Colon cancer cell switch helps evades treatment

Researchers in Germany have discovered that colon cancers are often resistant to existing drug treatments because they are composed of two different cell types that can replace each other when one cell type is killed. The study, 'Targeting tumor cell plasticity by combined inhibition of NOTCH and MAPK signaling in colon cancer', published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, suggests that combination therapies targeting both cell types at once may be more effective at treating colorectal cancer, the third highest cause of cancer-related death in the United States.

Looking forward to Birmingham 2018: An interview with Professor Dion Morton - What have randomised trials done for patients with colorectal disease?

“The opportunity that randomised controlled trials provide is high quality evidence that will impact directly on clinical practice. Surgery as a whole has been slow to develop evidenced-based medicine and has perhaps disadvantaged patients as a consequence, because the evidence has been insufficient to institute advances in a timely fashion,” Professor Dion Morton explained.

No evidence of risk averse behaviour after publishing death rates for UK bowel surgeons

There is no evidence that publishing patient death rates for individual bowel surgeons in England has led to risk averse behaviour or 'gaming' of data, according to a published by The BMJ. In fact, the results show that the introduction of public reporting of individual surgeons' outcomes coincided with a substantial reduction in mortality for patients having non-emergency bowel cancer surgery.

sHE enzyme identified as mechanism in obesity's link to colon cancer

Researchers have identified a new molecular mechanism to explain the link between obesity and increased risk of colon inflammation, which is a major risk factor in colorectal cancer. The research team, which includes scientists at the University of California Davis, suggest for the first time that inhibiting an enzyme known as soluble epoxide hydrolase, sHE, may abolish this risk of obesity-induced colonic inflammation, say Zhang and colleagues.

False-positive cancer screening results may increase future screening visits

An analysis of electronic medical records indicates that patients who previously had a false-positive breast or prostate cancer screening test are more likely to obtain future recommended cancer screenings. Published Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study, ‘Implications of false‐positive results for future cancer screenings’ suggests that false-positives may be reminders to screen for cancer.

RCT finds sigmoidoscopy reduces colon cancer risk for men but not women

Offering sigmoidoscopy screening to men and women in Norway reduced colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality in men, but had little or no effect in women, suggesting that current guidelines recommending that women get screened for CRC with flexible sigmoidoscopy should be reconsidered. The results from the randomised trial were published in the paper, ‘Long-Term Effectiveness of Sigmoidoscopy Screening on Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Mortality in Women and Men: A Randomized Trial’, in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Nanocytology imaging technology screening for colorectal cancer in young adults

Researchers at Boston Medical Center, in collaboration with Northwestern University, are using nanocytology imaging technology to create an effective and inexpensive way to screen for colorectal cancer among young adults. Developed by Dr Vadim Backman at Northwestern, nanocytology, allows scientists to visualise particles much smaller than a normal microscope and identify cancer risk markers accurately. The test will be low-cost and can be performed in a primary care setting.

Looking forward to Birmingham 2018: An interview with ACPGBI President, James Hill

“The aim of this year’s ACPGBI meeting is to have a programme designed to appeal to everyone – from areas looking at standards of practice within our day-to-day colorectal lives to more controversial areas of clinical practice such as how we can improve the management of more advanced cases of colonic cancer,” he explained. “We will concentrate on whether we need to change current practice – for example in the case of parastomal hernias – and we will examine the current evidence and ask whether treatment paradigms need to change.