• 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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  • A Non-Antibiotic Against Clostridium difficile Infection

A Non-Antibiotic Against Clostridium difficile Infection

A non-antibiotic drug reduces the effects Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) by disabling the bacteria’s toxins, a study showed in mice. The orally administered agent, ebselen, has been in clinical trials for an unrelated condition and could offer a new approach for combating multidrug-resistant CDI. C difficile infection causes life-threatening diarrhea and

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  • Which Patients with Early-stage Ulcerative Colitis Have the Worst Prognoses?

Which Patients with Early-stage Ulcerative Colitis Have the Worst Prognoses?

It is a challenge to accurately identify patients with early-stage ulcerative colitis (UC) who are at highest risk for a poor outcome and therefore might require salvage therapy. In a Perspective article in the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Walter Reinisch et al present prognostic factors for adults with newly

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  • Food Emulsifiers Increase Intestinal Permeability to Promote Inflammation

Food Emulsifiers Increase Intestinal Permeability to Promote Inflammation

Food additives commonly used to thicken and stabilize processed foods disrupt the intestinal microbiota to cause inflammation, researchers found in a study of mice. Emulsifiers are added to foods to hold together mixtures of fat and water, which would otherwise separate. Healthy mice fed a diet containing commonly used emulsifiers (1%

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How Good Gut Microbes Resist Inflammation

Gut commensal bacteria survive inflammation by making a simple switch to their protective coats, researchers show. When harmful microbes like salmonella infect the gut, the innate immune system produces antimicrobial peptides to kill them. But these pathogenic microbes are often similar to the commensal microbes that live in the gut—it was

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  • Author Q and A Series: Alcohol, the Microbiota, and Liver Disease

Author Q and A Series: Alcohol, the Microbiota, and Liver Disease

Chronic alcohol consumption disrupts the intestinal microbiota to reduce production of saturated long-chain fatty acids and subsequently the proportion and functions of hepatoprotective lactobacilli, Peng Chen et al report in the January issue of Gastroenterology. Dietary approaches to restore levels of saturated fatty acids in the intestine might therefore reduce ethanol-induced liver injury in patients with

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  • Microbes go With the Flow (of Oxygen) in the Intestine

Microbes go With the Flow (of Oxygen) in the Intestine

The intestine contains a radial gradient of microbes that changes with the distribution of oxygen and nutrients, researchers report in the November issue of Gastroenterology. Further study of this distribution could provide information about activities of the microbiota in the healthy and inflamed intestine. The bacteria of the intestinal live in

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  • Celiac Disease Risk Not Affected by Early Diet

Celiac Disease Risk Not Affected by Early Diet

Two studies have shown that neither breastfeeding nor timing the start of gluten-containing foods makes a difference in development of celiac disease in children at risk. The AP reported that the studies, published October 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine, show that there is no early window of

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  • Review: LGR5 and Intestinal Stem Cells

Review: LGR5 and Intestinal Stem Cells

Since the discovery of LGR5 as a marker of intestinal stem cells, we have learned a great deal about the intestinal crypt stem cell niche. In the August issue of Gastroenterology Bon-Kyoung Koo and Hans Clevers review the discovery of crypt base columnar cells as LGR5+ adult stem cells and

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Preventing Hypoglycemia After Gastric Bypass

Many patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery experience hypoglycemia after meals. Researchers report in the March issue of Gastroenterology that they can correct this condition with an agent that blocks the receptor for the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1). Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, widely used to treat obesity, alters glucose metabolism in

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