Read the latest news from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about our faculty’s latest achievements, awards, and honors.
A new drug safely and effectively treats patients with the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis, according to a recent study co-authored by Northwestern Medicine investigator Stephen Hanauer, MD. The results of the phase II clinical trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The drug, called ozanimod, stops self-attacking immune cells from traveling to the colon.
“Ozanimod is one of a new class of medications that inhibit trafficking of lymphocytes, cells that are important for many chronic immune-mediated diseases,” said Hanauer, who is the Clifford Joseph Barborka Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
“This new oral agent looks to be a very promising effective and safe medicine for ulcerative colitis,” said Hanauer, who enrolled patients in the trial. “Larger trials are underway to clarify the dose and long-term safety.”
Hanauer said the drug appeals to clinicians because other agents that target lymphocytes have been associated with dangerous side effects, including brain infections and cardiovascular risks, or they require expensive intravenous administration.
Stephen Hanauer, MD, the Clifford Joseph Barborka Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, was a member of the study’s steering committee and enrolled patients.
Pandolfino Interviewed by USA Today
Dr. John Pandolfino he has a message for anyone thinking about eating their shirt: Don’t.
“As a nation, we’ve been following low-fat advice for years, but as a nation we are also becoming more and more obese,” explains lead study author Deirdre Tobias, a researcher in the division of preventive medicine at BWH. “It’s clear that the low-fat approach isn’t working.”
That’s the word from a new meta-analysis published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. For the review, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston combed through 53 randomized control trials comparing the weight-loss outcomes of 68,128 participants who had followed a low-fat or higher-fat diet. The results: Low-fat diets were actually less effective than higher-fat eating strategies at helping people lose weight and keep it off for a year or more.
Dr. Lisa VanWagner Discusses Transplant Hepatology Program Improvement at AASLD Liver Meeting 2015“Over the past decade, we’ve seen an increase in the prevalence of liver disease in our country but, at the same time, we’ve not seen an increase in the number of physicians choosing to specialize in hepatology,” VanWagner told Healio.com/Hepatology. “As a group and a society at AASLD, we will talk about how we can improve and increase that workforce and how we can plan our training programs so we can produce effective transplant hepatologists so we can meet the needs of patients in the U.S.”
- "I tell my friends all the time that there's definitely a connection between the gut and the brain. There are many, many nerves in the gastrointestinal tract that, among other things, help you feel what's going on inside your gut. We're learning now that stress may heighten those sensations—that's why you get 'butterflies.' But it can also trigger real physical symptoms: For example, I often see patients who seem to have reflux disease, but when we do the appropriate tests, we can't make a diagnosis. The best treatment for their heartburn, then, is anything that will help them relax, like hypnosis or deep breathing. If that doesn't work, medications that calm the nerves in the gut, like low-dose antidepressants, may help. If you're having these types of symptoms and they don't respond to the usual over-the-counter treatments, talk to your doctor. Once you've gotten to the root of the problem, you can get the help you really need." —John Pandolfino, M.D., chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago