Volume 11 Issue 1, January 2014

Volume 11 Issue 1

Cover image supplied by M. J. Gora, V. J. Madden and G. J. Tearney, Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA. A 3D image of the oesophagus created by rendering data obtained from an unsedated human subject using a swallowable tethered capsule endomicroscopy device. The capsule employs optical coherence tomography: optics within the capsule spin a focused beam around its circumference, acquiring cross-sectional images as it traverses the organ via peristalsis. A flexible tether containing an optical fibre is attached to the capsule and can be used to control its position and to remove it from the mouth so that it can be disinfected and reused.

Research Highlights

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Perinatal transmission of HCV is the main route of acquisition of HCV infection in children. Few studies have explored the mechanism of perinatal transmission, but a key role in transmission has been attributed to maternal viraemia. A new study now provides insights on the biological basis of this association.

    • Giuseppe Indolfi
    • , Chiara Azzari
    •  & Massimo Resti
  • News & Views |

    Targeting angiogenesis has not been successful as a treatment for pancreatic cancer. Studies using monoclonal antibodies or small molecule inhibitors of the VEGFR pathway have failed to demonstrate benefit. Now, a phase II study has shown that sorafenib does not improve the efficacy of gemcitabine plus cisplatin chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

    • Muhammad Wasif Saif
  • News & Views |

    Endoscopic assessment in IBD provides direct visualization of the affected bowel mucosa. There is an important need for the meaningful measurement of these endoscopic images at the correct time point for medical decision-making and for clinical trials. European guidelines on endoscopy in IBD have recently been published.

    • Reena Khanna
    • , Barrett G. Levesque
    •  & William J. Sandborn


  • Review Article |

    Endomicroscopy and endocytoscopy not only enable prediction of histology, but actual visualization of microscopic tissue details in real time. The authors of this Review discuss these microscopic imaging devices, outlining potential indications for their use and future directions for this technology.

    • Martin Goetz
    • , Nisar P. Malek
    •  & Ralf Kiesslich
  • Review Article |

    This Review describes how the latest advances in so-called –omics technologies have helped to provide novel insights into the development and biology of oesophageal adenocarcinoma and its precursor lesion Barrett oesophagus. The authors discuss how these molecular profiles could improve patient management in the future, including early diagnosis and monitoring of response to therapy.

    • Jamie M. J. Weaver
    • , Caryn S. Ross-Innes
    •  & Rebecca C. Fitzgerald
  • Review Article |

    Understanding HCV transmission routes is essential for designing and implementing control strategies to reduce the prevalence of HCV infection and the burden of hepatitis C. Here, the main routes of HCV transmission in industrialized and resource-constrained countries are presented, along with a global agenda on how the burden of HCV could be reduced.

    • Mark Thursz
    •  & Arnaud Fontanet
  • Review Article |

    Currently, a gluten-free diet is the only approved therapy for coeliac disease. Advances in the understanding of the disease pathogenesis have enabled researchers to develop new treatment strategies. This Review outlines the search for novel future treatment modes and discusses the potential pitfalls of the new research avenues.

    • Katri Kaukinen
    • , Katri Lindfors
    •  & Markku Mäki
  • Review Article |

    In light of the high mortality rate associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), chemopreventive strategies to prevent or delay the development of this disease are attractive. This Review outlines advances in the field of HCC chemoprevention, in particular focusing on the potential of antiviral therapy against HBV and HCV, the cancer-modifying effects of statins, antidiabetic medications and aspirin, as well as dietary strategies.

    • Siddharth Singh
    • , Preet Paul Singh
    • , Lewis R. Roberts
    •  & William Sanchez
  • Review Article |

    Bile acids have a crucial role in the digestion of dietary lipids and as signalling molecules in a number of metabolic pathways. Bile acid receptors have become attractive therapeutic targets for liver disease and metabolic disorders. Here, the authors provide an overview of bile acid signalling in humans and highlight the therapeutic potential of compounds that target these pathways.

    • Frank G. Schaap
    • , Michael Trauner
    •  & Peter L. M. Jansen



  • Opinion |

    New insights into the virology of hepatitis D are stimulating the search for novel therapeutic approaches, but their clinical return seems far away. Here, Alessia Ciancio and Mario Rizzetto discuss the current epidemiological situation and the development of new therapeutic strategies against hepatitis D virus.

    • Alessia Ciancio
    •  & Mario Rizzetto