• Gut Microbiome Determines Efficacy of Cancer Immunotherapy

Gut Microbiome Determines Efficacy of Cancer Immunotherapy

Specific groups of intestinal microbes can boost the anti-tumor effects of cancer immunotherapies in mice, researchers show. Cancer immunotherapies that block immune inhibitory pathways have been tested in patients with several tumor types, but responses have varied. A study published in Science, while not the first to link gut microbes

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  • Should Patients Undergo Endoscopic Sphincterotomy Before Receiving Self-expandable Metallic Stents?

Should Patients Undergo Endoscopic Sphincterotomy Before Receiving Self-expandable Metallic Stents?

Endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) provides no benefit to patients receiving self-expandable metallic stents (SEMS) for a biliary stricture caused by pancreatic cancer, researchers report in the June issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The randomized controlled trial showed that ES procedure did not affect number of adverse events, SEMS patency, or

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  • Special Issue: Food, the Immune System, and the GI Tract

Special Issue: Food, the Immune System, and the GI Tract

The digestion of food and absorption of nutrients is the principal role of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract—everyone wants to know what we should eat and how it affects our body. Interactions between food and the immune system affect our microbiome, development of food allergies, nutrition, risk for inflammatory disorders or cancer, and even

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  • Genetic Analysis of Tumors Could Improve With Proper Controls

Genetic Analysis of Tumors Could Improve With Proper Controls

Up to two thirds of mutations identified in tumors also exist in matched, non-tumor tissues, researchers have found. It is therefore important for oncologists to identify the mutations that actually promote the progression of a patient’s tumor before selecting therapy. The finding, published in Science Translational Medicine on 15 April, comes

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Genetic Analysis of Icelandic Population Provides Disease Insights

Scientists in Iceland have performed an unprecedentated genetic analysis of an entire nation, associating previously undiscovered mutations with disorders such as liver disease and gallstones. In 4 articles published last week in Nature Genetics, researchers at DeCODE, an Icelandic genetics firm owned by Amgen, described sequencing the genomes of 2636

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New Programs Track Off-Label Use of Targeted Cancer Drugs

Two programs are underway to track off-label use of targeted cancer drugs and patient outcomes, as well as facilitate patient access to these agents. According to Nature News, more than 60% of US prescriptions for cancer drugs are for off-label use—often because patients have a tumor with a feature or

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  • Liver Metastases, or Syphilis?

Liver Metastases, or Syphilis?

Researchers report initially mistaking late-stage syphilis for liver metastases in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Irphan Gaslightwala et al describe a 59-year-old man with a history of chronic lymphocytic leukemia; 6 months of persistent fevers, chills, and night sweats; and loss of 50 pounds. A positron emission tomography–computed tomography

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How Can We Tell if Patients are Still at Risk for HCC after HCV Therapy?

For patients with chronic Hepatitis C virus infection, high levels of α-fetoprotein after therapy can identify those at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), researchers report in the July issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. In persons with chronic HCV infection, lack of sustained virologic response (SVR) 24 weeks after the end

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  • What is the Cause of this Mechanic’s Abdominal Pain?

What is the Cause of this Mechanic’s Abdominal Pain?

A 56-year-old male auto mechanic experienced fever, chills, drenching night sweats, malaise, nausea, and abdominal pain and distention for 6 weeks, associated with 15 kg of lost weight. Twenty years ago he was diagnosed with ileocolonic Crohn’s disease, but he had been asymptomatic on mercaptopurine therapy for the past 10 years. He stopped smoking

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  • What are Choledochoceles?

What are Choledochoceles?

Choledochoceles are cystic dilatations of the intraduodenal portion of the common bile duct. They are often classified as Type III biliary cysts, but have distinct demographic and anatomic features, and a lower risk of malignancy than other types of choledochal cysts. In the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology,

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