Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, Gastrointestinal Disease / 06.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Anas Raed, MD Section of General Internal Medicine Augusta University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality rates have been decreasing in the US since mid 1980s, however, recent evidence shows that incidence and mortality rates of CRC in patients younger than 50 years have been increasing significantly. In spite of the increasing trend of colorectal cancer, routine screening of this population has not been addressed due to lack of evidence and cost-effectiveness. Administering screening colonoscopy for all individuals younger than 50 years might not be feasible and, therefore routine screening colonoscopy for specific age groups might reduce the disparity of the incidence in this disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Pain Research / 09.04.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Joseph Pergolizzi MD Senior Partner and Director of Research Naples Anesthesia and Pain Associates Naples, Florida MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: There are roughly 100 million Americans living with chronic pain and many battle debilitating side effects because of their pain medication, including Painstipation otherwise known as opioid-induced constipation (OIC.) In fact, OIC is the most common side effect with approximately 40-80 percent of patients on chronic opioid therapy experiencing it. To better understand this community, the Painstipation survey, conducted by Salix Pharmaceuticals in partnership with the U.S. Pain Foundation, surveyed 441 U.S. adults with chronic pain who were on opioid therapy and suffering from OIC. It gave great insight into this community as it found:
  • More than half (51 percent) of chronic pain patients have been suffering from opioid-induced constipation  for three years or longer
  • Most patients (73 percent) agree that one of the biggest challenges of having OIC is that medications don’t work quickly enough to relieve pain associated with OIC.
  • 53 percent of patients say they want relief for OIC in under four hours
  • Only half of patients surveyed (73 percent) surveyed said they were informed by their doctors that taking opioid medications might result in constipation before they began taking them
  • 77 percent of respondents reported suffering from OIC for at least one year
  • When asked, roughly one-third (32 percent) of patients reported that their doctor does not talk to them specifically about potential adverse drug-to-drug interactions (DDI) of their current prescription and/or over-the-counter medications.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Gastrointestinal Disease, Pharmacology / 22.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Devin Abrahami, graduate student Centre for Clinical Epidemiology, Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital, Montreal Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The goal of our study was to assess whether a class of antidiabetic drugs, the dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitors, is associated with the risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). While these drugs control blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes, there is some evidence that they may also be involved in immune function, and possibly in conditions such as IBD. In our study, we found that the use of DPP-4 inhibitors was associated with a 75% increased risk of IBD, with the highest risk observed after three to four years of use. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Infections / 08.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Esther Bullitt, Ph.D. Associate Professor Dept. of Physiology & Biophysics Boston University School of Medicine Boston, MA  02118-2526  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response:      We know that saliva has properties that allow us to swallow easily, and to help prevent gum disease and infections in the mouth. But is that really the only use for the 1-2 liters (1-2 quarts) of saliva we produce every day?  We decided to test whether a component of saliva, Histatin-5, can help prevent diarrheal disease (Traveler’s Diarrhea by Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)) that is caused by bacteria commonly found in contaminated food and water. ETEC are bacteria that have hundreds of thin hair-like fibers on their surface, called pili. These bacteria bind specifically to the surface of the gut using these pili, and the bacteria need to stay bound long enough to initiate disease. Studies by Mike Levine’s group in the 1970’s showed that pili are necessary for enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) to cause disease. No adhesion, no disease. One aid to remaining bound is the unwinding and rewinding of the pili. These helical fibers can unwind up to 8 times their original length, acting as shock absorbers during fluid flow.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease, UT Southwestern / 09.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amit Singal MD MS David Bruton Jr. Professor in Clinical Cancer Research Associate Professor of Medicine Medical Director of Liver Tumor Program Clinical Chief of Hepatology University of Texas Southwestern  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of primary liver cancer, often has a very poor prognosis because most cancers are found at a late stage when curative treatment is not available. However, if the cancer is found early, curative therapies are possible and patients can typically live longer than 5 years. There is currently debate how at-risk patients with chronic liver disease should be screened - with an abdominal ultrasound alone or using a combination of abdominal ultrasound and a blood test called alpha fetoprotein. Many professional societies have traditionally recommended the former, i.e. ultrasound alone, given few data showing a benefit of adding alpha fetoprotein. Our study examines all available literature examining this question and found using the two tests in combination significantly increases the likelihood of finding the cancer at an early stage. Whereas abdominal ultrasound misses over half of all cancers, using it in combination with alpha fetoprotein can detect two-thirds of cancers at an early stage. (more…)
ASCO, Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease / 02.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Ana Vivancos PhD, Principal Investigator Cancer Genomics Group Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO Barcelona  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Our study was designed to address a key issue in liquid biopsy testing: analytical sensitivity. We know that mutations in plasma of mCRC patients show a wide range in their allelic frequencies (0.01-90%), the biological basis for which remains unclear. We also know that around 35% of cases show very low mutant allele fractions (MAFs), < 1%, therefore highlighting the need of using high sensitivity techniques in the routine lab in order to properly detect mutations. We have compared two different testing methods that are being used in liquid biopsy: Digital PCR (OncoBEAM RAS test, BEAMing) with a limit of detection of 0.02% vs qPCR (Idylla ctKRAS test, Biocartis) with an analytical sensitivity of 1%. Our findings indicate that detection sensitivity decreases for the qPCR based method in cases with low MAF (<1%) and more so when MAF values are very low (<0.01%). (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Probiotics / 05.01.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Valerie Sung MBBS (Hons) FRACP MPH PhD Department of Paediatrics The University of Melbourne Murdoch Childrens Research Institute Parkville, Australia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Infant colic is excessive crying in babies less than 3 months old with no underlying medical cause. It affects 1 in 5 newborns, is very distressing, and is associated with maternal depression, Shaken Baby Syndrome, and early cessation of breastfeeding. Up to now, there has been no single effective treatment for colic. The probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 has recently shown promise but results from trials have been conflicting. In particular, a previous trial from Australia, the largest in the world so far, did not find the probiotic to be effective in both breastfed and formula-fed infants with colic. This international collaborative study, which collected raw data from 345 infants from existing trials from Italy, Poland, Canada and Australia, confirms Lactobacillus reuteri to be effective in breastfed infants with colic. However, it cannot be recommended for formula-fed infants with colic. Compared to a placebo, the probiotic group was two times more likely to reduce crying by 50 per cent, by the 21st day of treatment, for the babies who were exclusively breastfed. The number needed to treat for day 21 success in breastfed infants was 2.6. In contrast, the formula fed infants in the probiotic group seemed to do worse than the placebo group, but the numbers for this group were limited. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Esophageal, Gastrointestinal Disease, JAMA / 21.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Edward D. McCoul, MD, MPH Ochsner Medical Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Population-level data suggests a link between gastroesophageal reflux disease and cancer of the throat and sinuses in adults over 65 years of age.  T he strength of association between reflux and cancer is strongest for anatomic sites closest to the esophagus, where acid and other stomach contents may have the greatest exposure. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Gastrointestinal Disease, JAMA, Transplantation / 06.12.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dina Kao, MD, FRCPC Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We wanted to see what would be the best way to deliver fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT.) There were many controlled studies of FMT delivered by various methods, showing different success rates. Not only were the route of delivery different, but the amount of donor stools also varied greatly from study to study. It appeared that most of the studies delivered by the upper routes gave a smaller amount of donor stool compared to the studies delivering FMT by colonoscopy. Our hypothesis was that given the same amount of donor stool, the effectiveness would be similar by capsules and by colonsocopy. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Pain Research / 28.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charles Melbern (Mel) Wilcox, MD, MSPH Director of the division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology University of Alabama-Birmingham  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this survey? What are the main findings? Response: Nearly every person experiences pain at some point in their life – for many, the pain is acute and occasional, but for others, the pain is chronic and can be debilitating. Research shows that more than 25.3 million Americans suffer from daily pain and, every year, consumers purchase more than $20 billion per year on over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines. In my work with the American Gastroenterological Association, we set out to explore the behaviors, beliefs, and misunderstandings that Americans have when it comes to OTC pain medicines. We surveyed 1,015 U.S. adults and 251 gastroenterologists to gain insight on how they were approaching pain management and OTC pain medicine use. The survey found that Americans are routinely ignoring OTC pain medicine labels and are not consulting their health-care professionals about their pain before taking OTC pain medicines. As a direct result, gastroenterologists are noticing their patients experiencing complications and unintentional overdose symptoms. They see an average of 90 overdose cases each year, about two a week, due to OTC pain medicine overdose. Ninety percent of gastroenterologists believe their patients require more and better education on how to use OTC pain medicine safely. They find that patients are not fully understanding the harms associated with taking too much. When asked why patients take more than the recommended dose, Americans say that they are confident in their ability to manage their medication (32 percent) or they wanted to feel better faster, mistakenly thinking more medicine would be the solution (73 percent). (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Gastrointestinal Disease / 26.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Iquity IncChase Spurlock, PhD, CEO of IQuity Inc. and Thomas M. Aune, PhD, Co-Founder of IQuity Inc. MedicalResearch.com: Why did you develop IsolateIBS-IBD? Response: Isolate IBS-IBD arose from work started at Vanderbilt University, which found that autoimmune diseases exhibit distinct RNA patterns in blood and that these patterns often are specific for a particular disease. In our longitudinal and cross-sectional studies of many human conditions that span both autoimmune and non-autoimmune disease categories, we found that differences detected at the level of RNA can provide an accurate snapshot of a person’s disease. Using RNA, we can tell at a very early stage if a pattern exists that indicates a specific disease. With this information, providers can initiate treatment plans sooner and have an additional tool in their toolbox when making diagnostic determinations. We developed this test because the symptoms of IBS and IBD are very similar, which can make it difficult and time-consuming for doctors to achieve an accurate diagnosis. IsolateIBS-IBD helps providers distinguish between the two conditions. It shouldn’t be viewed as a replacement or stand-alone test — doctors still need to use it in conjunction with clinical observation combined with traditional tests and procedures like a CT scan or endoscopic examination of the colon — but it can dramatically speed the diagnostic process. IQuity delivers results to providers within seven days of receiving the patient’s sample in the laboratory, allowing doctors to begin discussing a course of treatment as soon as possible.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, JAMA, Lymphoma / 08.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: ANSMRosemary Dray-Spira, MD, PhD Department of Epidemiology French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM) Saint-Denis, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) agents are increasingly used for the management of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), either alone or in combination with thiopurines. Their clinical benefits have been largely assessed, however they may expose to potentially serious adverse effects. While an increased risk of lymphoma has been established with thiopurines, up to now such a risk of lymphoma remained uncertain with anti-TNF agents. In this study based upon a large, nationwide cohort of 189,289 patients with IBD, the use of anti-TNF agents alone was found associated with a 2 to 3 fold increase in the risk of lymphoma, similarly to thiopurines alone. In addition, the combination of these two treatments was associated with a 6 fold increase in the risk of lymphoma, ie a higher risk than with each treatment used alone. Although these differences are statistically significant, the risk of lymphoma among patients exposed to anti-TNF agents is less than 1 case per 1000 person-years. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease / 06.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Eamonn M.M. Quigley, M.D. Director, Lynda K. and David M. Underwood Center for Digestive Disorders Houston Methodist Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The BURDEN IBS-C (Better Understanding and Recognition of the Disconnects, Experiences, and Needs of Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation) Study was designed to develop a better understanding of the experiences and attitudes associated with IBS-C. This study consisted of more than 1,300 individuals who met IBS-C criteria (mean age 46 years; 73 percent of respondents were female) and completed the author-developed, IRB-approved online questionnaire. The study also evaluated, through an approximately 45-minute long questionnaire, more than 325 healthcare providers who treat patients with IBS-C. Notably, the study found many patients experienced stress, lost productivity and described a feeling of frustration with their condition. HCPs recognize this frustration, yet underestimate how many patients have “accepted” their condition. Both patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) also noted a lack of satisfaction in currently available prescription treatments for IBS-C. Detailed findings can be found here. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Kidney Disease / 06.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Charat Thongprayoon, MD Bassett Medical Center Cooperstown, NY 13326 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We conducted a meta-analysis including 5 observational studies with 536,902 patients to assess the risks of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and/or end-stage kidney disease (ESRD) in patients who are taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and/or H2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs). We found a statistically significant association between the use of PPI and 1.3-fold increased risk of CKD or ESRD development. Compared with H2Ras, the use of proton pump inhibitors was significantly associated with 1.3-fold higher risk for CKD development. Conversely, there was no significant association between the use of H2RAs and chronic kidney disease. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Pharmaceutical Companies, University of Michigan / 23.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: William D. Chey, M.D., F.A.C.G. Timothy T. Nostrant Professor of Gastroenterology & Nutrition Director, Digestive Disorders Nutrition & Lifestyle Program Michigan Medicine Ann Arbor, Michigan  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Functional Dyspepsia (FD) has been characterized as recurring indigestion with no known organic cause and is an area of high unmet medical need. This medical condition, which is non-life threatening, can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. It remains poorly recognized and presents a significant management challenge for providers and patients. Gastrointestinal symptoms can include epigastric pain or discomfort, inability to finish a normal-sized meal, heaviness, pressure, nausea, bloating and belching. Currently, there are no FDA-approved drugs for FD. Off-label medications are used to treat the condition and patient dissatisfaction remains high.[1] In a real-world, observational study, called FDACT™ (Functional Dyspepsia Adherence and Compliance Trial), we analyzed information on the frequency of FD symptoms, daily consumption of capsules, onset of action, improvement in FD symptoms, quality of life and patient satisfaction among 600 patients who took FDgard®, a nonprescription medical food specially formulated for the dietary management of FD. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Kidney Disease, Microbiome, Supplements / 19.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Ron Walborn Jr. Prebiotin CEO  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The product Prebiotin™ Prebiotic Fiber was brought to market in 2007 by Dr. Frank Jackson, a gastroenterologist out of Harrisburg, PA. He found through 40 years of experience with his patients that a variety of digestive issues benefitted from daily supplementation with a soluble prebiotic fiber, specifically, oligofructose-enriched inulin (OEI) derived from chicory root. In the late summer of 2012, Prebiotin caught the attention of Dr. Dominic Raj at the Internal Medicine Department of George Washington University. Dr. Raj’s laboratory showed that patients with kidney disease may have a higher level of release of endotoxins like p-Cresol sulfate and indole from the bacteria in the gut, which can move into the bloodstream and promote inflammation. This early work was the basis of a successful grant application. Researchers were interested in investigating the therapeutic potential of altering the composition and/or function of the gut microbiome in this patient population, based on the understanding that by building up the levels of healthy bacteria in the gut, undesirable bacteria is eventually crowded out, thereby reducing the release of harmful endotoxins into the system. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Global Health, Lancet / 18.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gilaad Kaplan, MD, MPH, FRCPC Associate Professor CIHR New Investigator & AI-HS Population Health Investigator Co-Director, Environmental Health Research Group Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases & Institute of Public Health Departments of Medicine & Community Health Sciences University of Calgary MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The aim of the study was to provide a global perspective on the epidemiology of the inflammatory bowel diseases in the 21st century. During the 20th century IBD was considered a disease of the Western world. At the turn of the 21st century, IBD has become a global disease with accelerating number of cases in the developing world as it transition towards a westernized society. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Microbiome / 18.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Greg Gloor, PhD Principal investigator Professor at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute. MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We sampled the bacteria in the gut (stool) in over 1000 members of a super healthy population in China across the age ranges of 3 to over 100. Exclusion criteria included a history of genetic or chronic disease (intergenerational in the case of people younger than 30), no smoking, drinking or drug use (including no prescription drugs). Our goal was to identify what, if any changes in the makeup of the gut microbiota occurred in this population so that we could define "what is associated with health". We found three things.
  • First, that the expected differences between the very young and everyone else were found in this population. This indicates that we could observe the standards signatures of a maturing gut microbiota.
  • Second, that the gut microbiota of very healthy very elderly group (over 95 yo) was very similar to that of any very healthy person over the age of 30.
  • Third, we found that the gut microbiota of 20yo people (in three distinct groups) was different from all other age groups. The reason for the differences observed in the 20 yo groups from all the others is unknown, but is not methodological in origin.
(more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Pharmacology / 15.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Brooks D. Cash, M.D., A.G.A.F., F.A.C.G., F.A.S.G.E. Professor of Medicine and Chief of the USA Gastroenterology Division Director, Motility and Physiology Service University of South Alabama Mobile, Alabama  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) among patients with IBS-M (mixed diarrhea and constipation) is a challenging and difficult to diagnose and treat sub-type of IBS. Patients with IBS-M represent a dissatisfied group of IBS patients due to the lack of proven therapies. It is an area of high unmet medical need. Among adult patients with IBS, a sizeable proportion suffers from IBS-M with prevalence rates estimated to be between 44 to 66 percent of IBS sufferers[1],[2],[3]. IBS-M patients carry a heavy burden, characterized by bouts of constipation interrupted by diarrhea and vice versa. Physicians find IBS-M challenging to manage because of the difficulty in avoiding ‘overshoots’ when diarrhea management can turn into constipation and vice versa.[4]  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, JAMA, Surgical Research / 04.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Marc D. Basson, MD, PhD, MBA Professor of Surgery, Pathology, and Biomedical Science Senior Associate Dean for Medicine and Research University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences Grand Forks, ND 58202  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I and other surgeons have previously had the experience of caring for patients with appendicitis who had recently undergone colonoscopy, and wondered if there might be a connection.  However, colonoscopy and appendicitis are both common events, and so it would be difficult to tell whether they are linked or just coincidences from scattered occurrences. After obtaining appropriate regulatory approvals, we identified almost 400,000 veterans from the US Department of Veterans Affairs database who had undergone screening colonoscopy and compared their rates of appendectomy and acute appendicitis in the week following colonoscopy to rates of appendectomy and appendicitis over each of the following 51 weeks.  We asked the question in several different ways and verified our results by examining surgical and pathology reports.  Depending on how the question was asked and appendicitis or appendectomy defined, rates of appendectomy and appendicitis were clearly 4-9 times higher in the first week after diagnostic colonoscopy.  This wasn’t true when we asked whether appendectomy was more common after several other procedures that also required sedation and contact with the medical system. (more…)
Author Interviews, Coffee, Gastrointestinal Disease, Hepatitis - Liver Disease / 03.10.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Patrizia Carrieri PhD INSERM U912 - ORS PACA IHU - Faculté de Médecine Marseille, France MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study is based on the longitudinal data of the French  ANRS HEPAVIH cohort of patients with HIV and Hepatitis C co-infection. This cohort was set up thanks to a collaboration between INSERM (National Institute of health and medical research) UMR912 in Marseille, the ISPED (public health and epidemiology institute) in Bordeaux and several hospital/university sites. Our INSERM team in Marseille is specialized in the study of the impact of behaviors on HIV and HCV outcomes, including mortality. We could think that HCV cure was enough to reduce mortality in HIV-HCV patients as the mortality risk was 80% lower in those who were cured of (i.e. who “cleared”) Hepatitis C thanks to treatment. However, our study showed that, even after HCV cure, sociobehavioral factors still matter: drinking at least 3 cups of coffee a day was associated with a 50% reduction in mortality risk as well as not smoking which was also associated with a reduced mortality risk. This association between elevated coffee intake and reduced mortality risk is probably due to the properties of polyphenols contained in coffee which can protect the liver and also reduce inflammation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Gastrointestinal Disease, Lancet, Mayo Clinic, Weight Research / 29.09.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof Michael Camilleri, MD Gastroenterologist, Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Physiology at Mayo Clinic Clinical Enteric Neuroscience Translational and Epidemiological Research (CENTER) Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Liraglutide is approved for treatment of obesity; the precise mechanisms for the beneficial weight loss are unclear. We are interested to learn whether it is possible to identify people who are more likely to benefit from this treatment. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease, Infections, Nature, Stem Cells / 20.08.2017

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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, JAMA / 15.08.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Microbiome / 28.07.2017

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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Gastrointestinal Disease, Nutrition / 14.07.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Gastrointestinal Disease / 09.07.2017

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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 10.06.2017

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 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Lancet, Vaccine Studies / 13.05.2017

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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease / 13.05.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)