Author: Rutali Thakur

Multitarget stool-based tests are emerging as promising alternatives for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in average-risk individuals, potentially surpassing the current standard fecal immunochemical test (FIT). These new tests, while similar to FIT in principle, extend their scope by incorporating additional DNA, RNA, or protein biomarkers associated with CRC for enhanced early detection. Current CRC screening recommendations include standard FIT, stool FIT-DNA, and guaiac fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), each with its limitations such as false positives and cost concerns. Three new multitarget tests under investigation — Cologuard 2.0 (DNA-based), ColoSense (RNA-based), and CRCbioscreen (protein-based) — show promise in improving sensitivity…

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Key Points: Average reimbursement for gastrointestinal (GI) procedures, including colonoscopy and biopsy, decreased significantly from 2007 to 2022. In 2024, the average cost of a colonoscopy in the U.S. is $1,608. Facility fees for colonoscopies at U.S. hospitals covered by private health insurance are significantly higher compared to those at Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs). The article presents a year-by-year comparison of the costs of diagnostic colonoscopies at ASCs and Hospital Outpatient Departments (HOPDs) from 2018 to 2022. read more

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Key Points from Freenome’s Announcement on PREEMPT CRC®: The PREEMPT CRC® study successfully met all primary endpoints, including a 79.2% sensitivity for colorectal cancer (CRC) and a 91.5% specificity for non-advanced colorectal neoplasia. The study, being the largest of its kind for a blood-based CRC test, enrolled 48,995 participants, reflecting the diversity of average-risk adults in the U.S. Freenome intends to continue optimizing the test in 2024 for improved CRC sensitivity and advanced adenoma (AA) detection, aiming to meet guideline and policy milestones. The blood test showed 79.2% sensitivity in detecting CRC across various stages and 91.5% specificity for non-advanced…

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The summit, a collaboration between the American Gastroenterological Association and the European Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, was held in Washington, D.C., focusing on the theme “crossing the threshold from lab to life.” Dr. Giovanni Barbara highlighted the extensive volume of gut microbiome research, with 24,000 articles published last year, emphasizing the field’s scientific importance. The opening keynote by Dr. Eran Elinav discussed a phage-based therapeutic pipeline for microbiome-associated diseases, with a focus on IBD. The sessions covered various topics, including: Improving health through the gut microbiome, with lectures on immunity, longevity, and microbiome changes in IBD. The growing market…

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Key Points: Patients with gastrointestinal issues like rectal bleeding, inflammatory bowel disease, or potential colorectal cancer require immediate medical care, including essential procedures like colonoscopies or endoscopies. Many Americans face delays and denials in accessing necessary GI care due to insurance company practices, particularly the prior authorization process. This process allows insurers to overrule physicians’ clinical decisions, leading to delayed or denied access to prescribed health services. Prior authorization is used by insurers as a cost-control tool, often leading to patients abandoning their recommended treatment. This can result in adverse health impacts, including hospitalization. read more

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Blood-based screening, also known as a “liquid biopsy,” is being considered as an alternative screening method for colorectal cancer (CRC), particularly for patients who avoid established screening tests like colonoscopy. While blood-based tests might be more convenient for some patients, they have higher rates of false positives and false negatives compared to colonoscopy, potentially leading to more undiagnosed cases and deaths from CRC. David Lieberman, MD, chair of the American Gastroenterological Association’s CRC Workshop Panel, emphasizes that based on current characteristics, blood tests should not replace established screening tests due to their lower effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. read more

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Researchers at Cleveland Clinic are exploring the use of machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence, to personalize diets for individuals with gastrointestinal ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A small pilot study conducted in Turkey demonstrated the effectiveness of using ML to tailor diets for individuals with IBS. This approach improved symptoms more effectively compared to standard IBS diets. Machine learning techniques were crucial in analyzing large amounts of data, which led to identifying patterns beneficial for customizing diets. read more

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Mark Lewis on Colon and Rectal Cancer Awareness in the Wake of NordICC Trial ·      The trial, scrutinizing the mortality benefits of screening colonoscopies, has ignited considerable debate and questioning within the medical community. This becomes particularly pertinent as we address colorectal cancer as a significant public health concern. ·      Mark Lewis, speaking from his experience, emphasizes the critical distinction between screening for colorectal cancer and diagnosing it. He points out the heightened diagnostic urgency in younger patients showing symptoms such as blood in the stool, underlining that traditional screening guidelines may not be applicable in such diagnostic dilemmas. ·…

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Key Points: The FDA has cleared CAD EYE, Fujifilm’s new AI program, for use in endoscopy to help detect polyps. It includes the Fujifilm EX-1 expansion unit and EW10-EC02 software, integrating with the Eluxeo endoscopic imaging system. The program highlights potentially overlooked lesions and provides visual and auditory alerts for suspicious polyps, customizable to clinician preferences. Compatible with white light and linked color imaging modes, it’s operable via endoscope or processor buttons. read more

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