Gastroenterology Advances Articles

BWH Researchers Focus on Improvements in Weight-Loss Surgery for Better Diabetes Outcomes

Bariatric surgeries can produce virtually instantaneous improvements in metabolic parameters, such that patients with type 2 diabetes before surgery can have complete remissions of diabetes afterwards. But as Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) surgeon Eric G. Sheu, MD, and colleagues in the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery have found, not all bariatric surgery procedures are alike in their ability to improve metabolic parameters, and they are working to find out why.

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BWH Researchers Investigate Treatment of GI Symptoms to Preserve Lung Function

Digestion and respiration are often thought of as discrete systems in the human body. But as Walter W. Chan, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Motility at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and colleagues have demonstrated, there is a significant interplay between gastrointestinal disorders such as gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) and pulmonary function, and this interaction may have important consequences for patients with severe asthma and for those with chronic lung diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) who are candidates for lung transplants.

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Center Addresses Esophageal and Motility Disorders in High-risk Populations, Suggests New Recommendations for Diagnosis and Treatment

At the Center for Gastrointestinal Motility at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), gastroenterologists are establishing new recommendations and protocols for the evaluation and care of patients with esophageal and motility disorders, including high-risk patients. “We collaborate with specialists in many other disciplines, including pulmonology, otolaryngology, rheumatology, allergy and immunology, thoracic and general surgery, and nutrition, to deliver advanced care for patients with motility issues and significant co-morbid conditions, as well as develop approaches to evaluate and treat patients with new motility conditions that are becoming more prevalent,” said Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, Clinical Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endoscopy at BWH.

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Instigating Inflamed Intestines

A study (Nature. 2013; 14:272-6) led by Richard S. Blumberg, MD, chief of the BWH Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy, in collaboration with Arthur Kaser, MD, Addenbrooke Hospital, University of Cambridge, UK demonstrates how impairing certain functions in intestinal epithelial cells, specifically Paneth cells, can lead to severe spontaneous Crohn’s disease-like inflammation of the intestines.

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Mast Cell Disorder Identification and Treatment Dramatically Reduces Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Improves Quality-of-Life for Patients

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) gastroenterologists Norton J. Greenberger, MD, and Matthew J. Hamilton, MD, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mast cell disorders involving the gastrointestinal tract. An integral part of the Mastocytosis Center at BWH, they collaborate closely with allergists, immunologists, and pathologists to optimize the care of patients and advance the diagnosis and treatment of mast cell disease.

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Multidisciplinary Team Performs Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Cell Autotransplantation for Select Patients with Chronic Pancreatitis

At Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), a multidisciplinary team including gastroenterologists, gastrointestinal surgeons, transplant surgeons, endocrinologists, nutritionists, and a range of other specialists has successfully performed a series of total pancreatectomy with islet cell autotransplantation (TPIAT) procedures since 2013 for the treatment of patients with severe chronic pancreatitis. BWH is among a select number of hospitals nationwide to offer TPIAT.

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Trial Investigates Novel Approach to Targeting KRAS Mutations in Pancreatic Cancer; Researchers Identify Early Sign of the Disease

Medical oncologists in the Pancreaticobiliary Tumor Center, part of the Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology and the Robert T. and Judith B. Hale Center for Pancreatic Cancer at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, are leading a novel clinical trial for pancreatic cancer and have recently discovered a new sign of early development of the disease.

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