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This Week in Crohn’s: September 14, 2012
Prometheus Laboratories Launches Promising New Test to Identify Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
An improved blood test for IBD determination is launching from Prometheus laboratories. It is an improvement on the older version of the IBD tests, IBD Serology 7, which have been around for quite some time. The new test boasts a 93% accuracy rate at being able to differentiate the difference between Crohn’s and UC. And it has an 87% overall success rate at identifying IBD correctly. Researchers still stress that colonoscopies will be the golden standard for diagnosis. However, for anyone with first-hand experience in dealing with Indeterminate Crohn’s Colitis or doctors not being able to determine results from blood tests and biopsies along, these blood tests could help get a patient treated properly and that can make all the difference in the world.
New Non-Biologic Drug Makes Its Way Into Phase 3 Clinical Trials
Pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and ChemoCentryx have entered the phase 3 trials for the drug formerly known as Traficet-EN™ and is now rebranded as the name GSK’786 for short. The non-biologic drug will be taken by mouth and is supposed to affect the CCR9 chemokine receptor. The main purpose of the drug is to disable the overactive T cells that are the root cause for inflammation aka the underlying cause of Crohn’s disease. If and when ‘786 comes to market, it will add one more form of non-biologic treatment to the table for Crohn’s sufferers.
Better Understanding of the Body’s Molecular System Leads to Discovery of Immune System Hit Men
A pair of molecules responsible for stopping the cellular reaction that are thought to lead to many of today’s known auto-immune diseases have been discovered. The proteins dubbed Puma and Bim could hold the key to winning the battle against diseases like Crohn’s, juvenile diabetes, MS, and many more. Researchers are currently working on getting a better understanding of how the presence of these molecules can shut down an immune response versus the absence thereof can lead to one.
FDA Reports Topical Pain Relievers Are Causing Chemical Burns on Users
Even though this report doesn’t directly call out Crohn’s disease it can affect many IBD sufferers out there. If you have a chronic illness like Crohn’s, the odds are pretty high that you have used or will use at some point a topical pain relieving treatment for an achy joint. So, let’s consider this a preventative warning measure.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising the public of about 40 reported cases involving chemical burns and over the counter pain relieving ointments such as “Icy Hot, Bengay, Capzasin, Flexall, and Mentholatum.” The forms of the treatment also vary from cream, to lotion, to gel and even patches. The chemical burns, although rare, have occurred within 24 hours of use. Definitely recommend reading this notice from the FDA. The government agency also provides a helpful Safety Do’s and Don’ts list regarding these topical OTC treatments.
Soon-to-Be Published Report Will Show Scientists Are Narrowing Down the Immune Triggers and Develop IBD
As genetic markers have shown, just because you have a predisposition to have a disease it does not mean you have it or will develop it at some point. Scientists have long since battled the triggers causing these genetic anomalies to go from possibility to a reality. And now it looks like Emory University School of Medicine researchers have made a hit on a potential cause for Crohn’s and UC. “Our results suggest that when there is a chronically leaky intestine, defects in the immune system need to be present for the development of IBD," says senior author Charles Parkos, MD, PhD, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Breakdown of the intestinal barrier can occur as a result of intestinal infections or stress.” He goes on to explain the theory they are working on proving, how the increase for IBD is increased and the immune response behind it.
Gluten-Free Life Isn’t Just for Those With Celiac
Have you been curious about exploring a gluten-free diet? The benefits of this lifestyle change have definitely been bandied about in the media. And for those with Celiac disease, it’s not a choice it’s a must. But for those with Crohn’s disease and UC, along with many other inflammatory diseases — they are being told by medical practitioners, friends, family and of course the Internet what a difference a gluten-free diet could make in terms of reducing their symptoms.
In this Huffington Post article, S.Z. Berg dives into the medical etiology behind the need for a gluten-free diet; including inflammatory diseases, celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity in general. Did you know you can be gluten sensitive and not have celiac disease? Yep.
Berg will be writing a series of posts regarding celiac, food allergies and gluten sensitivity, and for those of you with Celiac or a form of IBD, definitely consider reading her posts or subscribing to the RSS feed for this series.
You Know You’ve Been Waiting for It — Here’s Your Permission to Get Dirty!
For the past couple of weeks we’ve shared quite a few articles related to parasites being the key ingredient to a life in remission from Crohn’s and UC. Well, here’s one more reinforcing fact. The folks over at the Wall Street Journal recently published a story “Dirtier Lives May Be Just What We Need,” and they may be right (think Pig Whipworms!).
The author of this article, Matt Ridley, also points to a fascinating new book "An Epidemic of Absence," by author Moises Velasquez-Manoff, where the author delves into numerous studies regarding parasites, germs and other mitigating factors in what we in a modern-day society would not consider a clean environment actually being a catalyst to a healthier life. He even talks about curing himself, temporarily from some allergies by using hookworms — although he admits the side effects were not worth it for him to continue his self-treatment. You can find the book at Amazon or other major book retailers.
For Pediatric Patients Found to Have Crohn’s With Deep Ulcerations, Researchers Are Recommending Early Anti-TNF Treatment
Researchers are finding further evidence to conclude that the presence of deep ulcerations at the time of diagnosis leaves the child at a very-heightened risk “for moderate to severe disease at one year.” On the same token, the researchers have found that using the anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) agents treatment will help diminish that risk. Up until now, studies like this did not exist. So this study’s findings, which were reported in the 2012 Digestive Disease Week, is very promising news to the patients and their parents.
These findings now leave treating doctors and researchers with the main question — do you treat children early with the potentially toxic medication to receive a better Crohn’s outcome one year post-diagnosis? Or is it more harmful to wait the year while trying alternative, less toxic treatments and have the child develop moderate to severe Crohn’s in this time?
If you are the parents of a newly diagnosed child who had deep ulcerations appearing on their scopes, visit GastroEndoNews.com to review more about the Anti-TNF treatment for pediatric Crohn’s patients.
Looking for Ways to Raise Awareness for IBD, Help Raise Funds for a Cure, and Meet Others Who Go Through the Same Trials You Do? Get Involved!
Here is a list of events you can get involved with to help raise awareness, funds and endorphins:
Get Your Guts In Gear (GYGIG)
Each ride averages 70 miles a day and has 2 overnight camps. During the Ride, you will receive support from GYIG staff and an all-volunteer crew. You will also get to participate in an opening ceremony, as well as be provided with meals and route support, including fully stocked rest stops, sweep vehicles, and baggage transport between camps. In order to participate in the 2-day long ride, the requirements are an $85 registration fee and fundraising of at least $1,250. For more info you can call 1-718-875-2123 or e-mail the GYIG folks at [email protected].
Team Challenge is the CCFA’s endurance training and fundraising challenge. Participants can run or walk 13.1 miles or train for a triathlon or cycling event while helping to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and UC. Visit the http://www.ccteamchallenge.org/ page to determine which event you’d prefer to participate in and then go from there. If you aren’t sure about forming your own team, that’s okay they can help hook you up with one. Pretty cool right?
This is another CCFA event involving walks held all over the nation. One of the great things about this event is that is usually held in the same place at the same time, every year. This means that participants can fundraise all year long; up until the very day of the walk. The CCFA provides team captains and their fellow walkers with fundraising ideas and support. So if you want to go big on your fundraising efforts you will have the help of the CCFA to guide you. To learn more about the Take Steps Walk visit their FAQ page or fill out their Request More Information Page.
Have a favorite charity that we didn't mention? Send us your suggestions at: [email protected]