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In The News
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November 2017. Comparing Force Application During Colonoscopy Between Novice and Expert Endoscopists
Featuring: Alexander Ende, MD; Bryan Balmadrid, MD; Joo Ha Hwang, MD, PhD; John Inadomi, MD
Published by: Digestive Diseases and Sciences
Learning to perform colonoscopy safely and effectively is central to gastroenterology fellowship programs. The application of force to the colonoscope is an important part of colonoscopy technique. What are the differences in technique between novice, intermediate and expert endoscopists using the colonoscopy force montior?
November 2017. Provider Interpretations of IBS Food and Symptom Journals
Featuring: Jasmine Zia, MD
Published by: Journal of Clinical Medicine
Up to 65% of patients with IBS associate certain foods with their symptom flare-ups. Identifying personalized trigger foods in food and symptom journals is a commonly accepted management strategy. But how are providers interpreting these results?
November 2017. Large VA Trial Seeks Critical Answers on Colorectal Cancer Screening
Featuring: Jason Dominitz, MD, MHS
Published by: Vantage Point: Official Blog of the VA
The Department of Veterans Affairs has embarked on a landmark study to understand which test is best for colorectal cancer screening. The CONFIRM trial is a large randomized study directly evaluating the two most commonly used approaches to colorectal cancer screening in the United States, colonoscopy vs FIT.
October 2017. What Your Poop Says About Your Health
Featuring: R. William DePaolo, PhD; John Inadomi, MD
Published by: Right As Rain by UW Medicine
Does even the thought of talking about your poop make you blush? It may be uncomfortable, but keeping tabs on your number twos can help you learn a lot about your body. The color and consistency of your poo can change depending on what you eat and drink, and can also serve as your body’s way of letting you know something isn’t right.
October 2017. How Do Diets Affect Gut Health?
Featuring: R. William DePaolo, PhD
Published by: The Whole U
Hoping to take control of your health and overall wellness through a new diet? That’s great news. But as you prepare to embark on any new daily dietary regimen, it’s worth pausing to consider the one component that plays a pivotal role in any such endeavor—and which stands to change the most from it: your microbiome.
October 2017. Editorial: The Name Game - Circumventing Quality Metrics by Categorizing Incomplete Colonoscocpy as Sigmoidoscopy
Featuring: Andrew Kaz, MD; Jason Dominitz, MD, MHS
Published by: The American Journal of Gastroenterology
Cecal intubation rate (CIR) is an important metric for colonoscopy quality. Guidelines propose a minimum CIR of 90% for all indications, and 95% in screening procedures. A recent study of three UK teaching hospitals demonstrated one-third of endoscopists inappropriately converted colonoscopies to flexible sigmoidoscopies, and several endoscopists only reached the 90% CIR benchmark because of these inappropriate conversions.
October 2017. Should You Be Taking Prebiotics for Ulcerative Colitis?
Featuring: R. William DePaolo, PhD
Published by: Everyday Health
If you have ulcerative colitis, chances are you’ve heard of (and may even use) probiotics — supplements of healthy bacteria that promote digestive health and general well-being. But you may not have heard of probiotics' counterpart, prebiotics. By acting as food for helpful bacteria in the gut, prebiotics can contribute to a healthier digestive system.
September 2017. CCFA Touch of Football 2017, UWGI Takes the Win!
Published by: Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
On September 16th, 24 local teams competed in a flag football tournament on CenturyLink Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. This charity event, sponsored by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, raised more than $181,000 to help find cures for inflammatory bowel disease and support the 1.6 million Americans affected by these diseases. Congratulations to the UWGI team, Game of Crohn's, for taking the win this year! We thank all faculty, fellows and staff who came out to support a good cause.
September 2017. Direct-Acting Hepatitis C Antiviral Treatment in Patients with T2D
Featuring: George Ioannou, MD, MS
Published by: MedPage Today
Researchers at the VA health system—the largest provider of integrated hepatitis C care in the country—recently tested the role of viral eradication on the control of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Previous data demonstrated that the risk of developing T2D is about 4 times higher in people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) than  those without. Investigators wanted to know: Could HCV suppression lead to better control of T2D?
September 2017. Join CMiST for the New Microbiome Club
Featuring: R. William DePaolo, PhD
Published by: Center for Microbiome Sciences & Therapeutics
Hosted by the Center for Microbiome Sciences & Therapeutics, Microbiome Club is an open forum where you can present current and on-going work in a relaxed and comfortable setting. Everyone is encouraged to present - PIs, postdocs and students, too!
September 2017. Top Box Winner, Harborview GI Clinic
Featuring: Joo Ha Hwang, MD, PhD
Congratulations to our gastroenterology clinic at Harborview Medical Center (HMC), winner of the Top Box award for Harborview's Ambulatory Care Division for the 3rd quarter of 2017. This is awarded to the one clinic at HMC with the highest willingness to recommend. Nationally, this ranks our clinic at the 94th percentile. Congratulations to our faculty and staff for their excellent care!
September 2017. Can Direct-Acting Antiviral Agents Reduce the Risk of HCC?
Featuring: George Ioannou, MD, MS
Published by: Journal of Hepatology
It is unclear whether direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment-induced sustained virologic response (SVR) reduces the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. A recent study aimed to determine the impact of DAA-induced SVR on HCC risk. Eradication of HCV might be expected to reduce the risk of HCC by preventing the future development of cirrhosis or by reversing early cirrhosis, a major risk factor for HCC. In addition, HCV may itself promote carcinogenesis such that its eradication directly decreases HCC risk.
August 2017. Can Lithium Restore Intestinal Barrier Function in Severe GVHD?
Featuring: Gideon Steinbach, MD; David Hockenbery, MD; George McDonald, MD
Published by: PLoS One
Severe intestinal graft-vs-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation causes mucosal ulceration and induces innate and adaptive immune responses that amplify and perpetuate GVHD and the associated barrier dysfunction. Pharmacological agents to target mucosal barrier dysfunction in GVHD are needed. A recent pilot study investigated the outcomes of lithium therapy.
August 2017. Improving Efficacy of Chemotherapy Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer
Featuring: Ru Chen, PhD; Teresa Brentnall, MD; Sheng Pan, PhD
Published by: Scientific Reports
Pancreatic cancer is a lethal disease with poor prognosis. Gemcitabine has been the first line systemic treatment for pancreatic cancer. However, the rapid development of drug resistance has been a major hurdle in gemcitabine therapy leading to unsatisfactory patient outcomes. With the recent renewed understanding of glutamine metabolism involvement in drug resistance and immuno-response, a recent study investigated the anti-tumor effect of a glutamine analog as an adjuvant treatment to sensitize chemoresistant pancreatic cancer cells.
July 2017. Congratulations to all of UWGIs Top Doctors of 2017
Featuring: Jason Dominitz, MD, MHS; Joo Ha Hwang, MD, PhD; George Ioannou, MD, MS; Scott Lee, MD; Michael Saunders, MD
Published by: Seattle Metropolitan Magazine
Seattle Metropolitan Magazine conducted its 12th annual survey of the best health care professionals in the Seattle area. Voters were asked, "If you or a loved one needed care, whom would you choose?" Voters nominated their most esteemed peers based on years of experience, competency, rapport with patients, patient satisfaction and compliance with care recommendations, and ability to work effectively with colleagues across specialties to deliver the best patient care. Congratulations to Drs. Jason Dominitz, Joo Ha Hwang, George Ioannou, Scott Lee, and Michael Saunders for making the list.
July 2017. Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Endoscopic Screening and Surveillance.
Featuring: Nina Saxena, MD; John Inadomi, MD
Published by: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Clinics of North America
Guidelines for the screening and surveillance of Barrett's esophagus continue to evolve as the incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma increases, identification of individuals at highest risk for cancer improves, and management of dysplasia evolves. This article reviews related studies and economic analyses. Advances in diagnosis offer promising strategies to help focus screening efforts on those individuals who are most likely to develop esophageal adenocarcinoma.
June 2017. Boiling Histotripsy Treatment of Deep Abdominal Tissue Targets
Featuring: Tatiana Khokhlova, PhD
Published by: Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology
Boiling histotripsy (BH) is a high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)–based method of mechanical tissue fractionation that utilizes millisecond-long bursts of HIFU shock waves to cause boiling at the focus in milliseconds. Multiple clinical applications for BH have been suggested, primarily in oncology, to mechanically ablate unwanted soft tissues. The most relevant applications, in which traditional HIFU is faced with substantial problems, are deep abdominal organ malignancies, including the liver, pancreas and kidney.
June 2017. DAAs Are Effective for Chronic HCV Treatment In Elderly Patients
Featuring: Feng Su, MD; George Ioannou, MD, MS
Published by: European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology
The mean age of patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the USA has been increasing. In anticipation of the aging of the HCV-infected population, it is imperative to understand how elderly patients respond to direct-acting antiviral therapy as they will soon constitute the majority of patients receiving treatment.
June 2017. Transition of Pediatric to Adult Care in IBD: Is It As Easy As 1, 2, 3?
Featuring: Anita Afzali, MD, MPH
Published by: World Journal of Gastroenterology
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a heterogeneous group of chronic diseases with a rising prevalence in the pediatric population, and up to 25% of IBD patients are diagnosed before 18 years of age. Adolescents with IBD tend to have more severe and extensive disease and eventually require graduation from pediatric care toadult services. The transition of patients from pediatric to adult gastroenterologists requires careful preparation and coordination, with involvement of all key players to ensure proper collaboration of care and avoid interruption in care.
May 2017. UW Medicine Top Box Awards
Featuring: Anne Larson, MD; Michael Saunders, MD
Published by: UW Medicine
Congratulations to Dr. Anne Larson (Northwest Hospital Medical Specialites Center) and Dr. Michael Saunders (UWMC Digestive Health Center), who are recipients of a UW Medicine Top Box Award. This award is presented for outpatient willingness to recommend.
May 2017. Predictive Value of Clinical Findings and Plasma Biomarkers After 14 Days of Prednisone Treatment for Acute GVHD
Featuring: George McDonald, MD
Published by: Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
The frequency of acute graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is in the 50% to 70% range, with gastrointestinal symptoms the most common presentation. A recent study examines the hypothesis that plasma biomarkers and concomitant clinical findings after initial glucocorticoid therapy can accurately predict failure of GVHD treatment and mortality.
May 2017. Genomics, Endoscopy and Control of Gastroesophageal Cancers: A Perspective
Featuring: Brian Reid, MD, PhD
Published by: Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) is remarkably similar to gastric adenocarcinoma CIN subtype. Current enthusiasm for endoscopic control of EA has little impact on mortality. Current strategies need to be revisited given emerging evidence that many cancers develop rapidly by punctuated and catastrophic genome evolution.
April 2017. Follow-up of Positive Fecal Test Results: Sooner Is Better, But How Much Better?
Featuring: John Inadomi, MD
Published by: Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
Colonoscopy is the most commonly used colorectal cancer screening test, but it is an invasive procedure and can be both costly and inconvenient for patients. Many patients prefer less-invasive tests. Increased use of the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) has the potential to expand the use of colorectal cancer screening to a broader range of patients. However, the effectiveness of FIT depends on several layers of adherence.
April 2017. Dr. William DePaolo Holder of New Endowed Chair in Gastroenterology
Featuring: R. William DePaolo, PhD
Published by: DOM Week
Dr. William DePaolo, associate professor, has been named holder of the Lynn M. and Michael D. Garvey Endowed Chair in Gastroenterology. This chair was established for candidates who have achieved national recognition in the field of intestinal microbiome research. Dr. DePaolo is director of the Center for Microbiome Sciences & Therapeutics (CMiST) and member of the Center for Innate Immunity and Immune Disease.
April 2017. Outstanding Consultant of the Month Award
Featuring: Sophia Swanson, MD
Published by: DOM Week
Congratulations to Dr. Sophia Swanson, recipient of an Outstanding Consultant of the Month Award. This award began in 2015 as a recognition program for consulants (individuals or services) within the Department of Medicine and from other clinical departments at the University of Washington Medical Center.
April 2017. Transplant-Related Survival Benefit Should Influence Prioritization for Liver Transplantation Especially in Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Featuring: George Ioannou, MD, MS
Published by: Liver Transplantation
Transplant-related survival benefit is calculated as the difference between life expectancy with transplantation and life expectancy without transplantation. Determining eligibility and prioritization for liver transplantation based on the highest survival benefit is a superior strategy to prioritization based on the highest urgency or the highest utility, because prioritization based on the highest survival benefit maximizes the overall life expectancy of all patients in need of liver transplantation.
April 2017. Are Major Dietary Patterns Associated with Risk of Incident Diverticulitis?
Featuring: Lisa Strate, MD, MPH
Published by: Gastroenterology
Dietary fiber is implicated as a risk factor for diverticulitis. Analyses of dietary patterns may provide information on risk beyond those of individual foods or nutrients. The increasing incidence of diverticulitis has been attributed to changes in diet and lifestyle, predominantly a decrease in dietary fiber consumption.
April 2017. Costs of Providing Infusion Therapy for Patients with IBD
Featuring: Anita Afzali, MD, MPH
Published by: Journal of Medical Economics
Inflammatory bowel disease severely impacts patient quality-of-life. Moderate-to-severe disease is often treated with biologics requiring infusion therapy, adding incremental costs beyond drug costs. A recent study evaluates US hospital-based infusion services costs for treatment of patients receiving infliximab or vedolizumab therapy. As the landscape for reimbursement changes, tools for evaluating the costs of infusion therapy may help hospital administrators make informed choices and weigh trade-offs associated with providing infusion services for IBD patients.
March 2017. Dr. Will DePaolo Studies Bacteria but His Science Goes Viral
Featuring: R. William DePaolo, PhD
Published by: The Whole U
Dr. William DePaolo, the director of the UW’s new Center for Microbiome Sciences and Therapeutics (CMiST), is highlighted in the Faculty Friday series presented by the Whole U.
March 2017. Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: A Rapidly Emerging Field
Featuring: Stephen Vindigni, MD; Christina Surawicz, MD
Published by: Gastroenterology Clinics of North America
Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is the transfer of stool from a healthy donor into the colon of a patient whose disease is a result of an altered microbiome, with the goal of restoring the normal microbiota and thus curing the disease. The most effective and well-studied indication for FMT is recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. The field is rapidly emerging and has become a focus in both the public media and peer-reviewed literature.
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