Volume 11 Issue 6, June 2014

Volume 11 Issue 6

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 |

    Serrated polyposis syndrome (SPS) is a condition characterized by multiple and/or proximal serrated polyps in the colorectum. Several features of SPS suggest there is an underlying genetic disorder that is yet to be identified. A new study provides insights on the diagnostic yield of screening colonoscopy in first-degree relatives of patients with SPS.

    • Francesc Balaguer
    •  & Maria Pellise
  • News & Views |

    A staging system capable of addressing the real issues facing patients with hepatocellular carcinoma has long been overdue. The new Hong Kong Liver Cancer staging system might do just that because it deals effectively with the limitations of previous staging systems.

    • Julius Chapiro
    •  & Jean-François Geschwind
  • News & Views |

    A new study proposes a modelling strategy to identify reactions, genes and metabolites relevant in hepatocellular carcinoma using in silico and in vivo analyses. The proposed genome-scale metabolic model integrates genomic and proteomic information, and points to statins, among others, as potential chemopreventive and anticancer drugs.

    • Roser Pinyol
    •  & Josep M. Llovet
  • News & Views |

    In an update on recommendations for colorectal cancer screening, an Asia–Pacific consensus group has set a good standard for presenting level of agreement to recommendation levels. However, this update also exposes how consensus groups might concentrate on the less controversial issues—leaving the tricky questions in the dark.

    • Geir Hoff


  • Review Article |

    Advances in sequencing technologies have enabled the examination of liver cancer genomes at high resolution. The authors of this Review discuss somatic mutations, structural alterations, HBV integration, RNA editing and retrotransposon changes associated with liver cancer. Potential therapeutic targets are also highlighted.

    • Tatsuhiro Shibata
    •  & Hiroyuki Aburatani
  • Review Article |

    Microvesicles—extracellular vesicles released by virtually all cells—are now implicated in key processes of liver diseases including fibrosis and complications of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. This Review describes studies assessing circulating microvesicle levels in patients with liver diseases, together with an insight into the mechanisms that could account for these changes. The potential of microvesicles as biomarkers in liver diseases is also discussed.

    • Sara Lemoinne
    • , Dominique Thabut
    • , Chantal Housset
    • , Richard Moreau
    • , Dominique Valla
    • , Chantal M. Boulanger
    •  & Pierre-Emmanuel Rautou
  • Review Article |

    HCV and HIV co-infection is associated with accelerated hepatic fibrosis progression and higher rates of liver decompensation and death compared to HCV monoinfection. However, with multiple direct acting antiviral agents in development to treat HCV, a unique opportunity exists to redefine the treatment paradigm for co-infected patients. In this Review, the authors address the epidemiology, natural history, pathogenesis and management of HIV and HCV co-infection.

    • Jennifer Y. Chen
    • , Eoin R. Feeney
    •  & Raymond T. Chung


  • Review Article |

    The pathophysiology of IBD is complex. A number of genetic association studies and findings from research consortia have identified a large number of IBD susceptibility genes. Here, the authors describe available evidence on the genetics of IBD, and how this data can be used to inform our understanding of the disease itself, including insights into the functional consequences and how they provide novel therapeutic targets or disease biomarkers.

    • Johan Van Limbergen
    • , Graham Radford-Smith
    •  & Jack Satsangi



  • Opinion |

    Clinical research in gastroenterology has largely been based on clinical trials or case series. Now, with the accumulation of vast amounts of health-care data in electronic medical records and repositories, research is progressing towards analysis of large databases (so-called big data). In this opinion piece, the authors describe how database analysis might be applied in gastroenterology.

    • Robert M. Genta
    •  & Amnon Sonnenberg