Cancer

A Special Issue: the Exocrine Pancreas and its Disorders

Everything you ever wanted to know about the pancreas, its development and function, and the pathogenesis and treatment of its disorders are now covered in a special issue of Gastroenterology. Pancreatology is a rapidly developing field—recent findings from molecular and genetic studies are being developed into new treatment strategies. To update

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Are There Stem Cells in the Esophagus and Stomach?

Researchers have identified potential stem cells in human esophagus and stomach, as well as those in metaplastic esophagus that could lead to esophageal cancer, according to the April issue of Gastroenterology. Stem cells have been reported to exist in the basal layer of the human esophagus—their progeny are believed to

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What is Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma?

Researchers have found that intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (ICCs) are really 2 different groups of tumors, based on molecular and genetic analyses, reported in the April issue of Gastroenterology. These findings identify class-specific mechanisms of oncogenesis that could lead to new treatment approaches for this common liver cancer. Cholangiocarcinoma is the second most

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Can Proton Pump Inhibitors Prevent Esophageal Cancer?

Proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy reduces risk of esophageal cancer in patients with Barrett’s esophagus (BE), according to the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In BE, the squamous epithelium of the distal esophagus is replaced by metaplastic columnar epithelium, as a result of chronic exposure to stomach acid. Patients

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What are the Risks for Relatives of Patients With Colorectal Cancer?

Close relatives of people with colorectal cancer (CRC) have a significant increase in prevalence of advanced neoplasms and should be screened for cancer, according to the March issue of Gastroenterology. Relatives of patients with CRC have been shown to be at increased risk for colorectal neoplasms, but little is known

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Can We Increase the Sensitivity of Pancreatic Cancer Cells to Chemotherapeutics?

Researchers have identified small molecules that increase the ability of chemotherapeutic agents to kill pancreatic cancer cells and slow tumor growth in mice, according to the February issue of Gastroenterology. One way that chemotherapeutics such gemcitabine, 5-fluorouracil, and platinum-based compounds kill cancer cells is by causing tumor suppressor proteins to

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Why Do People Still Develop Colorectal Cancer After Colonoscopy?

Some people who receive screening colonoscopies are still at risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) because neoplastic polyps found are not completely removed, according to the January issue of Gastroenterology. While the quality of colonoscopy examinations has focused on polyp detection, better methods are needed to evaluate polyp removal. The goal

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What Causes Familial Visceral Myopathy?

A heterozygous variant in enteric smooth muscle actin γ-2 (ACTG2) can cause familial visceral myopathy (FVM), according to the December issue of Gastroenterology. The altered gene product appears to aggregate, rather than form actin filaments, in intestinal smooth muscle cells, disrupting their contraction and reducing bowel motility. FVM is a rare

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How do Intestinal Stem Cells get their Wnt?

Intestinal homeostasis and stem cells are not affected when Paneth cells stop producing Wnt, but Wnt is required to maintain the stem cell niche in intestinal epithelial cultures, according to a mouse study in the December issue of Gastroenterology. These findings indicate that underlying mesenchymal cells provide a secondary physiological

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Why Does Colonoscopy Protect Against Left-Sided Cancers?

Polyps with advanced pathology are significantly smaller in the right than left colon, and are therefore more likely to be missed during colonoscopy examinations, according to the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Mortality from colorectal cancer (CRC) is decreasing, in part because colonoscopy screening is increasing, leading to

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