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: 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

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

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

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

MEPs call for more early screening in fight to prevent cancers

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

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

Medics call for urgent improvements in the quality of endoscopy across Europe

(Vienna, March 30, 2016) Every year, tens of millions of individuals across Europe undergo endoscopic procedures to assist with the diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal diseases. However, significant variation in current endoscopy provision across Europe has been reported, with back-to-back colonoscopy studies demonstrating that a concerning 22% of all adenomas are missed and that a three-to-six fold variation in adenoma detection is present between endoscopists.

This inconsistent provision, coupled with improved first-line screening methods, has created a requirement to improve the quality of endoscopy services as endoscopy of a high quality have been shown to deliver superior health outcomes, better patient experience and fewer repeat procedures. United European Gastroenterology (UEG) and The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) have therefore published a joint paper which identifies a need for change and outlines the first phase of a series of recommendations for improvements in quality standards of endoscopy. UEG endoscopy specialist Professor Thierry Ponchon, who is a member of the ESGE Quality Improvement Committee, welcomes the publication of new standards. “Endoscopy services throughout Europe are at a critical point at the current time. We must make improvements in the quality of service for our patients a major and immediate priority. Our aim is achieve high quality standards for endoscopy throughout Europe over the next two years and create a thriving community of endoscopy services for all.” Central to any endoscopy practice is the endoscopy report, which facilitates the exchange of essential information such as the endoscopy findings and clinical recommendations. As with many forms of medical records, endoscopy reports are traditionally unstructured and utilise free text, which acts as a barrier for quality assurance and increases the difficulty in comparing and translating records. In facilitating UEG and ESGE’s vision and to ensure the continuous measurement of endoscopy quality for patients, ten requirements for endoscopic reporting systems have been outlined and published in the April issue of the UEG Journal: 
  1. Endoscopy reporting systems must be electronic.
  2. Endoscopy reporting systems should be integrated into hospital patient record systems.
  3. Endoscopy reporting systems should include patient identifiers to facilitate data linkage to other data sources.
  4. Endoscopy reporting systems shall restrict the use of free text entry to a minimum, and be based mainly on structured data entry.
  5. Separate entry of data for quality or research purposes is discouraged. Automatic data transfer for quality and research purposes must be facilitated.
  6. Double entry of data by the endoscopist or associate personnel is discouraged. Available data from outside sources (administrative or medical) must be made available automatically.
  7. Endoscopy reporting systems shall enable the inclusion of information on:
    1. Histopathology of detected lesions
    2. Patient’s satisfaction
    3. Adverse events
    4. Surveillance recommendations.
  8. Endoscopy reporting systems must facilitate easy data retrieval at any time in a universally compatible format.
  9. Endoscopy reporting systems must include data fields for key performance indicators as defined by quality improvement committees.
  10. Endoscopy reporting systems must facilitate changes in indicators and data entry fields as required by professional organisations.
Professor Matthew Rutter, Chair of the ESGE Quality Improvement Committee, comments, “The implementation of appropriate information technology infrastructure, based around electronic endoscopy reporting systems, is an important step in quality improvement. Units should ensure that they have, and use, such a system – both to capture endoscopic data and create structured endoscopy reports, and to permit standardized performance measure reporting.” References 
  1. Stephen Roberts, David Samuel, John Williams, et al, Survey of digestive health across Europe: Final report. Part 1: The burden of gastrointestinal diseases and the organisation and delivery of gastroenterology services across Europe, UEG Journal 2014; 2:539–43.
  2. Matthew D Rutter, et al, The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Quality Improvement Initiative: developing performance measures, UEG Journal 2016.
  3. Matthew D Rutter, Colin J Rees, Quality in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Endoscopy, 2014.
  4. Michael Bretthauer, et al, Reporting systems in gastrointestinal endoscopy: Requirements and standards facilitating quality improvement: European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy position statement, UEG Journal 2016; 4:172-77. 
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 ESGE ESGE, or The European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, represents 49 national societies of endoscopy in Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa. The ESGE Quality Improvement Initiative aims to improve the global quality of endoscopy and the delivery of patient-centred endoscopy services. About Professor Thierry Ponchon Professor Thierry Ponchon is from the Herriot University Hospital in Lyon, France. He is a UEG endoscopy specialist and a member of the ESGE Quality Improvement Committee. To interview Professor Ponchon, or for further information, please contact Luke Paskins at UEG on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Professor Matthew Rutter Professor Matthew Rutter is from Tees Hospital in the UK. He has extensive knowledge in the diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal conditions and is Chair of the ESGE Quality Improvement Committee.

One in four cases of CRC diagnosed within two years of a negative screening result

(Vienna, 23 February 2016) One in four cases of colorectal cancer (CRC) detected in a guiac faecal occult blood testing (gFOBT) programme are diagnosed within two years of a negative screening result, a study in the The UEG Journal has found, suggesting that gFOBT should be replaced by more sensitive screening methods to improve detection rates.

CRC is the most common type of digestive cancer in Europe and annual incidence is predicted to rise by 12% by 2020.   The observational study was carried out on 772,790 people during the first round of the Scottish Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, in which individuals aged 50-74 years were invited to participate in gFOBT screening over a two year study. Overall uptake of the screening was 54%, and of the 1,979 individuals who were diagnosed with CRC during the study period, 25% of the cases detected were within two years of a negative screening result (interval cancers).   Professor Evelien Dekker, United European Gastroenterology CRC screening expert, comments: “Although there are no universal guidelines on an acceptable interval cancer rate, this study supports the need to switch CRC screening with gFOBT to a more sensitive method, such as faecal immunochemical testing, to help reduce this figure”. Due to its superior analytical technique and adjustable cut-off levels, faecal immunochemical testing (FIT) offers substantial clinical benefits which could help increase CRC detection during screening. Comparative studies between the two faecal tests have been performed and have demonstrated the superiority of FIT over gFOBT screening. FIT has been fully implemented in some areas of Europe such as France and Slovenia, demonstrating robust results so far. A nationwide programme is currently being rolled out in the Netherlands and other nations are piloting the method too. As well as its enhanced clinical benefits, utilising FIT has been shown to increase participation rates in CRC screening because the test is easier to perform and typically uses only a single faecal sample instead of the three required in gFOBT. “The simplicity of FIT should encourage a larger proportion of the public to undertake CRC screening, which also can help increase the levels early detection to improve survival rates” explains Professor Dekker. “With incidence of CRC expected to rise between now and 2020, implementing FIT across Europe should help increase screening participation rates. In the Netherlands we have experienced a participation rate that is 12% higher for FIT compared to gFOBT”.    The Need for Screening: With 355,436 people (46%) not participating in screening during the Scottish Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, the study also highlighted that 47% cases of CRC arose in these non-participants. This compares to just 28% of patients receiving diagnosis through a screening test, where the cancer is more likely to be detected at an earlier stage (see table below). Early detection of CRC results in a high survival rate, emphasising the requirement that both an effective screening process and a high uptake of screening should be targeted to identify and treat the disease as early as possible. Professor Dekker adds: “These findings demonstrate that members of the public should be encouraged to participate in CRC screening and not ignore the potential symptoms of CRC after a negative screening result. Consultation with a doctor is strongly advised if symptoms occur, which include blood in the stool or a persistent change in bowel habits”. 

Stage

Screen-detected Cancer (%)

Interval Cancer (%)

Non-participant Cancer (%)

A

33.9

18.7

11.3

B

25.6

25.5

25.3

C

25.2

28.5

29.3

D

6.3

18.9

21.5

Unknown

9

8.4

12.6

Read the full study, published 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 Professor Dekker Professor Evelien Dekker, UEG spokesperson and colorectal cancer screening expert, AMC Amsterdam Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Netherlands. To interview Professor Dekker, or for further information, please contact Luke Paskins at UEG on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu References
  1. Steele RJC, Stanners G, et al. Interval cancers in a national colorectal cancer screening programme. UEG Journal. January 2016. http://ueg.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/01/06/2050640615624294.full
  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.
  3. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
  4. Van Rossum L et al, Gastro 2008
  5. Hol L et al, Gut 2010
  6. Allison JE, Halloran SP, Population screening for colorectal cancer means getting FIT: The past, the present, and future of colorectal cancer screening using the faecal immunochemical test for haemoglobin (FIT). Gut and Liver. March 2014. http://www.gutnliver.org/journal/view.html?doi=10.5009/gnl.2014.8.2.117

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 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)

Public at risk due to current medical practices for the detection of hepatitis C infection

(July 27, 2015) Tackling the hepatitis C virus (HCV) ‘pandemic’ is now seen as a key public health priority as approximately 60% of all diagnosed patients in Europe remain untreated, with the risk of late diagnosis potentially leading to liver cirrhosis and cancer. This is despite new European treatment guidelines advocating targeted screening for HCV infection and the use of new direct-acting antiviral agents in preference to the older interferon-based regimens.

To coincide with World Hepatitis Day on July 28 2015, United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Vice President and liver specialist, Professor Michael Manns, calls for improvements in national strategies for HCV screening and treatment to ensure that more people are diagnosed as early as possible and have the best possible chance of a cure. “Current treatment regimens for HCV infection can eradicate the virus in up to 100% of people treated, depending on the type of virus, the drug combination used, and the general health of the individual,” says Prof. Manns. “With possible cure rates as high as these, we have the potential to eradicate this infection, preventing many cases of chronic liver disease, and saving thousands of lives.” The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) has recently published guidelines for the treatment of HCV infection that recommend that screening for HCV infection should be implemented in targeted populations defined according to local infection trends, ideally within the framework of national plans. The guidelines recognise the differences in healthcare funding across Europe, but aim to harmonise HCV treatment across its different countries and regions. “These new guidelines include recommendations for the use of the newer treatments that, cost issues aside, should ideally replace the older interferon-based regimens,” says Prof. Manns. “Our universal goals, which are reflected in these European guidelines, should be to identify and cure as many people as possible with chronic HCV infection, thereby preventing its spread and limiting its serious health consequences.” It has been estimated that approximately 9 million people in Europe are chronically infected with HCV, with 86,000 HCV-related deaths occurring in Europe each year1. Chronic HCV infection ­frequently leads to liver damage and cirrhosis that may progress into liver cancer. The UEG Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe reports that in western Europe HCV leads to 40% of all cases of liver cirrhosis and 60% of all cases of hepatocellular cancer. Unfortunately, receiving a diagnosis of HCV infection does not guarantee access to treatment. A recent systematic review of the European literature found that HCV treatment rates varied by country, with the lowest rates reported in Eastern and North-West Europe (e.g. UK, Russia) and the highest rates reported in Italy. Barriers to treatment in those with a diagnosis include a failure to seek treatment, a lack of financial resources and ongoing injection drug or alcohol abuse”. Studies have also found that the single most important barrier to HCV treatment is a lack of awareness, with up to 75% of people living with chronic HCV infection unaware that they have the infection. 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.     Papatheodoridis GV, Tsochartzis E, Hardtke S, et al. Liver Int 2014;34(10):1452­­–63. 2.     www.easl.eu - European Association for the Study of the Liver. J Hepatol 2015;63(1):199–236. 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. October 2014 4.     McGowan CE, Fried MW. Liver Int 2012;32(Suppl 1):151­–56.

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

 

Delayed diagnosis of coeliac disease may put lives at risk: is screening the solution?

(April 23, 2015) Coeliac disease is one of the most common life-long conditions in Europe, yet many people remain undiagnosed and lengthy diagnostic delays may be putting lives at risk.

Today, doctors are being urged to consider testing for Coeliac disease in anyone showing signs and symptoms of the condition and to consider screening everyone in high-risk groups. A paper published in this month’s special Coeliac disease (CD) issue of the UEG Journal (https://www.ueg.eu/journal/) assessed the viability of screening for CD in the general population and concluded that screening of first-degree relatives of people with CD, people with type 1 diabetes, iron-deficiency anaemia, Down’s syndrome and other high-risk groups may be appropriate. “This important research highlights the value of serological testing for CD in anyone with symptoms that might be due to the condition and in all asymptomatic individuals from high-risk groups,” says Professor Antonio Gasbarrini from the Gemelli University Hospital in Rome, Italy. “It is vital that we now start to take positive action across Europe to tackle this prevalent condition and reduce its serious health consequences.” A diagnosis of CD is usually made based on the presence of antibodies to gluten in the blood in addition to biopsy evidence of inflammation in the small intestine. However, the availability of sensitive and specific blood tests for markers of CD has raised the possibility of population-wide screening for CD in an effort to ensure earlier diagnosis and treatment of the condition. “Coeliac disease is readily treated with a gluten-free diet, so it is unacceptable that people suffer its symptoms for many years before they are properly diagnosed” says Professor Gasbarrini. “We now have blood screening tests that are simple, safe and accurate, and it is time we started using them effectively to limit the damage caused by this common condition.” Coeliac disease is a genetically-determined, autoimmune condition caused by a permanent intolerance to gluten found in wheat, barley and rye. The condition causes inflammation in the small intestine, leading to diarrhoea, weight loss, fatigue and other non-specific symptoms. It has been estimated that around 1% of the population may have CD, although estimates vary between countries, and the prevalence of CD appears to be increasing. If left undiagnosed and untreated, CD can have a profound effect on quality of life, may lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes, and has been associated with a reduced life-expectancy. “Unfortunately, because the symptoms of CD are often vague and similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome, many people with CD are undiagnosed and many who are diagnosed will have waited 10 years or more for their diagnosis to be confirmed,” says Prof. Gasbarrini. “At best, only around one-quarter of all CD sufferers are likely to have been diagnosed by a physician, leaving large numbers of people still at risk.” 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

Press contact    

Luke Paskins:

media@ueg.eu

Tel: +44 (0)1444 811099

References

1.     Ludvigsson JF, Card TR, Kaukinen K, et al. UEG Journal 2015;3(2):106-120.

2.     Ludvigsson JF, Bai JC, Biagi F, et al. Gut 2013; 62:43-52.

3.     Norström F, Lindholm L, Sandström O, et al. BMC Gastroenterol 2011;11:118.

4.     Khashan AS, Henriksen TB, Mortensen PB, et al. Hum Reprod 2010;25(2):528-34.

5.     Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, et al. Gastroenterology 2009;137(1):88-93.

6.     Mustalahti K, Catassi C, Reunanen A, et al. Ann Med 2010;42:587-95.

 

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
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