Tag Archives: biomarkers

Surgical Diverticulitis Associated with TNFSF15 Gene Single Nucleotide Polymorphism rs7848647

Diverticular disease is a common gastrointestinal disorder seen in over half of all United States adults over the age of sixty years, with approximately 5 percent of the population requiring surgery. According to Walter Koltun, M.D., F.A.C.S, F.A.S.C.R.S., chief, division of colon and rectal surgery at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, “We’re beginning to understand that diverticulitis is caused by a mix of genetic and environmental factors. A strong genetic component for diverticular disease was demonstrated in twin studies done in Europe, showing that about 50 percent of diverticular disease susceptibility is genetically based. We also know genetic influence is complex, and related to multiple genes.” The overall mix of genetic and environmental factors associated with the development of diverticular disease helps to explain the wide phenotypic variation physicians observe clinically, ranging from asymptomatic to life-threatening. Continue reading

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Identifying Gene Expression Profiles Linked to Cancer Development in Barrett’s Esophagus

Douglas B. Stairs, Ph.D.

Douglas B. Stairs, Ph.D.

The rising incidence of Barrett’s esophagus (BE) over the past two decades, coincident with increases in obesity, chronic heartburn, and gastroesophageal reflux disease, has focused attention on questions about how to monitor and treat these patients. About four in 1,000 BE patients annually develop esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), a 30- to 40-fold greater risk than in the general public. EAC, in turn, is linked to five-year survival rates of only about 20 percent. While early identification of high-risk BE patients is critical to improve EAC survival, factors predictive of cancer progression have not been identified. Continue reading

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