Category Archives: Gastroenterology

Gut Bacteria Play a Role in Cancer Tumor Development

In recent years, the role of the gut microbiome in human health and its influence on human diseases – including different types of cancer – has garnered increasing attention. At the same time, its role in cancer treatment has become more apparent with burgeoning evidence of the positive effects associated with gut microbiome modulation, implicating that it may impact patient responses to various cancer therapies.

A growing emphasis on precision medicine makes furthered knowledge and understanding of the microbiome’s influence on immune responses and cancer imperative. The discovery of strategies for manipulating the microbiome, to thereby augment therapeutic responses, relies on understanding the specific factors that influence gut microbiome mechanisms. Although several species of intestinal bacteria have already been linked to the enhanced efficacy of immunotherapies, exactly how the microbiome is able to enhance anti-tumor immunity remains in question.

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Artificial Intelligence in Gastroenterology

“We’re now in an era that some consider an AI renaissance, with enormous amounts of computing power — unimaginable only a few decades ago — now available to institutions and even individual researchers. Machine learning algorithms and AI are performing feats once considered to be exclusive domains for humans.” –Sushovan Guha, MD, PhD

In recent years, the prevalence of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and other breakthrough computer technologies has seen significant growth in medicine. Utilized by radiologists, neurologists, pathologists, and many other specialists, artificial intelligence has greatly expanded human capabilities and proved incredibly useful in parsing and aggregating enormous amounts of medical data. The ability to use this data to learn by itself and improve on its capabilities via machine learning has made AI a constantly self-evolving resource. Deep learning (DL) – a subset of ML – has shown exceptional performance in image analysis through its use of the convolutional neural network (CNN), adding to the growing list of AI applications in healthcare and gastroenterology specifically.

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Updated Probiotic Guidelines

With many probiotic products on the market and a rising trend in consumption,  an increasing number of people are taking probiotic supplements for their purported positive effects. These tangible health benefits have been contested by the medical community, as there is not enough human-based clinical data to support their efficacy in the treatment of a variety of conditions. Making strong recommendations to patients is difficult at this stage due to the lack of research, however, probiotics are viewed as generally well-tolerated and considered safe. Upcoming guidelines from the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) hope to elucidate the issues related to probiotic supplementation and will be the first clinical recommendations to clarify specific indications for probiotics.

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