H. pylori May Increase Risk of Stomach Cancer By Turning On Subset of Stem Cells

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Michael Sigal PhD

Clinical scientist of the Charité — Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Investigator at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We have previously found that H. pylori can colonize gastric glands and that in colonized glands the epithelial turnover was increased. We wanted to characterize the mechanisms that control the gland turnover in the stomach.

We found that Axin2, a classic Wnt target gene, marks two different subpopulations of cells with stem cell properties, one of which is Lgr5-positive and the other one Lgr5-negative. Both populations are affected by Rspondin 3, that is produced in myofibroblasts right beneath the stem cell compartment. Rspondin is crucial for stem cell signaling and knockout of Rspondin 3 in myofibroblasts results in loss of Lgr5 and Axin2 expression. Once we increased the bioavailability of Rspondin, that now could also interact with cells outside of the stem cell compartment, we noticed that the number of Axin2 positive stem cells dramatically increased. Of interest, only Lgr5-negative cells expanded in number and proliferate more, while the Lgr5-positive cells remained silenced.

Infection with Helicobacter pylori leads to an expansion of Axin2-positive cells which is driven by increased expression of Rspondin3. Expansion of the long lived stem cell pool could be an explanation for how H. pylori infection increases the risk for gastric cancer.

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Review of Celiac Disease and Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Maureen Leonard, MD MMSc Clinical Director, Center for Celiac Research and Treatment Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School Associate Investigator, Nutrition Obesity Research Center, Harvard Medical School MassGeneral Hospital for Children | Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition

Dr. Leonard

Maureen Leonard, MD MMSc
Clinical Director, Center for Celiac Research and Treatment
Instructor in Pediatrics
Associate Investigator, Nutrition Obesity Research Center
Harvard Medical School
Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition
MassGeneral Hospital for Children  

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In this systematic review, we discuss the clinical approach to celiac disease and nonceliac gluten sensitivity, highlighting how to distinguish between these two conditions and their management. These disorders cannot be distinguished based on symptoms. A single elevated serology test is not diagnostic for celiac disease, and patients with abnormal serologic testing must be referred to a gastroenterologist for further testing and remain on a gluten-containing diet until their diagnostic evaluation is completed. While the treatment for both conditions is a gluten-free diet, the possibility of long-term complications differs.

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Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Lower In Rural Households

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Eric I. Benchimol, MD, PhD, FRCPC Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, University of Ottawa Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Ottawa, ON Canada

Dr. Benchimol

Eric I. Benchimol, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology, University of Ottawa
Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Ottawa, ON Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We found that living in a rural household (compared to urban households) was protective against developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). People living in a rural household were around 10% less likely to get IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis).

While our finding that IBD was more common in people living in urban households was similar to other studies from around the world, there were a number of new, interesting findings:

  1. Living in a rural household was most protective against pediatric-onset IBD. In fact, it was not protective in IBD with onset between ages 18-39, 40-64, or 65 and older at diagnosis.
  2. Living in a rural household in the first 5 years of life was highly protective against IBD later in life.

These findings indicate the importance of early life environmental exposures in the subsequent development of IBD. This effect has been seen in the inflammatory bowel disease literature when examining other environmental risk factors, particularly early-life antibiotic use and air pollution. These risk factors seem to have the strongest effect of increasing the risk of childhood-onset IBD, and not adult-onset disease.

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Study Finds Diet Not Connected to GI Problems in Children With Autism

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Bradley James Ferguson, PhD University of Missouri School of Medicine

Dr. Ferguson

Bradley James Ferguson, PhD
University of Missouri School of Medicine 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have gastrointestinal problems, such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and abdominal pain, but the cause of these GI issues is not currently known. Previous research from our laboratory showed a significant positive relationship between cortisol levels and GI problems, especially for constipation. However, it is possible that other factors such as diet may affect GI functioning, especially since many children have altered diets. This study examined 32 different nutrients in the children’s diets, as assessed by a food frequency questionnaire that assessed the participant’s diet over the past month, and how each nutrient was related to upper and lower GI tract symptom scores over the past month created from the Questionnaire on Pediatric Gastrointestinal Symptoms – Rome III. The results showed no significant relationships between any of the nutrients and GI symptoms, suggesting that diet was not associated with GI symptoms in this sample.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors Linked To Increased Risk of Adverse Effects and and Death

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Ziyad Al-Aly MD FASN Assistant Professor of Medicine Co-director for Clinical Epidemiology Center Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine Saint Louis, Missouri

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly

Ziyad Al-Aly MD FASN
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Co-director for Clinical Epidemiology Center
Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine
Saint Louis, Missouri
Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Education
Veterans Affairs Saint Louis Health Care System

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) are commonly used, and they are associated with adverse events including kidney disease, dementia, fractures, cardiovascular disease, and pneumonia. We asked the question of whether this translates to increased risk of death.

We conducted this large cohort study to specifically examine the association between PPI use and risk of death. The results consistently showed an association between use of PPI and increased mortality risk. Moreover, there was a graded relationship between duration of PPI use and risk of death in that longer duration of use was associated with incrementally higher risk of death.

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Prebiotics May Help Limit Obesity In Childhood

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Raylene Reimer, PhD, RD Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology University of Calgary Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Cumming School of Medicine Full Scientist Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Dr. Reimer

Raylene Reimer, PhD, RD
Professor, Faculty of Kinesiology
University of Calgary Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Cumming School of Medicine Full Scientist
Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The human gut microbiota is a complex and dynamic population of microorganisms that benefit the human host through a variety of microbial activities (e.g. production of vitamins, immune regulation, utilization of dietary fiber). Despite these benefits however, it is now recognized that disruption of the microbiota (dysbiosis) can upset homeostasis and contribute to diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Manipulation of the gut microbiota to prevent or treat chronic disease is now an area of intense scientific and clinical interest. Dietary prebiotics, such as inulin and oligofructose, are used selectively by host microorganisms to confer a health benefit. Prebiotics have previously been shown to reduce body fat, improve appetite control and reduce blood glucose in adults with overweight or obesity.

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FDgard® Demonstrated Rapid Relief of Symptoms in Functional Dyspepsia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

William D. Chey, M.D., F.A.C.G.</strong> Director, Division of Gastroenterology Michigan Medicine Gastroenterology Clinic Ann Arbor, Michigan

Dr. Chey

William D. Chey, M.D., F.A.C.G.
Director, Division of Gastroenterology
Michigan Medicine Gastroenterology Clinic
Ann Arbor, Michigan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Functional Dyspepsia (FD), which is persistent or recurring upper abdominal pain, burning, or fullness with no known organic cause, is a relatively common and often frustrating condition. The precise causes of this condition are unknown, but problems with mild inflammation, leakiness of the lining of the gut, overactive sensation, and abnormal contractions of the upper digestive tract are thought to play a role in many patients. FD often reoccurs over time and it is an area of high unmet medical need.

Functional Dyspepsia can have a significant impact on quality of life. Currently, off-label medications are used to treat FD, as there is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved pharmaceutical product for the condition.

An estimated 62 percent of FD patients suffer from Epigastric Pain Syndrome (EPS, which is epigastric pain or burning), while an estimated 73 percent of FD patients suffer from Postprandial Distress Syndrome (PDS, which is early fullness, pressure and heaviness); 35 percent suffer from both.

In this study, we compared the efficacy of a unique encapsulated formulation of caraway oil and l-Menthol, the primary component in peppermint oil), (COLM-SST) to placebo in patients taking their usual Functional Dyspepsia medications. Caraway oil contains carvone and d-limonene, which have gastroprotective and prokinetic effects; l-Menthol has anti-inflammatory, prokinetic, analgesic and gastroprotective effects.

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First Report Of A Therapeutic Vaccine For Gluten Sensitive Celiac Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Leslie Williams, BS, RN, MBA</strong> Director, Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer <strong>Dr Robert P Anderson MBChB BMedSc PhD FRACP</strong> Chief Scientific Officer ImmusanT Cambridge, MALeslie Williams, BS, RN, MBA

Director, Founder, President and
Chief Executive Officer and

Dr Robert P Anderson MBChB BMedSc PhD FRACP
Chief Scientific Officer
ImmusanT, Cambridge, MA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The 2 Phase 1 trials were randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center studies evaluating the safety, tolerability, and relevant bioactivity of Nexvax2 in HLA-DQ2.5+ patients with celiac disease. In one study, patients received three fixed doses of Nexvax2 or placebo once per week over a three-week period. In the other study, patients received 16 fixed doses of Nexvax2 or placebo twice per week over an eight-week period. Both studies evaluated a range of fixed, intradermal dose administrations in a series of ascending dose cohorts, which included a crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled oral gluten challenge in the screening and post-treatment periods. The primary outcome measures were the number and percentage of adverse events in the treatment period.

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Novel Peppermint Oil Formulation Designed To Control Irritable Bowel Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Brooks D. Cash, MD</strong> Chief, Gastroenterology Division Professor of Medicine University of South Alabama Mobile, AL 36688

Dr. Cash

Brooks D. Cash, MD
Chief, Gastroenterology Division
Professor of Medicine
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL 36688

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic functional disorder characterized by multiple symptoms including, but not limited to, abdominal pain or discomfort, constipation, diarrhea, urgency of bowel movement (BM), a sensation of incomplete evacuation, pain at evacuation, abdominal bloating, and passage of gas or mucus. IBS can be classified into four primary subtypes: mixed IBS (IBS-M), diarrhea-predominant IBS (IBS-D), constipation-predominant IBS (IBS-C), and unsubtyped IBS (IBS-U). Among adult patients with IBS, a sizeable proportion suffers from IBS-M, with prevalence rates among IBS patients estimated to be between 44% to 66%. Because of the variability in symptoms associated with IBS-M and the lack of effective or approved therapies, clinicians often face challenges in managing this common IBS subtype.

PO and its active ingredient, l-Menthol, are kappa opioid agonists, possess smooth muscle calcium channel antagonist and serotonergic (5HT3) antagonist properties, and exert anti-inflammatory, anti-infective, and carminative effect. A recent meta-analysis of medical therapies for IBS found that PO had the lowest number needed to treat among the various options evaluated. The previously published IBS Reduction Evaluation and Safety Trial (IBSREST) showed that PO-SST, a novel formulation of PO using solid-state microspheres to target delivery to the small intestine, was an effective IBS therapy at 24 hours, with improved efficacy at 4 weeks in a combined group of IBS-M and IBS-D patients. In view of the unmet need in IBS-M, we performed a post hoc analysis of the effects of PO-SST among only the IBS-M patients from the IBSREST trial.

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Genetic Marker Can Determine Cirrhosis Patients Who Do Not Benefit From Hepatitis C Cure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Winston Dunn, MD Assistant Professor The University of Kansas Medical Center

Dr. Dunn

Dr. Winston Dunn, MD
Assistant Professor
The University of Kansas Medical Center

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: It is widely believed that everyone with HCV can be cured with the medications now a day. But sadly, about 5% of the patients already have very bad damage done to the liver. We call this decompensated cirrhosis. Our medication is still very effective in curing the virus, but in decompensated cirrhosis, curing the virus is not always enough.

Only about half to two-thirds of patients with decompensated cirrhosis clinically gets better, but the remaining struggles along or even gets worse after the cure. That is the problem. So, our research was to understand why that was.

We used genetic factor to predict which patient would get better and which patient would not. We found that a gene previous found to be predictive of fatty liver and fibrosis is also predictive of recovery in this setting.

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