UEG Week: European colorectal cancer rates in young adults increasing by 6% per year

(Vienna, October 23, 2018) Colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence rates across Europe in adults aged 20 to 39 years increased by 6% every year between 2008 and 2016, new research has shown.

Data from 20* European national cancer registries was used to analyse trends in incidence rates of young adults with CRC across Europe over the last 25 years. For colon cancer, incidence rates increased by 1.5% per year between 1990-2008 and, more substantially, by 7.4% annually between 2008-2016. For rectal cancer, incidence rates increased by 1.8% per year from 1990-2016. In adults aged 40 to 49 years, overall CRC incidence rates increased by 1.4% every year from 2005. Presenting the research for the first time at UEG Week Vienna 2018, Dr Fanny Vuik explained, “We are aware of investigations in the North American population that demonstrates that colorectal cancer is increasing in young adults. In Europe, however, information until now has been limited and it’s worrying to see the startling rates at which colorectal cancer is increasing in the young.” Traditionally considered a disease that affects people over the age of 50, CRC is the second most common cancer across Europe, with approximately 500,000 new cases every year and incidence rates higher in men than women. Studies have found that young-onset CRC is often more aggressive and more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage than CRC in older populations. “The cause for this upward trend is still unknown, although it may be related to increasingly sedentary lifestyles, obesity and poor diets, all of which are known colorectal cancer risk factors”, added Dr Vuik. “Increased awareness and further research to elucidate causes for this trend are needed and may help to set up screening strategies to prevent and detect these cancers at an early and curable stage.” Strong evidence supports that screening for CRC reduces incidence and mortality rates, although many CRC screening programmes in Europe commence at the ages of 50 and 55. Inequalities in the type of screening offered, as well as participation and detection rates, are currently present throughout the continent. Dr Vuik adds, “The highest increase in incidence was found in adults between 20-29 years of age. Therefore, identifying those young adults at high risk of CRC is essential to ensuring early diagnosis and optimal patient outcomes.” * The countries included in the research were; Belgium, Catalonia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Fanny Vuik, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Dr Fanny Vuik Dr Fanny Vuik is PhD candidate under supervision of Dr. Manon Spaander, Associate Professor in Gastroenterology at the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam the Netherlands. 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 medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Together, its member societies represent over 30,000 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 the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
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 References
  1. Vuik, F. et al. 2018). Increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in young adults in Europe. Presented at UEG Week Vienna, October 22, 2018.
  2. ECIS - European Cancer Information System. 2018. Estimates of cancer incidence and mortality in 2018, for all cancer sites. Available here. [Accessed 18 September 2018].
  3. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2017. Colorectal cancer in young adults: A difficult challenge. Available here. [Accessed 18 September 2018].

UEG Week: Does the gut microbiota hold the key to improved diagnosis and treatment of oesophageal cancer?

(Vienna, October 23, 2018) Oesophageal microbiota may help to improve the diagnosis and management of oesophageal cancer, according to the results of a study presented today. Researchers from Italy directed by Professor Cammarota have found a unique pattern of microbes living in the oesophagus of people with oesophageal cancer or Barrett’s oesophagus, which could potentially be used to identify at-risk individuals and pave the way for new types of treatment in the future.  

Speaking at UEG Week 2018 in Vienna, Austria, lead researcher, Dr Loris Riccardo Lopetuso from the Catholic University of Rome, Italy, said: “Despite the introduction of novel therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, the prognosis for people with oesophageal cancer remains poor. We need to develop a better understanding of what causes normal oesophageal cells to become malignant so we can find at-risk individuals as early as possible and develop alternative therapeutic strategies.” Oesophageal cancer is the 8th most common cancer worldwide and the 6th most common cause of cancer-related death. Most people present with established disease, so rates of mortality are high in most countries. Known risk factors include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD), obesity, smoking, low fruit/vegetable intake, and alcohol consumption, but other factors, including upper digestive tract microbiota are thought to be involved. In the study presented today, researchers aimed to characterize the composition of the oesophageal microbiota in patients with oesophageal cancer compared with patients with Barrett’s oesophagus and a control group of people with no evidence of the disease. Biopsy samples from six newly-diagnosed patients with oesophageal cancer, 10 with Barrett’s oesophagus and 10 controls were analysed for microbiota composition. A higher level of bacterial diversity was reported for patients with oesophageal cancer compared with the controls; there was a relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and a relative paucity of Firmicutes (different categories of microbiota) in the patients with oesophageal cancer compared with the controls. There were also lower levels of Streptococcus, and higher levels of Veillonella, Porphyromonas, and Prevotella (different types of bacteria) in those with oesophageal cancer compared with Barrett’s oesophagus patients and the controls. “These results indicate that there is a unique microbial signature for oesophageal cancer that might represent a risk factor for this condition,” said Dr Lopetuso. “If these findings are confirmed in our further analyses, it may be possible to imagine innovative diagnostic and therapeutic tools to help us manage this condition more successfully.” Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Loris Riccardo Lopetuso, 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 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, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • 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
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:         Follow UEG on Twitter References
  1. Lopetuso LR, Ianiro G, Severgnini M, et al. Characterization of esophageal microbiota in patients with Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. UEG Journal 2018. Presented at UEG Week Vienna 2018.
  2. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Dikshit R, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: sources, methods and major patterns in GLOBOCAN 2012. Int J Cancer. 2015;136(5):E359-86.
  3. Gupta B, Kumar N. Worldwide incidence, mortality and time trends for cancer of the oesophagus. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2017;26(2):107-118.
  4. Engel LS, Chow WH, Vaughan TL, et al. Population attributable risks of esophageal and gastric cancers. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003 Sep 17;95(18):1404-13.
  5. Yang L, Chaudhary N, Baghdadi J, et al. Microbiome in reflux disorders and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Cancer J. 2014;20(3):207-10.

UEG Week: Microplastics discovered in human stools across the globe in ‘first study of its kind’

(Vienna, October 23, 2018) Microplastics have been found in the human food chain as particles made of polypropylene (PP), polyethylene-terephthalate (PET) and others were detected in human stools, research presented today at the 26th UEG Week in Vienna reveals.

Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna and the Environment Agency Austria monitored a group of participants from countries across the world, including Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the UK and Austria. The results show that every single stool sample tested positive for the presence of microplastic and up to nine different plastic types were identified. Microplastics are small particles of plastic less than 5mm and are used in various products for specific purposes; as well as being created unintentionally by the breaking down of larger pieces of plastic through weathering, degradation, wear and tear. Microplastic may impact human health via the GI tract where it could affect the tolerance and immune response of the gut by bioaccumulation or aiding transmission of toxic chemicals and pathogens. The pilot study was conducted with eight participants from across the globe. Each person kept a food diary in the week leading up to their stool sampling. The diaries showed that all participants were exposed to plastics by consuming plastic wrapped foods or drinking from plastic bottles. None of the participants were vegetarians and six of them consumed sea fish. The stools were tested at the Environment Agency Austria for 10 types of plastics following a newly developed analytical procedure. Up to nine different plastics, sized between 50 and 500 micrometres, were found, with polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) being the most common. On average, the researchers found 20 microplastic particles per 10g of stool. Lead researcher Dr. Philipp Schwabl, who is presenting the findings at the 26th UEG Week, commented: “This is the first study of its kind and confirms what we have long suspected, that plastics ultimately reach the human gut. Of particular concern is what this means to us, and especially patients with gastrointestinal diseases. While the highest plastic concentrations in animal studies have been found in the gut, the smallest microplastic particles are capable of entering the blood stream, lymphatic system and may even reach the liver. Now that we have first evidence for microplastics inside humans, we need further research to understand what this means for human health.” Global plastics production has increased substantially from the 1950s and continues to grow every year. For their many practical characteristics, plastics are pervasive in everyday life and humans are exposed to plastics in numerous ways. It is estimated that, through pollution, 2-5 % of all plastics produced end up in the seas. Once in the ocean, plastics are consumed by sea animals and enter the food chain where ultimately, they are likely to be consumed by humans. Significant amounts of microplastic have been detected in tuna, lobster and shrimp. Beyond that it is highly likely that during various steps of food processing or as a result of packaging food is being contaminated with plastics. Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Philipp Schwabl, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Dr. Philipp Schwabl Dr. Philipp Schwabl is a researcher and physician scientist at the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Medical University of Vienna, in the research team of Prof. Dr. Thomas Reiberger, and presenting this study at the UEG Week Vienna 2018. About Dr. Bettina Liebmann Dr. Bettina Liebmann is a consultant on environmental analyses and respected expert on microplastics at the Environment Agency Austria. She guides the method development for microplastic analysis by micro FT-IR spectroscopy and imaging and works on microplastic projects at both national and international level. About Umweltbundesamt – Environment Agency Austria The Environment Agency Austria is the most important national environmental expert organisation and one of Europe´s leading environmental consultants. Since 2007, the organisation has been operating an accredited human biomonitoring laboratory where blood, urine, tissue etc. are analyzed for a variety of environmental contaminants. Furthermore, the Environment Agency Austria is an international pioneer in the analysis of microplastics.  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 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, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • 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
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository
Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:         Follow UEG on Twitter References
  • Schwabl, P. et al (2018), Assessment of microplastic concentrations in human stool – Preliminary results of a prospective study, Presented at UEG Week 2018 Vienna, October 24, 2018.
  • European Chemicals Agency. 2018. Microplastics. [ONLINE] Available at: https://echa.europa.eu/hot-topics/microplastics. [Accessed 21 August 2018].
  • Hohenblum P., Liebmann B., Liedermann M. (2015): Plastic and Microplastic in the Environment. Environment Agency Austria, Vienna. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.umweltbundesamt.at/fileadmin/site/publikationen/REP0551.pdf
  • Powell JJ, Thoree V, Pele LC. Dietary microparticles and their impact on tolerance and immune responsiveness of the gastrointestinal tract. The British journal of nutrition. 2007;98 Suppl 1:S59-63.
  • Geyer, Roland, Jenna R. Jambeck, and Kara Lavender Law. "Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made." Science advances 3.7 (2017): e1700782.
  • Romeo T, Pietro B, Peda C, Consoli P, Andaloro F, Fossi MC. First evidence of presence of plastic debris in stomach of large pelagic fish in the Mediterranean Sea. Marine pollution bulletin. 2015;95(1):358-361.
  • Murray F, Cowie PR. Plastic contamination in the decapod crustacean Nephrops norvegicus (Linnaeus, 1758). Marine pollution bulletin. 2011;62(6):1207-1217.
  • Devriese LI, van der Meulen MD, Maes T, et al. Microplastic contamination in brown shrimp (Crangon crangon, Linnaeus 1758) from coastal waters of the Southern North Sea and Channel area. Marine pollution bulletin. 2015;98(1-2):179-187.

UEG Week: Cannabis significantly improves the symptoms of Crohn’s disease

(Vienna, October 22, 2018) In the first study of its kind, cannabis oil has been shown to significantly improve the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and the quality of life of sufferers but, contrary to previous medical thinking, has no effect on gut inflammation.

In a randomised, placebo-controlled study, researchers from Israel have shown that cannabis can produce clinical remission in up to 65% of individuals after 8 weeks of treatment, but that this improvement does not appear to result from a dampening down of the underlying inflammatory process. Speaking at UEG Week 2018 in Vienna, lead researcher, Dr Timna Naftali explained, “Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat a wide range of medical conditions, and studies have shown that many people with Crohn’s disease use cannabis regularly to relieve their symptoms.It has always been thought that this improvement was related to a reduction in inflammation in the gut and the aim of this study was to  investigate this.”  The Israeli team recruited 46 people with moderately severe Crohn’s disease, and randomized them to receive 8 weeks of treatment with either cannabis oil containing 15% cannabidiol and 4% tetrahydrocannabinol or placebo. Symptom severity and quality of life were measured before, during, and after treatment using validated research instruments. Inflammation in the gut was assessed endoscopically and by measuring inflammatory markers in blood and stool samples.  After 8 weeks of treatment, the group receiving the cannabis oil had a significant reduction in their Crohn’s disease symptoms compared with the placebo group, and 65%met strict criteria for clinical remission (versus 35% of the placebo recipients). The cannabis group also had significant improvements in their quality of life compared with the placebo group. “We have previously demonstrated that cannabis can produce measurable improvements in Crohn’s disease symptoms4 but, to our surprise, we saw no statistically significant improvements in endoscopic scores or in the inflammatory markers we measured in the cannabis oil group compared with the placebo group,” said Dr Naftali. “We know that cannabinoids can have profound anti-inflammatory effects but this study indicates that the improvement in symptoms may not be related to these anti-inflammatory properties.” Looking ahead, the research group plans to explore further the potential anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. “There are very good grounds to believe that the endocannabinoid system is a potential therapeutic target in Crohn’s disease and other gastrointestinal diseases,” said Dr Naftali. “For now, however, we can only consider medicinal cannabis as an alternative or additional intervention that provides temporary symptom relief for some people with Crohn’s disease.’ Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Dr Tinma Naftali, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Dr Timna Naftali Dr Timna Naftali is an MD Specialist in Gastroenterology at Meir Hospital and Kupat Holim Clinic, Tel Aviv University, Israel. 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 medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Together, its member societies represent over 30,000 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 the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository
Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:         Follow UEG on Twitter References
  1. Naftali T, Bar-Lev Schlieder L, Konikoff F, et al. Cannabis induces clinical response but no endoscopic response in Crohn’s disease patients. Presented at UEG Week Vienna 2018, October 22, 2018. 
  2. Lal S, Prasad N, Ryan M, et al. Cannabis use amongst patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011;23(10):891-6.
  3. Weiss A, Friedenberg F. Patterns of cannabis use in patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A population based analysis. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2015;156:84-89.
  4. Naftali T, Bar-Lev Schleider L, Dotan I, et al. Cannabis induces a clinical response in patients with Crohn's disease: a prospective placebo-controlled study. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2013;11(10):1276-1280.e1.

UEG Week: New research links Crohn’s disease to Black Death

(Vienna, October 22, 2018) European incidence of Crohn’s disease is likely to be a result of surviving the Black Death in the middle ages, according to new research presented today at the 26th UEG Week in Vienna. 

Researchers from Paris, France studied historical data on the intensity of plague outbreaks from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin between 800 and 1850AD. They found that there was statistical significance between outbreak intensities and Crohn’s disease-associated mutations in the general population – which help to explain modern-day prevalence of Crohn’s disease in Europe. Crohn’s disease is a chronic relapsing condition that, together with ulcerative colitis, comprises the disease known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The researchers looked at the gene NOD2 which plays an important role in the body’s immune system but mutations of which are related to the development of Crohn’s disease. Mutations of NOD2 have been shown to aid the resistance of the organism that causes the plague and the results of the study show that the prevalence of these mutations associated with Crohn’s disease are correlated with the intensities of plague outbreaks. Approximately 3 million Europeans are now affected by IBD, which costs European health systems up to €5.6 billion per year. The causes of IBD are not fully known, although research strongly suggests that both genetic and environmental factors play a significant role. IBD can lead to an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer and, whilst symptoms may develop at any age, the peak age of IBD onset is during adolescence or early adulthood. The Black Death was responsible for the deaths of millions of Europeans and is thought to have killed between 30-40% of the European population between 1347 and 1353. Professor Jean-Pierre Hugot, one of the leading researchers involved in the French study explains, “Considering the potential severity of Crohn’s disease when untreated, it is unlikely that it was a frequent disease before the 20th century. As healthcare systems have developed and care for Crohn’s disease patients has improved, more and more people are living with the disease. This research goes some way to explaining the genetic origins of Crohn’s and we hope it will enable us to better understand the disease, and how to treat it, in the future.” Notes to Editors For further information, or to arrange an interview with Professor Jean-Pierre Hugot, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Professor Jean-Pierre Hugot Professor Jean-Pierre Hugot is an IBD specialist and his research is focused on genetics and IBD. He is head of the Paediatric Digestive and Respiratory Diseases Department at the Robert Debré Hospital, Paris, 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 medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Together, its member societies represent over 30,000 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 the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository
Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:         Follow UEG on Twitter  References
  1. Dumay, A. et al (2018), Is Crohn’s Disease the price to pay today for having survived the Black Death? Presented at UEG Week Vienna 2018, October 22, 2018.
  2. Yamamoto, S & Ma, X (2009), Role of Nod2 in the development of Crohn’s disease. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2924159/  
  3. Burisch, J. et al (2013), The burden of inflammatory bowel disease in Europe. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1873994613000305
  4. United European Gastroenterology (2012), The Survey of Digestive Health in Europe. Available at: https://www.ueg.eu/research/white-book/

One in 10 IBS with diarrhoea patients wish they were dead when their condition is bad

 

(Vienna, August 7, 2018) Eleven percent of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea (IBS-D) patients reveal that they suffer from suicidal thinking when their condition is bad, a new study has found.

The research, published in the UEG Journal, assessed the burden associated with irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea by surveying 513 patients and 679 healthcare professionals. A quarter of patients reported that IBS stops them from enjoying life and 11% agreed with the statement; ‘when my IBS is bad, I wish I was dead’. IBS is a functional bowel disorder, characterised by abdominal pain and altered bowel habits. The disease affects 11% of adults globally, of whom one third experience diarrhoea as the predominant symptom. IBS-D is considered to be a brain-gut interaction disorder and a range of treatment approaches have been proposed, including diet and lifestyle modifications, probiotics and fibre supplements and various prescription and over-the-counter medications. Over a third of patients reported that they ‘constantly’ worry about whether and when their IBS symptoms will return and one in five stated that IBS had negatively affected their working life. Patients also revealed that, on average, they spend 18 days per month experiencing fatigue or a lack of energy. Half of patients reported that they would use a daily treatment for the rest of their life if it prevented their IBS symptoms (49%) and a ‘willingness to try anything’ to improve their condition (46%). Despite these alarming statistics, the survey outlined that one third of IBS patients do not think that healthcare professionals take the disease seriously and should provide more support in disease management. When reviewing the attitudes of healthcare professionals towards IBS, results showed that two-thirds agreed that patients should feel listened to and supported, with the vast majority stating that the main aim of their care when managing IBS is significantly improving their patients’ quality of life. Professor Hans Törnblom, lead author of the study, comments on the findings, “IBS can be an extremely tough, emotional and difficult condition to live with and, in addition to dedicating resources to improve the physical burden of IBS, it is essential that care and investment is committed to providing psychological and emotional support for patients. This should come from multi-disciplined healthcare professionals, as well as family members, friends and colleagues.” “The majority of IBS sufferers do not seek medical advice for their condition” added Professor Törnblom. “Of those that do speak to a healthcare professional, it is clear that there are high levels of dissatisfaction with the level of care that they currently receive. Healthcare professionals experience a degree of uncertainty and complexity in managing IBS patients and the research indicates the need for higher levels of communication between care providers and patients to facilitate improved patient outcomes.” References: Understanding symptom burden and attitudes to irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea: Results from patient and healthcare professional surveys. UEG Journal. Published July 2018. Lacy BE, Mearin F, Chang L, et al. Bowel disorders. Gastroenterology 2016; 150: 1393–1407. Lovell RM and Ford AC. Global prevalence of and risk factors for irritable bowel syndrome: A meta-analysis. Clinical Gastroenterol Hepatology 2012; 10: 712–721. Notes to Editors
For further information, to view the full paper or to arrange an expert interview, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Professor Hans Törnblom
Professor Hans Törnblom is from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee. 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 25,000 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
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • 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
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.
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

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

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

In research published in the latest edition of the UEG Journal, Scientists in Finland demonstrated that there is variance in the volatile compounds found in the urine of pancreatic cancer patients to that of healthy controls. Research was then undertaken to assess whether FAIMS (Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry) technology could effectively differentiate between pancreatic cancer patients and healthy individuals as a tool for screening.  FAIMS has recently emerged as a new tool for biomolecular analysis, allowing researchers to distinguish between molecules. The technique is affordable (each test costs approximately €20), non-invasive and it is estimated that up to 20 urine samples could be analysed every hour. When detecting pancreatic cancer and pancreatic pre-malignant lesions, the FAIMS test resulted in a sensitivity and specificity of 85% and 75% respectively.  “The aim is to now improve the sensitivity and specificity of FAIMS technology for pancreatic cancer to 90%” explained researcher Doctor Samuli Nissinen, a specialist in gastroenterology and internal medicine. “We are refining our methods to reach these results, and further tests will soon be undertaken to collect new data”.  "We do believe that FAIMS has the potential to be a screening tool for pancreatic cancer in high-risk groups, such as people with new onset diabetes, pancreatitis and those who have a family history of pancreatic cancer." - Dr Samuli Nissinen The number of deaths from pancreatic cancer in the EU is expected to overtake those of breast cancer within the near future, meaning that pancreatic cancer will become the third leading cause of death from cancer in the EU. The median survival time for someone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Europe is just 4.6 months, with patients losing 98% of their healthy life expectancy at the point of diagnosis. “The number of people dying each year from pancreatic cancer is rising” adds Doctor Nissinen. “Despite its severity, screening the entire population for the disease is not currently plausible. We do believe that FAIMS has the potential to be a screening tool for pancreatic cancer in high-risk groups, such as people with new onset diabetes, pancreatitis and those who have a family history of pancreatic cancer. However, further research is needed to achieve a 90% accuracy”. Calls for more research funding across the EU Meanwhile, over 1,800 digestive health specialists from 99 countries have signed a pledge to call on the EU and its Member States to fund more pancreatic cancer research across Europe. Despite appalling patient outcomes, pancreatic cancer receives less than 2% of overall research funding throughout the continent. Professor Matthias Löhr, UEG pancreatic cancer expert, explains “Pancreatic cancer should be treated as a medical emergency4. There is often a lack of awareness and an ignorance towards pancreatic cancer from all parties involved, including physicians and policy makers. We urgently need more research, more awareness, and a policy supporting the speedy diagnosis and treatment for patients”. To help support this message, increase research and identify the tools for early patient diagnosis, UEG have launched a campaign named #Voice4PanCan. Find out more: https://www.ueg.eu/patient-affairs/voice4pancan/ References: 
  1. Detection of pancreatic cancer by urine electric nose analysis, a proof-of-concept study. Presented at the 25th UEG Week in Barcelona, 31 October, 2017. Published in the 25th United European Gastroenterology Week Barcelona 2017 Abstract Issue of the UEG Journal: https://www.ueg.eu/journal/
  2. Ferlay J., Partensky C., Bray F. More deaths from pancreatic cancer than breast cancer in the EU by 2017. ACTA Oncologica, August 2016.
  3. Carrato et al, 2015. “A Systematic Review of the Burden of Pancreatic Cancer in Europe: Real-World Impact on Survival, Quality of Life and Costs.” DOI 10.1007/s12029-015-9724-1
  4. Löhr, M. 2014. Pancreatic cancer should be treated as a medical emergency. BMJ. Available at: http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g5261
Notes to Editors  For further information, or to arrange an interview with Doctor Nissinen or Professor Löhr, please contact Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu About Doctor Samuli Nissinen Doctor Samuli Nissinen is a specialist in gastroenterology and internal medicine at the Kuopio University Hospital Department of Gastroenterology in Finland. His specialty is within pancreatic carcinoma and his wider research group are currently studying colorectal, prostate and breast carcinoma. About Professor Matthias Löhr Professor Matthias Löhr is a UEG pancreatic cancer expert and member of Pancreatic Cancer Europe. He is from the Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:  
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world.
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations
  • UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe 
Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:            Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes to Editors For further information and to schedule an interview with Professor Philippe van Hootegem, Professor Gigi Veereman or Rita Shergill-Bonner, please email media@ueg.eu or phone Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 The IBD Journey Video View the IBD Journey animated video Inflammatory Bowel Disease Infographic View and download our infographic on paediatric inflammatory bowel disease About Professor Philippe van Hootegem Professor Philippe van Hootegem is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and a Consultant Gastroenterologist at the Sint-Lucas General Hospital, Bruges, Belgium. About Professor Gigi Veereman Professor Gigi Veereman is a member of the UEG Public Affairs Committee and a Paediatric Gastroenterologist at the University Hospital, Brussels, Belgium. About Rita Shergill-Bonner Rita Shergill-Bonner is a Principle Gastroenterology Dietician at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, England. About the Research The study was presented at the 12th Congress of ECCO, Barcelona, February 15-18, 2017. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Find out more by visiting www.ueg.eu To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: 
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations
  • UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
References 
  1. Shergill-Bonner R., et al. Paediatric IBD patients do not meet the daily recommendations of vitamin D and calcium intake: survey based analysis in a tertiary centre. Presented at the 12th Congress of ECCO, Barcelona, February 15-18, 2017. Available here: https://www.ecco-ibd.eu/index.php/publications/congress-abstract-s/abstracts-2017/item/p707-paediatric-ibd-patients-do-not-meet-the-daily-recommendations-of-vitamin-d-and-calcium-intake-survey-based-analysis-in-a-tertiary-centre-2.html
  2. B. Wilson, S. Lönnfors, S. Vermeire. The true impact of IBD: a European Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis patient life. IMPACT Survey 2010-2011. Available here: http://www.efcca.org/sites/default/files/IMPACT-STUDIE_online.pdf

Pancreatic cancer set to become third biggest cancer killer in EU next year

(Vienna, 7 November, 2016) The number of deaths from pancreatic cancer will overtake breast cancer mortality rates in the EU in 2017, a study has found.

The findings, recently presented at UEG Week 2016, mean that pancreatic cancer will become the third leading cause of death from cancer in the EU behind lung and colorectal cancer. Pancreatic cancer mortality rates are increasing in many countries across the EU and it is estimated that 91,500 deaths will occur from the disease next year, compared with 91,000 from breast cancer (see Figure 1 below). The research used time-linear prediction models to estimate mortality rates until 2025, when deaths from pancreatic cancer (111,500) across Europe are projected to have increased by almost 50% since 2010 (76,000). All countries included in the study show varying increases in pancreatic cancer mortality rates from 20% to a staggering 131% increase over the 15-year period (see Figure 2 below).

“Pancreatic cancer survival rate is lower than any other cancer. Consequently, it is absolutely vital that patients receive a diagnosis as early as possible to allow for surgery, which is currently the only potential for a cure” - Professor Matthias Löhr

Despite being the third biggest cancer killer, the incidence of pancreatic cancer across Europe is relatively low in comparison with colorectal, lung and breast cancer. This demonstrates the extremely poor outlook for patients that are diagnosed with the disease which, unlike many other cancers, has not changed in the last 40 years.   Research shows that the median five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer across Europe is 5% and patients lose 98% of their healthy life expectancy at the point of diagnosis. Despite these alarming statistics, 64% of Europeans state that they know very little about pancreatic cancer and currently there is no feasible screening method. Ahead of World Pancreatic Cancer Day on November 17, experts are calling for increased awareness of the disease to allow patients to be diagnosed in time for life-saving surgery. Professor Matthias Löhr, UEG pancreatic cancer specialist, explains, “Pancreatic cancer survival rate is lower than any other cancer. Consequently, it is absolutely vital that patients receive a diagnosis as early as possible to allow for surgery, which is currently the only potential for a cure”. “Members of the public as well as doctors are therefore advised to increase their knowledge of the signs for pancreatic cancer, which include new-onset diabetes, abdominal and back pain, a change in bowel habits and jaundice” adds Professor Löhr. A new video to help increase public awareness of pancreatic cancer is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhQMyCg0LFA&feature=youtu.be
Notes to Editors
Download an infographic on pancreatic cancer For further information and interviews with Professor Matthias Löhr, please email media@ueg.eu or call Luke Paskins on 0044 (0)1444 811099 About Professor Matthias Löhr Professor Matthias Löhr is a UEG pancreatic cancer expert from the Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. About UEG UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together, its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge. Find out more by visiting www.ueg.eu To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including: 
  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Training Support, funding for innovative training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and professional co-operations
  • UEG Journal, published bi-monthly, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • EU Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
References
  1. Ferlay J., Partensky C., Bray F. More deaths from pancreatic cancer than breast cancer in the EU by 2017. ACTA Oncologica, August 2016.
  2. International Agency for Research On Cancer
  3. Carrato A., et al. A Systematic Review of the Burden of Pancreatic Cancer in Europe: Real-World Impact on Survival, Quality of Life and Costs. Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer, May 2014.
  4. Ipsos Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Survey: Global Online Omnibus Survey. November 2014. 

Figure 1 - recorded and projected number of pancreatic and breast cancer deaths in the EU
Figure 1 - recorded and projected number of pancreatic and breast cancer deaths in the UE

Figure 2 - % increase of pancreatic cancer deaths by 2025 Figure 2 - % increase of pancreatic cancer deaths by 2025
Figure 3 - Pancreatic cancer infographic Figure 3 - Pancreatic cancer infographic
<1 2 3 4 5>