Professor in Gastroenterology of the University of Hong Kong. His research interests are on prevention and early detection of gastric and colon cancer. About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: 
  • 25th UEG Week, celebrate with us at our jubilee meeting, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, funding Live Educational Events, Online Courses and Standards & Guidelines Initiatives organised by UEG Member Societies and other providers.
  • UEG Journal, 10 issues per year covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, united for digestive health in Europe – prioritising Gastroenterology on the EU health agenda
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:            Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter

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

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

AI-assisted endocytoscopy – how it works The new computer-aided diagnostic system uses an endocytoscopic* image ­– a 500-fold magnified view of a colorectal polyp – to analyse approximately 300 features of the polyp after applying narrow-band imaging (NBI) mode or staining with methylene blue. The system compares the features of each polyp against more than 30,000 endocytoscopic images that were used for machine learning, allowing it to predict the lesion pathology in less than a second. Preliminary studies demonstrated the feasibility of using such a system to classify colorectal polyps, however, until today, no prospective studies have been reported. Prospective study in routine practice The prospective study, led by Dr Yuichi Mori from Showa University in Yokohama, Japan, involved 250 men and women in whom colorectal polyps had been detected using endocytoscopy1. The AI-assisted system was used to predict the pathology of each polyp and those predictions were compared with the pathological report obtained from the final resected specimens. Overall, 306 polyps were assessed real-time by using the AI-assisted system, providing a sensitivity of 94%, specificity of 79%, accuracy of 86%, and positive and negative predictive values of 79% and 93% respectively, in identifying neoplastic changes. Speaking at the Opening Plenary at UEG Week, Dr Mori explained; “The most remarkable breakthrough with this system is that artificial intelligence enables real-time optical biopsy of colorectal polyps during colonoscopy, regardless of the endoscopists’ skill. This allows the complete resection of adenomatous polyps and prevents unnecessary polypectomy of non-neoplastic polyps.” “We believe these results are acceptable for clinical application and our immediate goal is to obtain regulatory approval for the diagnostic system” added Dr Mori. Moving forwards, the research team is now undertaking a multicentre study for this purpose and the team are also working on developing an automatic polyp detection system. “Precise on-site identification of adenomas during colonoscopy contributes to the complete resection of neoplastic lesions” said Dr Mori. “This is thought to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer and, ultimately, cancer-related death.” Access the press release in Spanish
References
  1. Mori Y, Kudo S-E, Misawa M et al. Diagnostic yield of “artificial intelligence”-assisted endocytoscopy for colorectal polyps: a prospective study. Presented at UEG Week Barcelona 2017.
  2. Mori Y, Kudo SE, Chiu PW et al. Impact of an automated system for endocytoscopic diagnosis of small colorectal lesions: an international web-based study. Endoscopy 2016;48(12):1110-18.
  3. Misawa M, Kudo SE, Mori Y, et al. Characterization of colorectal lesions using a computer-aided diagnostic system for narrow-band imaging endocytoscopy. Gastroenterology 2016;150(7):1531-32. 
Notes to Editors *Endoscytoscope is a prototype endoscope provided by Olympus Corp. For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Mori, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Dr Yuichi Mori Dr Yuichi Mori is an assistant professor of Digestive Disease Centre, Showa University Northern Yokohama Hospital, Yokohama, Japan. His research interest is on colonoscopy and developing computer-aided diagnosis for endoscopy. About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:  
  • 25th UEG Week, celebrate with us at our jubilee meeting, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, funding Live Educational Events, Online Courses and Standards & Guidelines Initiatives organised by UEG Member Societies and other providers.
  • UEG Journal, 10 issues per year covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, united for digestive health in Europe – prioritising Gastroenterology on the EU health agenda
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter

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

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

Scientists in France analysed 6,027 colonoscopies and found a 400% increase in the detection of neoplasia (the new, uncontrolled growth of abnormal tissue) in patients aged between 45-49 in comparison to patients aged 40-44. The neoplasia detection rate was also 8% higher in people aged between 45-49 than it was between 50-54, leading to calls for CRC screening programmes to begin at 45 years of age. The mean number of polyps (growths on the inner lining of the colon that can turn cancerous if left untreated) and the adenoma detection rate (proportion of individuals undergoing a colonoscopy who have one or more adenomas detected) also increased by 95.8% and 95.4% respectively between the 40-44 and 45-49 age groups. This was far more substantial than the increase between the 45-49 and 50-54 age groups, which was 19.1% and 11.5% respectively. Lead researcher, Dr David Karsenti, who will present the findings for the first time today at UEG Week, explains; “These findings demonstrate that it is at 45 years old that a remarkable increase in the colorectal lesions frequency is shown, especially in the detection rate of early neoplasia. Even when patients with a familial and personal history of polyps or cancer are excluded from the findings, there is still a noticeable increase in detection rates in patients from the age of 45.” CRC is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in Europe, killing 215,000 Europeans every year, with research recently revealing that three in ten CRC diagnoses are now among people younger than 55. There is strong evidence to demonstrate that screening for CRC reduces incidence and mortality rates, yet there are vast inequalities in CRC screening across Europe with both organised and opportunistic schemes, different types of tests and varying participation and detection rates. Despite the dramatic rise of CRC in young adults, the vast majority of screening programmes throughout Europe commence between the ages of 50 and 55, with some not beginning until the age of 60. Dr Karsenti adds “Regardless of the type of screening that is in place, the results of our research strongly indicate that screening for colorectal cancer should begin at the age of 45. This will this help us to increase the early detection of colorectal cancer in young adults and also enable the identification and safe removal of polyps that may become cancerous at a later date." Access the press release in Spanish
References
 
  1. Karsenti, D. et al (2017), Adenoma detection rate according to age: colonoscopy screening should start at 45 years old, Presented at the 25th UEG Week Barcelona, October 30, 2017.
  2. Epidemiology of colorectal cancer: international comparison, 4th European Colorectal Cancer Days 2015. Available at: http://www.crcprevention.eu/index.php?pg=colorectal-cancer-epidemiology
  3. Dramatic rise in colorectal cancer in younger adults (2017), Medscape. Available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/876409
Notes to Editors Download our leaflet – Colorectal Screening Across Europe – for further insight into screening in your country and across the continent.  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Karsenti, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Dr David Karsenti Digestive Endoscopy Unit – Clinique de Bercy, Charenton-le-Pont, France About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:  
  • 25th UEG Week, celebrate with us at our jubilee meeting, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, funding Live Educational Events, Online Courses and Standards & Guidelines Initiatives organised by UEG Member Societies and other providers.
  • UEG Journal, 10 issues per year covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, united for digestive health in Europe – prioritising Gastroenterology on the EU health agenda
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Follow UEG on Twitter

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

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

Digestive cancers account for 3 of the top 5 European cancer killers, 23.4% of European cancer incidence and 30.1% of European cancer deaths. Currently, of the 5 primary digestive cancers, only colorectal cancer (CRC) is screened for and whilst some significant progress has been made in CRC screening in many European countries, early detection of other digestive cancers is still not sufficiently developed, even in high risk patients. Experts, legislators and patient organisations from across Europe are meeting at the EDCD to present and discuss new developments and research in digestive cancer screening and early detection and will be calling upon governments to focus their efforts on developing specific screening and early detection techniques. “Today, we are recommending that European governments focus their efforts on improving early detection of digestive cancers by funding and encouraging research in four specific areas; to give at-risk patients the best possible chance of survival. Public health authorities also need to think smarter when delivering screening, including looking at opportunities to screen for more than one cancer at the same time and using new cancer profiling techniques as they become available.” says UEG’s Professor Thierry Ponchon. UEG is highlighting specific areas for review in digestive cancer screening which they claim could not only improve outcomes but once developed could be straightforward to implement, such as: 
  • Look to the future to implement faecal microbiota screening (FBS) to predict colorectal cancer (CRC) before it develops. Early studies show that gut microbiota-based prediction is more accurate than the current faecal occult blood test, with the potential to predict CRC before it develops rather than just detect its indicators this is a promising prospect for the future of CRC screening, once further research shows this is proven on a population level.
  • Look to screen patients with heartburn or acid-reflux, using the Cytosponge™ or ‘pill on a string’ within the doctor’s practice, to increase early detection of Barrett’s oesophagus - an early precursor to oesophageal cancer. Experts report that existing screening methods for oesophageal cancer are expensive and ineffective, with evidence from the United States showing that only about 7% of people with oesophageal adenocarcinoma are detected through existing endoscopic screening approaches. However, evidence of the use of an affordable, easy, non-invasive test known as a ‘pill on a string’ has shown to be safe, preferable and accurate and if proven on a population basis, should be widely adopted.  
  • Microbiota screening in alcohol dependent patients at risk of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to determine levels of cancer-protecting short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Research indicates that microbiota profiling in alcohol-dependent patients could determine whether the patient’s gut is lacking cancer-protecting SCFAs and could more effectively verify the likelihood of liver cancer developing.
  • Gastric cancer screening should be implemented alongside CRC screening in European countries with an intermediate incidence (10 > 100,000). New evidence presented at the EDCD shows, for the first time, that screening for gastric cancer in at least 14 European countries with an intermediate incidence rate would be cost effective if combined with a pre-scheduled colonoscopy for CRC. There is currently no screening provision for gastric cancer in any European country.
Despite the significance of digestive cancer incidence and mortality, progress in establishing digestive cancer screening lags behind breast and prostate cancer and UEG expert, Monique van Leerdam concludes; “Whilst we are making good progress in colorectal cancer screening, we need to focus research on developing  new targeted opportunities for screening in all digestive cancers and ensure that we give every patient, especially those at higher risk, the opportunity for earlier intervention – it could save many more European lives”. For more information, visit www.ueg.eu
Notes to Editors Media Enquiries For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact James M. Butcher on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Professor Thierry Ponchon Professor Thierry Ponchon is from the Herriot University Hospital in Lyon, France. He is chairman of the UEG Public Affairs Committee, chairman of the European Digestive Cancer Days, a UEG endoscopy specialist and a member of the ESGE Quality Improvement Committee. About Dr. Monique van Leerdam Dr Monique van Leerdam is a UEG CRC screening expert. She is head of the department of Gastrointestinal Oncology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. She is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee, the ESGE Guideline Committee and the Advisory Council of the European Society for Digestive Oncology About the European Digestive Cancer Days The European Digestive Cancer Days: Prospects and Challenges in Prevention and Screening. Together with the Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic, the UEG Public Affairs Committee is hosting the 3rd European Digestive Cancer Days, this year in Prague, Czech Republic. The conference looks at prevention, screening and early diagnosis of digestive diseases in the light of cutting edge, up-to-date evidence and practical experiences. The conference is set to discuss the success and variances in existing screening programmes, propose steps for early detection of other digestive diseases and detail the priorities across the continent – covering cost effectiveness, programme methods, parameters for monitoring, quality assurance and logistic organisation. The conference is taking place September 25-27, 2017 in Prague. CRC Screening Leaflet UEG have produced an information leaflet on Colorectal Cancer Screening across Europe, with a new edition being launched at the European Digestive Cancer Days. To view or download the leaflet, visit: https://www.ueg.eu/publications/ About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • 25th UEG Week, celebrate with us at our jubilee meeting, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, funding Live Educational Events, Online Courses and Standards & Guidelines Initiatives organised by UEG Member Societies and other providers.
  • UEG Journal, 10 issues per year covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, united for digestive health in Europe – prioritising Gastroenterology on the EU health agenda 
References
  1. GLOBOCAN 2012 (IARC) Section of Cancer Surveillance (29/8/2017)
  2. Ai, Luoyan, et al. "Systematic evaluation of supervised classifiers for fecal microbiota-based prediction of colorectal cancer." Oncotarget 8.6 (2017): 9546.
  3. Vaughan TL, Fitzgerald RC. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2015;12:243–8
  4. United European Gastroenterology. 2017. Alcohol, GI cancer and microbiota. Available at: https://www.ueg.eu/education/latest-news/article/article/alcohol-gi-cancerand-microbiota/. [Accessed 23 June 2017].
  5. Areia, Miguel, et al. "Endoscopic screening for gastric cancer: A cost-utility analysis for countries with an intermediate gastric cancer risk." United European Gastroenterology Journal (2017): 2050640617722902

Child Safety Risk as Three Quarters of Paediatric IBD Patients Not Meeting Recommended Calcium and Vitamin D Intake

(Vienna, 15 May, 2017) A new study highlights that children suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not meeting the daily recommended intake of calcium and vitamin D. The research, conducted at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, identified that only 26.6% and 21.3% of paediatric IBD patients were achieving the current recommended intake for calcium and vitamin D respectively.

Medical experts from United European Gastroenterology (UEG) are therefore calling for immediate intervention to ensure that paediatric IBD patients are not put at risk of experiencing poor bone health and development, calcium homeostasis imbalance and vitamin D deficiencies. Achieving optimal levels of calcium and vitamin D is essential for developing children, especially in patients with IBD, as research suggests that children and adolescents with the disease develop suboptimal bone health in comparison to their peers. Therefore, they may not achieve optimal bone mineralisation, resulting in an increased risk of permanent height deficits. Vitamin D and calcium both play a major role in bone health and recently vitamin D has shown to potentiate the effect of anti-inflammatory treatments. However, ensuring a sufficient intake of vitamin D and calcium in children can be challenging. Rita Shergill-Bonner, Principle Dietician at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, explains, “When taking into account their young age and modern eating habits, coupled with the emotional, psychological and physical stress of living with IBD, it can be hard for paediatric patients to maintain a balanced diet and a sufficient intake of the right nutrients. We therefore urge the parents and carers of paediatric IBD patients to monitor their children’s diets carefully to ensure they are consuming the right foods to help their disease course and ensure adequate and normal development.”

“It is imperative that healthcare professionals provide all IBD patients with regular and frequent advice on nutrition and healthy eating habits, including guidance on food sources that are rich in calcium and vitamin D” - Professor Gigi Veereman, UEG paediatric IBD expert.

There is no solitary cause of IBD but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Incidence rates have been steadily increasing over the past few decades and one in four cases of the disease are diagnosed during childhood. Physical IBD symptoms can be extremely debilitating, including severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss and fatigue. The disease can also have a significant impact on a patient’s psychological, emotional and mental health, with over half of sufferers feeling that the disease negatively affects their education. Professor Philippe van Hootegem, UEG IBD expert comments, “There are many effective drugs available to help treat IBD but there are still a lot of unmet needs in both child and adult patients. Interesting and hopeful new drugs, some of which are to be taken orally, are in their final development stage. Nevertheless, a definitive curative therapy is not on the horizon yet and future research is still needed.” “It is imperative that healthcare professionals provide all IBD patients with regular and frequent advice on nutrition and healthy eating habits, including guidance on food sources that are rich in calcium and vitamin D”, adds Professor Gigi Veereman, UEG paediatric IBD expert. “Tailored care services, long-term follow up, regular reviews and frequent medical interventions are required to minimise additional health risk in our paediatric patients” May 29 is World Digestive Health Day and this year health organisations from around the world are coming together to highlight the issues affecting patients living with IBD.

Notes to Editors For further information and to schedule an interview with Professor Philippe van Hootegem, Professor Gigi Veereman or Rita Shergill-Bonner, please email media@ueg.eu or phone Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 The IBD Journey Video View the IBD Journey animated video Inflammatory Bowel Disease Infographic View and download our infographic on paediatric inflammatory bowel disease About Professor Philippe van Hootegem Professor Philippe van Hootegem is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and a Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Sint-Lucas General Hospital, Bruges, Belgium. About Professor Gigi Veereman Professor Gigi Veereman is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and a Paediatric Gastroenterologist at the University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium. About Rita Shergill-Bonner Rita Shergill-Bonner is a Principle Gastroenterology Dietician at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, England. About the Research The study was presented at the 12th Congress of ECCO, Barcelona, February 15-18, 2017. 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. Shergill-Bonner R., et al. Paediatric IBD patients do not meet the daily recommendations of vitamin D and calcium intake: survey based analysis in a tertiary centre. Presented at the 12th Congress of ECCO, Barcelona, February 15-18, 2017. Available here: https://www.ecco-ibd.eu/index.php/publications/congress-abstract-s/abstracts-2017/item/p707-paediatric-ibd-patients-do-not-meet-the-daily-recommendations-of-vitamin-d-and-calcium-intake-survey-based-analysis-in-a-tertiary-centre-2.html
  2. B. Wilson, S. Lönnfors, S. Vermeire. The true impact of IBD: a European Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis patient life. IMPACT Survey 2010-2011. Available here: http://www.efcca.org/sites/default/files/IMPACT-STUDIE_online.pdf

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

 Follow UEG on Twitter

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
<1 2 3 4 5>