LAS VEGAS—Many of the world’s preeminent gastroenterologists have convened this week for the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 77th Annual Scientific Meeting at The Venetian Resort, in Las Vegas, to review the latest scientific advances in gastrointestinal research, treatment of digestive diseases and clinical practice management.
New technologies for treating conditions like gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and gastroparesis; groundbreaking insights in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that explore racial disparities as well as the overlap of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms; reviews of a national health database to document epidemiological shifts in C. difficile-associated infectious diarrhea and a downward trend in inpatient mortality due to upper gastrointestinal bleeding; a wealth of new research that helps advance understanding of esophageal and colorectal cancer risks; as well case reports that aim to raise public awareness about the possible health risks of non-compliance with vitamin and mineral supplementation after gastric bypass surgery; and a little-known but costly gastrointestinal health effect of marijuana use are among the highlights of this year’s clinical scientific presentations.
Statins May Protect Against Esophageal Cancer
Statin use is associated with protection from esophagus cancer according to a new meta-analysis of existing clinical studies exploring the cancer prevention effects of statins, suggested researchers from the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Siddharth Singh colleagues conducted a systematic review of eleven studies reporting 8,613 cases of esophageal cancer from studies including almost 1 million patients. “The meta-analysis of these studies showed a significant 30 percent reduction in esophageal cancer incidence with statins use,” said Dr. Singh.
Bone-Building Drugs for Osteoporosis Do Not Add to Risk of Esophagus Cancer
In a separate study, researchers at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville found no association between oral use of bisphosphonates, a class of bone-building drugs widely used for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, and the risk of esophageal cancer. This meta-analysis of 42 studies included 3,570 esophageal cancer patients in the analysis by Dr. Saowanee Ngamruengphong and colleagues.
Death from GI Bleeding Decreased in United States in Past Two Decades
The number of patients dying from upper gastrointestinal bleeding has decreased over the past two decades (1989 - 2009) from 4.69 percent to 2.13 percent―a result that researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital attribute to the advances in medical and endoscopic therapies introduced over the past 20 years. In addition, the proportion of patients who underwent in-hospital endoscopic therapy has increased from 2 percent to 27 percent, while the length of hospital stay progressively decreased from 4.5 days to 2.8 days over this time period.
Experimental Treatment in Pediatric Patient Resolves Life-Threatening GI Bleeding Crisis
Dr. Timothy Laurie of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Arlington Heights, IL reported a case of the first use of Hemospray™ (Cook Endoscopy) in the United States outside of a clinical trial. Dr. Laurie and his colleague Peter Sargon, MD, were granted permission to use an experimental hemostasis powder on a young patient with life-threatening internal bleeding.