Experts call for a new approach to reducing cases of pancreatic cancer 

(Vienna, November 10, 2015) Pancreatic cancer survival rates have remained at an alarmingly low 3 to 6% for more than 40 years. Ahead of World Pancreatic Cancer Day, 13 November 2015, United European Gastroenterology (UEG) call for greater action from healthcare providers and governments on pancreatic cancer and new public health initiatives to raise awareness of symptoms and risk factors and ensure earlier diagnosis and an increase in survival rates.

Pancreatic cancer is the eighth most common cancer in Europe, with approximately 104,000 newly diagnosed cases annually yet, according to Matthias Löhr, UEG pancreatic cancer specialist, knowledge of the disease is alarmingly low. “Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease with highly unmet medical need.  It is vital that there is more awareness of the risk factors and symptoms of pancreatic cancer among the public and medical community to allow more people to be diagnosed in time for surgery – currently the only potential for a cure". Chronic pancreatitis and diabetes as well as lifestyle and environmental factors such as, obesity and smoking are well-recognised major risk factors for pancreatic cancer but collectively only account for less than half of all pancreatic cancer cases. According to UEG’s Survey of Digestive Health across Europe, increased risks for people with diabetes have been reported as between 40% and 120% and people who smoke have been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis (a pre-cursor to pancreatic cancer) ten years earlier than non-smokers. In fact, The European (EPIC) study showed that passive smoking, either in the home or at work, can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 50 per cent and that children who are exposed daily to tobacco smoke have double the risk of contracting pancreatic cancer in later life. However, recent research also indicates a strong link between pancreatic cancer and common bacterial infections. Epidemiological data suggest that Helicobacter pylori, a common strain of bacteria found in the stomach, may be a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. These bacterial infections may contribute to the progression of pancreatic cancer by acting jointly with other risk factors that impact inflammation and immune response, such as smoking and obesity. “A well as action from healthcare providers, increasing public awareness of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer and following some simple lifestyle improvements will go a long way to ensuring that pancreatic cancer survival rates dramatically improve within the next few years" adds Professor Löhr. “Symptoms to look out for include: abdominal or back pain, weight loss, jaundice, loss of appetite, nausea and changes in stools and I recommend to all my patients that they can reduce risk of any cancer by following a balanced diet, taking regular exercise, drinking alcohol in moderation, not smoking and visiting the dentist regularly". Notes to Editors Available for interview Professor Matthias Löhr, UEG spokesperson and European pancreatic cancer expert, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden About World Pancreatic Cancer Day – November 13th 2015 WPCD is an awareness initiative set up by a group of international pancreatic cancer organisations. For further information see https://pancreaticcanceraction.org/support-us/awareness-month/world-pancreatic-cancer-day-2/ Worldwide there are around 280,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer each year and it is the seventh biggest cancer killer (fifth in the UK), yet so many people know nothing about it. But they can be forgiven for that because unfortunately, it barely gets attention. This cancer is chronically underfunded and has languished in the ‘too-hard-to-deal-with’ category for far too long. This is reflected in the dire survival rates between 3 to 6%, which haven’t improved for more than 40 years. More awareness and understanding about the illness among the public, medical community and government and the resulting investment and interest in the disease will allow more people to be diagnosed in time for surgery – currently the only potential for a cure. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a member of The European Multi-Stakeholder Platform on Pancreatic Cancer, which aims at bringing the burden of pancreatic cancer to the attention of EU-level decision-makers and improving public and especially political awareness of the disease. The EMSPPC calls for an EU-wide network of pancreatic cancer registries and earlier diagnosis through greater research funding. UEG 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 http://www.ueg.eu/press/ or contact:         Luke Paskins media@ueg.eu     Tel: +44(0)1444 811099     @UEGMedia References: 
  1. https://www.pancan.org/section-about/news-press-center/2012-press-releases/survival-rate-for-pancreatic-cancer-remains-unchanged-while-other-leading-cancers-see-an-increase-in-their-relative-survival-rates/
  2. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/pancreatic-cancer/incidence#ref-5
  3. Michaud DS Role of bacterial infections in pancreatic cancer. Carcinogenesis. 2013 Oct; 34 (10): 2193-7
  4. Vrieling, A., et al., Cigarette smoking, environmental tobacco smoke exposure and pancreatic cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Int J Cancer 2009.
  5. Chuan,S.C., Gallo, V., Michaud, D., et al.,  Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in childhood and incidence of cancer in adulthood in never smokers in the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition. Cancer Causes Control 2011. 22(3):487-94.
  6. Michaud DS Role of bacterial infections in pancreatic cancer. Carcinogenesis. 2013 Oct; 34 (10): 2193-7

UEG Week: Improving risk profiling is key to preventing many GI cancers

(Barcelona, October 27, 2015) Cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract continue to exert their toll across Europe, with many diagnosed too late for effective treatment. Bowel cancer screening programmes are now underway in most European countries, but screening for other GI cancers is patchy and not necessarily well-targeted. Today, experts at United European Gastroenterology (UEG) call for better risk profiling for all GI cancers in order to develop more targeted approaches to their screening and prevention.

“Our growing understanding of the causes of these cancers, coupled with new diagnostic techniques, mean we are in a good position to start developing precision prevention programmes,” said Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald from Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the University of Cambridge in the UK, speaking at UEG Week 2015 in Barcelona. “These would ensure we triage individuals based on their relative risk and apply the most appropriate screening, prevention and treatment options to each individual.” Precision prevention of oesophageal cancer Prof. Fitzgerald and colleagues have recently applied the principles of precision prevention to the most common type of oesophageal cancer, known as oesophageal adenocarcinoma. This cancer is usually found in the lower part of the oesophagus, and is often associated with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and its complications. The incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma has risen alarmingly over the past few decades, and despite treatment improvements, around half of all patients still die within a year of diagnosis. “We know from studies in the US that only about 7% of people with oesophageal adenocarcinoma are detected using current screening approaches,” explains Prof. Fitzgerald. “Our theory is that we are taking the wrong approach to screening and preventing this type of cancer and we are proposing a new approach to risk stratification that could be applied to other GI cancers.” A five-tier strategy According to Prof. Fitzgerald’s new five-tier model of precision prevention, screening and preventative approaches for oesophageal adenocarcinoma would differ according to absolute risk.1 People at the lowest risk levels (levels 1 and 2) would be encouraged to make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk, with primary care physicians assessing demographic risk factors (e.g. age, sex and race), recurrent reflux symptoms, family history and potential biomarkers in the blood and/or urine. Non-invasive techniques for oesophageal tissue sampling (such as Cytosponge™) and additional biomarker and genetic analyses would be applied in primary care to those at risk level 3, while secondary care endoscopy would be reserved for screening only those at risk level 4. At the highest risk level (level 5), patients would be referred to, and managed in, tertiary care. “If this protocol was applied on a population-wide basis, it would include many at-risk individuals who are not covered by current screening practices,” said Prof. Fitzgerald. “Stratifying risk in this way and applying risk-appropriate screening and prevention options would be cost-effective and detect many more cases of oesophageal cancer in their early stages.” “OMICs” and genetic analysis New methods of predicting the risk of, and identifying, different GI cancers are currently being evaluated and could help to inform precision prevention models such as the one proposed by Prof. Fitzgerald. Genetic analysis is already used to predict risk in several different types of cancer, and scientists have recently found a cluster of genetic mutations that help to predict the risk of Lynch syndrome (also known as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer). Metabolomics, which analyses body fluids and tissue samples for particular chemicals, is a relative new technique that also looks promising for the detection of stomach cancer. “We are poised on the brink of having new techniques that should help us predict the risk of GI cancers in the future, ensure we prevent those we can, and detect many others far earlier than we do now,” said Prof. Fitzgerald. Access this press release in Spanish Notes to Editors  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Fiztgerald, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: 
  • UEG 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 @UEGMedia References: 1. Vaughan TL, Fitzgerald RC. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2015;12:243–8. 2. Thompson BA, Spurdle AB, Plazzer J-P, et al. Nat Genet 2014;46:107–15.  3. Chan AW, Gill RS, Sawyer MB. World J Gastroenterol 2014;20:12874­–82.

UEG Week: Increased risk of large bowel cancer for each 1 cm rise in waist circumference

(Barcelona, October 26, 2015) Experts speaking at the 23rd United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG Week 2015) in Barcelona, Spain today revealed compelling evidence of the link between excess body weight and risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). John Mathers, Professor of Human Nutrition from the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University in the UK presented data showing an overall increase of 18% in relative risk of CRC per 5 unit increase in BMI.

“In addition, in men, there is now evidence that increasing waist circumference in middle age is associated with increased bowel cancer risk”, says Prof. Mathers. CRC risk was increased by nearly 60% in men who gained at least 10 cm in waist circumference over 10 years. “This increased cancer risk may be due to persistent inflammation in people with obesity”.

Patients with Lynch Syndrome (LS) have a higher than normal risk of CRC because of an inherited defect in one of the genes responsible for repairing DNA. Prof. Mathers presented new data showing that, in people with Lynch Syndrome, CRC risk increases with higher body weight and for those who are obese the risk of CRC is doubled. Quite surprisingly, the increase in CRC risk with higher body weight in people with Lynch Syndrome was about twice as great as that seen in the general population.

Prof. Mathers said “There is now compelling evidence that improved lifestyle, particularly better dietary choices and being more physically active, can help to prevent obesity and this will lower bowel cancer risk”. In addition, for those people who are already too heavy, losing weight may reduce their CRC risk but this is an area which requires further study. In his studies with Lynch Syndrome patients, Prof. Mathers observed that aspirin lowered the excess CRC risk seen in patients with obesity, perhaps through its anti-inflammatory effects. “This is a very intriguing finding” said Prof Mathers “which suggests that dietary and other anti-inflammatory agents might be beneficial in reducing CRC risk in people with obesity”.

“Bowel cancer is strongly associated with age, obesity and diet – and is driven by inflammation”, explains Prof. Mathers. “We can now give the public clear advice on the benefits of staying physically active, eating a healthy diet and avoiding weight gain to lower CRC risk as we get older”.   Notes to Editors  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Barbara, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About UEG Week UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: 
  • UEG 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 @UEGMedia References 1. Ning Y et al. (2012) Obesity Reviews 11, 19-30 
2. Song M et al. (2015) Int. J. Epidemiol. PMID: 26403814 
3. Movahedi M et al. (2015) J. Clin. Oncol. PMID: 26282643

UEG launch #FaceUp2CRC campaign to raise awareness of colorectal cancer

(Vienna, 15 September, 2015) Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most common type of gastrointestinal cancer in Europe, with estimates of more than 300,000 new cases recorded in the EU every year. It accounts for approximately half of all GI malignancies in Europe, and the annual incidence is predicted to rise 12% by 2020.

Although most cases of CRC are diagnosed in the over 50’s, recent findings have also suggested that the risk of young people developing CRC is increasing at an alarming rate, highlighting the need for greater CRC awareness across all age groups. With early detection resulting in a 90-95% survival rate, United European Gastroenterology (UEG) has launched the ‘#FaceUp2CRC’ campaign and is calling for medical professionals to unite and create a movement to help raise awareness of CRC, encouraging members of the public to undertake screening. UEG is calling for medical professionals to share their ‘selfie’ and post this online with the hashtag #FaceUp2CRC. Supporters are invited to be as creative as they like and are encouraged to ‘face up’ to their camera whilst posting their message. UEG President Professor Michael Farthing explains “colorectal cancer is treatable when detected early, yet it claims the lives of hundreds of people across Europe every day. We hope that the GI community will come together to help us with this campaign to help raise awareness of CRC and improve screening uptake and survival rates across Europe”. Current rates for CRC screening programmes vary from as little as 15% in areas of Poland and just 22% in Belgium to a healthier rate of 64% in Norway and 70% in Finland. However, uptake generally throughout Europe remains alarmingly low, with the percentage of eligible adults screened in many countries falling considerably short of the 65% rate considered desirable by the European commission. UEG will be promoting the campaign on Twitter, Thunderclap and throughout UEG Week Barcelona 2015. To find out more about UEG Week, please visit: https://www.ueg.eu/week/ #FaceUp2CRC Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world. MEDIA REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
  • 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  References 1.     Roberts SE, Samuel DG, Williams JG, et al. Survey of Digestive Health across Europe. Part one: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe. Report for United European Gastroenterology. October 2014. 2.     International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)

Experts Across Europe Call for Earlier Detection of Oesophageal Cancer in a Bid to Improve Survival Rates.

(May 21, 2015) Recent estimates indicate that more than 34,000 new cases of oesophageal cancer are recorded across Europe annually, with incidence more than three times higher in men than women and only a 12% survival rate at five years. 

European body - United European Gastroenterology - is calling for greater use of pioneering techniques to pick up early signs of the disease in a bid to improve outcomes and survival rates. Less invasive and cost effective techniques such as the novel Cytosponge, which once swallowed mops up cells for molecular analysis, can highlight early cell changes associated with oesophageal cancer. “As the Cytosponge is non-invasive and the test results objective and accurate, we hope that it will lead to more widespread diagnosis, enabling doctors to intervene earlier before oesophageal cancer advances” explains UEG spokesperson and lead researcher, Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, who helped to develop the test. One of the primary risk factors in oesophageal cancer is severe long-standing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and UEG is encouraging patients to have a better understanding of the condition in order to improve earlier detection of complications. “GORD, which occurs when acid from the stomach travels up into the oesophagus, can lead to serious complications, including pre-malignant changes called Barrett’s oesophagus, which is why we are keen to promote early diagnosis and better understanding of GORD” explains Professor Fitzgerald. UEG will be supporting this year’s World Digestive Health Day on May 29, 2015, with the theme focusing on raising greater awareness of GORD.  View an educational animation video discussing heartburn and GORD Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: · UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world. MEDIA REGISTRATION NOW OPEN · UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology · EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu About Cytosponge Led by Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald from the University of Cambridge, the Cytosponge trial – called BEST-2 – is looking at the accuracy of this ‘sponge on a string’, which aims to help doctors diagnose oesophageal cancer at an early stage. The Cytosponge trial has now recruited over 1000 patients from Centres across the country,About Cytosponge The results of the trial, winner of UEG’s Research Prize for innovation, indicate that not only is the Cytosponge preferred by patients over other methods, but crucially, that it is as accurate in diagnosis (and more cost effective) than endoscopy. About World Digestive Health Day WDHD is a World Gastroenterology Organisation initiative held on May 29th every year. Find out more about our support for World Digestive Health Day About Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald Prof. Fitzgerald is a member of the UEG Scientific Committee and a consultant physician at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambidge, UK For further information and interviews, please contact:         Luke Paskins: media@ueg.eu Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099 References 1.     Stephen E Roberts, David G Samuel, John G Williams, Kymberley Thorne, Sian Morrison-Rees, Ann John, Ashley Akbari, Judy C Williams – United European Gastroenterology, Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe, August 2014 2.     Fitzgerald RC. UEG Journal 2015. First published 13 March 2015.

Success of colorectal cancer screening programmes may be pushing endoscopy services to breaking point.

(May 12, 2015) Successful implementation of pan-European colorectal cancer (CRC) screening programmes may be pushing endoscopy services to the limit, according to experts from United European Gastroenterology (UEG).

Greater public awareness of the benefits of CRC screening and roll-out of the faecal immunochemical screening test (FIT) are predicted to boost screening uptake across Europe, leading to a significantly increased need for trained endoscopists to cope with the expanding workload. According to Professor Thierry Ponchon from the Herriot University Hospital in Lyon, France, and a member of UEG’s CRC Task Group, pre-empting the increased manpower requirement will be essential to delivering safe and effective endoscopic services. “We know that CRC screening saves lives,” he said. “But better uptake of screening opportunities will lead to more referrals for endoscopic procedures, and plans must be in place now to cope with the increased workload.” Colorectal cancer screening programmes are now firmly established in many European countries, with faecal occult blood testing (FOBT) and sigmoidoscopy the primary screening modalities in most regions. Randomized, controlled trials have shown that annual or biennial guaiac-based FOBT (gFOBT) is associated with a 15­–33% reduction in CRC mortality, however, multiple expert groups have called for the FIT to replace the gFOBT because of its improved performance and ease of use. A recent pilot study in the UK involving more than 1 million people compared uptake rates between the FIT and the gFOBT and reported almost double the uptake with FIT than with gFOBT amongst previous screening non-responders and encouraging increases in participation from first-time invitees. “The FIT is easier for people to use and usually requires only one stool sample and it is now recommended in European guidelines for CRC screening,” explained Prof. Ponchon. “However, we know from studies conducted in the Netherlands that introduction of FIT-based screening programmes is likely to require at least a 15% increase in endoscopy capacity, and we are concerned that this may not be achievable without better planning.” Endoscopy services in Europe: where are we now? The UEG Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe identifies significant variation in the current provision of endoscopy services and capacity across the continent, with many countries still relying solely on physicians to deliver screening services and few countries making endoscopy a national policy priority. Trained nurse endoscopists can provide vital support to meet the growing demand for endoscopic procedures as part of CRC screening, with a recent US study demonstrating that, in a supervised setting, nurse endoscopists can perform colonoscopies according to quality and safety standards that are comparable to those of physician endoscopists – and ­at a greatly reduced cost. Prof. Ponchon urges health service providers “to look closely at their anticipated endoscopy resource, start training more physicians and nurses now to meet the increasing endoscopy demands, and make sure we save as many lives as possible in the coming years.” UEG is working closely with the European Society of Gastroenterology and Endoscopy Nurses and Associates (ESGENA) (http://www.esgena.org) and the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) (http://www.esge.com) to promote and support endoscopy training for nurses and other healthcare professionals. The organisation is also helping to fund the Quality in Endoscopy educational programme during 2015. For more information, please visit: https://www.ueg.eu/education/training-support/. References 1. Zavoral M, Suchanek S, Zavada F, et al. World J Gastroenterol 2009;15:5907-15. 2. Riemann JF. Dig Dis 2011;29(Suppl 1):53-55. 3. Mandel JS, Bond JH, Church TR, et al. N Engl J Med 1993;328:1365-71. 4. Hewitson P, Glasziou P, Watson E, et al. Am J Gastroenterol 2008;103:1541-49. 5. Cancer Research UK. http://www.cruk.cam.ac.uk/news/latest-news/major-increase-bowel-cancer-screening-uptake-shown-new-screening-test 6. European Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines Working Group, von Karsa L, Patnick J, et al. Endoscopy 2013;45(1):51–9. 7. van Turenhout ST, Terhaar sive Droste JS, Meijer GA, et al. BMC Cancer 2012;12:46. 8. Farthing M, Roberts SE, Samuel DG, et al. UEG Journal 2014;2(2):539­-43. 9. Massl R, van Putten PG, Steyerberg EW, et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2014;12(3):470-7. Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: · UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world. MEDIA REGISTRATION NOW OPEN · 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 To find out more about UEG’s work, visit ueg.eu 

Press contact    

Luke Paskins:

media@ueg.eu

Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099

@UEGMedia

 

Incidence of colorectal cancer increasing in young people: family doctors urged to be on the alert for alarm symptoms

(March 24, 2015) United European Gastroenterology (UEG) is calling for primary care physicians to be more alert to the symptoms of colorectal cancer (CRC) in young people, as worrying evidence emerges of a growing risk of CRC in the under 50s.

A study conducted in the USA has recently reported ‘unsettling’ evidence that, while the incidence of CRC is declining in the over 50s, more people aged 20 to 49 years are being diagnosed with the condition. Speaking on behalf of UEG, Professor Roger Jones, Emeritus Professor of General Practice at King’s College, London, and member of UEGs CRC Task Force, called for greater awareness of the symptoms of CRC in young people in primary care in order to speed up referrals and save lives. “CRC is becoming more of a young person’s disease,” he says. “Primary care physicians must play their role in identifying high-risk individuals for screening and promptly evaluating any young person presenting with suspicious symptoms.” CRC in young people Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Europe. Although most cases of CRC are still diagnosed in the elderly, more than 1 in 10 cases occurs in people less than 50 years of age. Studies have found that young-onset CRC is more aggressive, more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage, and more likely to be fatal than CRC diagnosed later in life. The results of this latest study suggest that the risk of young people developing CRC is increasing at an alarming rate. “We don’t really know why the incidence of CRC appears to be increasing in young people, although it may be related to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, a deteriorating diet, and increasing rates of obesity and diabetes – all of which are risk factors for CRC,” says Prof. Jones. “Around 20% of young people diagnosed with CRC have a strong family history of the condition, and these people should enter national screening programmes well before the age of 50 years.” Alarm signals in primary care According to Prof. Jones, primary care physicians should be focussing their efforts on identifying high-risk young people for screening and spotting the signs of CRC as early as possible. Persistent rectal bleeding, blood in the stools, abdominal pain and bloating, loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss may all point to the presence of CRC and should prompt a swift referral for specialist assessment. Anyone with either one close relative diagnosed with CRC under 50 years of age or with two close relatives who were aged 60 or older at diagnosis should be considered high risk, as should anyone with inflammatory bowel disease or genetic conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome. “Screening is an effective way of preventing bowel cancer in high-risk individuals, but there is an inconsistent approach to this across Europe,” says Prof. Jones. “Some gastroenterologists are recommending that people at the highest risk of developing bowel cancer should have colonoscopies at 1- to 5-year intervals from as young as 25 years. Those at moderate to high risk should be seen every 5 years between 50 and 75 years of age.” UEG would like to see a more consistent approach to the screening of high-risk young people across Europe. It is marking European Colorectal Cancer Awareness month by highlighting the work of EuropaColon’s ‘Young Voices Unite Against CRC’ (http://yvu.europacolon.com/), which supports young people who have been diagnosed with CRC. Notes to Editors About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: · UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world · UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion · Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations · UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology · EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit www.ueg.eu To download the CRC in young adults across Europe infographic, please click here. 

Press contact    

Justin Wilkes:

media@ueg.eu

Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099

@UEGMedia

 

References 1. Bailey CE, Hu CY, You YN, et al. JAMA Surg 2015;150(1):17-22. 2. Ferlay J, Steliarova-Foucher E, Lortet-Tieulent J, et al. Eur J Cancer 2013;49:1374-1403. 3. Ahnen DJ, Wade SW, Jones WF, et al. Mayo Clin Proc 2014;89(2):216-224. 4. Lieu CH, Renfro LA, de Gramot A, et al. J Clin Oncol 2014;32(27):2975-84.

Advanced screening test to improve European colorectal cancer survival rates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Press contact

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

    References

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Colorectal cancer in Europe facts

    Colorectal cancer incidence and mortality in Europe

     

Europe is falling behind America in the fight against colorectal cancer.

(March 13, 2014) Annual incidence of Europe’s second most lethal cancer killer is predicted to rise by 12% by 20201 warns Europe’s largest body of gastroenterology experts, United European Gastroenterology (UEG). Colorectal cancer is estimated to claim the lives of 214,6752 adults in Europe and is expected to affect 502,000 Europeans a year by 20201.

Colorectal cancer is extremely lethal in its advanced stages yet early detection can result in a 90-95% survival rate. Early signs of colorectal cancer do not exist or are difficult to spot but can be detected via a simple screening test (the Faecal Occult Blood Test) that can be performed at home. Widely available across Europe, the FOBT is generally offered to men and women over the age of 50 via an invitation from their doctor or a national screening programme. However, uptake throughout Europe has been surprisingly low, with the percentage of eligible adults screened in many countries falling way short of the 65% rate considered desirable by the European Commission and already achieved in the USA3.

While Europe’s promotion of organised national screening programmes is seen as preferable to America’s ‘opportunistic’ approach, UEG experts say Europe can learn from the USA when it comes to pushing CRC to the forefront of public life. Annual campaigns fronted by Meryl Streep and other Hollywood stars, nationwide ‘Dress in Blue Days’ and a White House colorectal cancer statement issued by President Obama earlier this month are all helping to raise the profile of the disease and the importance of screening across the Atlantic. “United European Gastroenterology has campaigned for screening for colorectal cancer to be available to all European citizens; we are now urging the European population to participate and to be aware that FOBT screening reduces the risk of dying from colorectal cancer by 20-30%. Colorectal cancer is treatable when detected early, yet it is estimated to claim the lives of over 500 Europeans every day,” says British gastroenterologist and UEG President, Professor Michael Farthing. As the world marks Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (March) UEG is launching a new awareness campaign, ‘Screening Saves Lives’, urging all European men and women over 50 to talk to a healthcare professional and undertake screening for colorectal cancer. #screeningsaveslives Notes to Editors

About UEG
United European Gastroenterology is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy.
Find out more about UEG’s work at www.ueg.eu Press contact Samantha Forster media@ueg.eu Tel:+44(0)1444811099 @UEGMedia References 1 International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2 Globocan Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence, 2012 3 Overall USA screening rate, Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, 2010 Download press release Colorectal cancer in Europe facts Colorectal cancer incidence and mortality in Europe How to spot colorectal cancer symptoms
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