European Physicians Unify Guidelines Amid Political Turmoil

Damian McNamara

October 24, 2017

BARCELONA — Gastroenterologists are heading to a region conflicted over a referendum in Catalonia that called for independence from Spain on October 1. On the agenda for the upcoming United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Week 2017 will be a plan to amalgamate guidelines.

"We are working to gather all the different European guidelines together under the UEG," said Magnus Simrén, MD, PhD, from Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, who is scientific committee chair for the meeting.

Despite the recent referendum and ongoing turmoil, meeting organizers say it is business as usual in Barcelona.

"I would like to reassure you that all preparations are running smoothly," UEG President Michael Manns, MD, said in a welcome video, "and we do not expect any disturbances."

Highly anticipated results from a study looking at age recommendations for colonoscopy screening in people at average risk will be presented.

Current guidelines recommend screening for people 50 to 75 years of age, but little is known about adenoma detection rates in people outside this age range. Results from a large, prospective study that assessed the number of polyps and adenomas detected by 5-year age increments will be presented, as investigators try to establish the optimal age range for screening to prevent colorectal cancer.

Some of the best science will be presented during late-breaking abstract sessions, Dr Simrén reported.

Late-Breaking Trials

During a late-breaking session on biologic and biosimilar clinical and observational trials in inflammatory bowel disease, data will be presented on the use of etrolizumab and the infliximab biosimilar CT-P13. The CTP-13 trials address use in both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. "That session is probably going to be quite interesting for gastroenterologists," Dr Simrén said.

A second late-breaking session on malignant and premalignant lesions will include first results on the prognosis of microscopic colitis from the European PRO-MC Collaboration and a population-based study on individual risk assessment for esophageal adenocarcinoma.

And a third late-breaking session is a "mixed bag" of studies on eosinophilic esophagitis, celiac disease, and Barrett's esophagus, "which will be clinically very interesting," he reported.

A number of sessions will examine how basic scientific findings translate into clinical management. A host–microbial crosstalk session, for example, will focus on the relation between host and gut microbes, and look at the importance of the gut microbiome in gastrointestinal conditions.

Debates and Controversies

During discussions on the diagnosis and management of specific diseases, specialists will provide different points of view. For example, a gastroenterologist and a radiologist will deliver tandem presentations on how to diagnose a particular gastrointestinal condition, or a gastroenterologist and a surgeon will address optimal management.

There will also be interactive debates on topics such as the diagnostic value of liver biopsy for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and alcoholic steatohepatitis.

"It's a fantastic program, from basic science to advances in clinical research. Physicians will get updates on the latest ways to treat and manage their patients," said Dr Simrén.

Among the award-winning research presented will be a prospective study on the diagnostic yield of artificial-intelligence-assisted endocytoscopy for colorectal polyps, an examination of Helicobacter pylori eradication and the prevention of gastric cancer in older patients, and a genome-wide association study that looks at the genetic basis of alcoholic and nonalcoholic chronic pancreatitis.

Dr Simrén and Dr Manns have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Follow Medscape Gastroenterology on Twitter @MedscapeGastro and Damian McNamara @MedReporter

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