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1.  Transnasal and standard transoral endoscopies in the screening of gastric mucosal neoplasias 
AIM: To compare the diagnostic performances of transnasal and standard transoral esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) in gastric cancer screening of asymptomatic healthy subjects.
METHODS: Between January 2006 and March 2010, a total of 3324 subjects underwent examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract by EGD for cancer screening, with 1382 subjects (41.6%) screened by transnasal EGD and the remaining 1942 subjects (58.4%) by standard transoral EGD. Clinical profiles of the screened subjects, detection rates of gastric neoplasia and histopathology of the detected neoplasias were compared between groups according to the stage of Helicobacter pylori
(H. pylori)-related chronic gastritis.
RESULTS: Clinical profiles of subjects did not differ significantly between the two EGD groups, except that there were significantly more men in the transnasal EGD group. During the study period, 55 cases of gastric mucosal neoplasias were detected. Of these, 23 cases were detected by transnasal EGD and 32 cases by standard transoral EGD. The detection rate for gastric mucosal neoplasia in the transnasal EGD group was thus 1.66%, compared to 1.65% in the standard transoral EGD group, with no significant difference between the two groups. Detection rates using the two endoscopies were likewise comparable, regardless of H. pylori infection. However, detection rates when screening subjects without extensive chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG) were significantly higher with standard transoral EGD (0.70%) than with transnasal EGD (0.12%, P < 0.05). In particular, standard transoral EGD was far better for detecting neoplasia in subjects with H. pylori-related non-atrophic gastritis, with a detection rate of 3.11% compared to 0.53% using transnasal EGD (P < 0.05). In the screening of subjects with extensive CAG, no significant differences in detection of neoplasia were evident between the two endoscopies, although the mean size of detected cancers was significantly smaller and the percentage of early cancers was significantly higher with standard transoral EGD.
CONCLUSION: These results strongly suggest that the diagnostic performance of transnasal endoscopy is suboptimal for cancer screening, particularly in subjects with H. pylori-related non-atrophic gastritis.
doi:10.4253/wjge.v3.i8.162
PMCID: PMC3180621  PMID: 21954413
Transnasal endoscopy; Gastric cancer; Gastric adenoma; Atrophic gastritis; Helicobacter pylori; Cancer screening
2.  Splenectomy: A Treatment for Bleeding Gastric Varices with Underlying Essential Thrombocythemia 
Introduction
Gastric varices are less common than esophagogastric varices in patients with portal hypertension, occurring in up to 33% of patients. Gastric varices are more common in patients with noncirrhotic portal hypertension and extrahepatic portal vein thrombosis, are associated with a lower incidence of bleeding, and have a higher mortality rate than esophageal varices. Optimal management of gastric variceal bleeding is debatable. We present a case of gastric variceal bleeding caused by pre-hepatic venous thrombosis from essential thrombocythemia which was successfully treated by therapeutic splenectomy.
Case Description
A 59-year-old woman with history of thrombocytosis presented with progressive abdominal pain, decreased appetite, and vomiting. Initial laboratory results showed a white blood cell count of 10.6 (x10∧9/L), hemoglobin of 14.6 (g/dL), platelet count of 279 (x10∧9/L) and normal PT/PTT. Triphasic liver computed tomography (CT) revealed splenomegaly and extensive portal, superior mesenteric, and splenic vein thrombosis with no collateral vascularity. Trans-abdominal catheter directed thrombolysis with continuous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) infusion was unsuccessful. She was anticoagluated with heparin and then warfarin. A hypercoagulation workup showed positive heterozygous prothrombin gene mutation and JAK2 V617F gene mutation. Bone marrow biopsy was diagnostic of essential thrombocythemia. Two months later at an outside facility she had an evaluation for gastric cancer with esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and biopsy. She subsequently complained of epigastric pain, melenic stools, and fatigue. Hemoblobin was 10.4 (x10∧9/L) and INR was 3.2. Abdominal CT showed reduced clot burden but new periportal collateral veins and gastric varices. EGD showed an erosion over a gastric varix with stigmata of a recent bleeding. Anticoagulation was reversed and octreotide and propranolol were started. The patient continued to bleed with a drop in hemoglobin to 7.1(x10∧9/L) and splenectomy was performed. Post-operative EGD demonstrated complete resolution of gastric varices. Three months after discharge on warfarin, there has been no recurrence of hemorrhage.
Conclusion
Gastric variceal bleeding is usually caused by left-sided portal hypertension, most commonly from extrahepatic venous thrombosis. Optimal management of gastric varices remains controversial. In this case, traditional treatment of multivessel thrombosis (portal, mesenteric, and splenic veins) failed. Splenectomy is often reserved for patients with isolated splenic vein thrombosis, however, splenectomy was a successful treatment for this patient with gastric varices from multivessel extrahepatic thrombosis and essential thrombocythemia.
PMCID: PMC3764569
3.  Evaluation of the Lung Cancer Risks at Which to Screen Ever- and Never-Smokers: Screening Rules Applied to the PLCO and NLST Cohorts 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(12):e1001764.
Martin Tammemägi and colleagues evaluate which risk groups of individuals, including nonsmokers and high-risk individuals from 65 to 80 years of age, should be screened for lung cancer using computed tomography.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Lung cancer risks at which individuals should be screened with computed tomography (CT) for lung cancer are undecided. This study's objectives are to identify a risk threshold for selecting individuals for screening, to compare its efficiency with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) criteria for identifying screenees, and to determine whether never-smokers should be screened. Lung cancer risks are compared between smokers aged 55–64 and ≥65–80 y.
Methods and Findings
Applying the PLCOm2012 model, a model based on 6-y lung cancer incidence, we identified the risk threshold above which National Lung Screening Trial (NLST, n = 53,452) CT arm lung cancer mortality rates were consistently lower than rates in the chest X-ray (CXR) arm. We evaluated the USPSTF and PLCOm2012 risk criteria in intervention arm (CXR) smokers (n = 37,327) of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). The numbers of smokers selected for screening, and the sensitivities, specificities, and positive predictive values (PPVs) for identifying lung cancers were assessed. A modified model (PLCOall2014) evaluated risks in never-smokers. At PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151, the 65th percentile of risk, the NLST CT arm mortality rates are consistently below the CXR arm's rates. The number needed to screen to prevent one lung cancer death in the 65th to 100th percentile risk group is 255 (95% CI 143 to 1,184), and in the 30th to <65th percentile risk group is 963 (95% CI 291 to −754); the number needed to screen could not be estimated in the <30th percentile risk group because of absence of lung cancer deaths. When applied to PLCO intervention arm smokers, compared to the USPSTF criteria, the PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151 threshold selected 8.8% fewer individuals for screening (p<0.001) but identified 12.4% more lung cancers (sensitivity 80.1% [95% CI 76.8%–83.0%] versus 71.2% [95% CI 67.6%–74.6%], p<0.001), had fewer false-positives (specificity 66.2% [95% CI 65.7%–66.7%] versus 62.7% [95% CI 62.2%–63.1%], p<0.001), and had higher PPV (4.2% [95% CI 3.9%–4.6%] versus 3.4% [95% CI 3.1%–3.7%], p<0.001). In total, 26% of individuals selected for screening based on USPSTF criteria had risks below the threshold PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151. Of PLCO former smokers with quit time >15 y, 8.5% had PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151. None of 65,711 PLCO never-smokers had PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151. Risks and lung cancers were significantly greater in PLCO smokers aged ≥65–80 y than in those aged 55–64 y. This study omitted cost-effectiveness analysis.
Conclusions
The USPSTF criteria for CT screening include some low-risk individuals and exclude some high-risk individuals. Use of the PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151 criterion can improve screening efficiency. Currently, never-smokers should not be screened. Smokers aged ≥65–80 y are a high-risk group who may benefit from screening.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Lung cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the world and the most common cause of cancer-related deaths. Like all cancers, lung cancer occurs when cells acquire genetic changes that allow them to grow uncontrollably and to move around the body (metastasize). The most common trigger for these genetic changes in lung cancer is exposure to cigarette smoke. Symptoms of lung cancer include a persistent cough and breathlessness. If lung cancer is diagnosed when it is confined to the lung (stage I), the tumor can often be removed surgically. Stage II tumors, which have spread into nearby lymph nodes, are usually treated with surgery plus chemotherapy or radiotherapy. For more advanced lung cancers that have spread throughout the chest (stage III) or the body (stage IV), surgery is rarely helpful and these tumors are treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy alone. Overall, because most lung cancers are not detected until they are advanced, less than 17% of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive for five years.
Why Was This Study Done?
Screening for lung cancer—looking for early disease in healthy people—could save lives. In the US National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), annual screening with computed tomography (CT) reduced lung cancer mortality by 20% among smokers at high risk of developing cancer compared with screening with a chest X-ray. But what criteria should be used to decide who is screened for lung cancer? The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), for example, recommends annual CT screening of people who are 55–80 years old, have smoked 30 or more pack-years (one pack-year is defined as a pack of cigarettes per day for one year), and—if they are former smokers—quit smoking less than 15 years ago. However, some experts think lung cancer risk prediction models—statistical models that estimate risk based on numerous personal characteristics—should be used to select people for screening. Here, the researchers evaluate PLCOm2012, a lung cancer risk prediction model based on the incidence of lung cancer among smokers enrolled in the US Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO). Specifically, the researchers use NLST and PLCO screening trial data to identify a PLCOm2012 risk threshold for selecting people for screening and to compare the efficiency of the PLCOm2012 model and the USPSTF criteria for identifying “screenees.”
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
By analyzing NLST data, the researchers calculated that at PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151, mortality (death) rates among NLST participants screened with CT were consistently below mortality rates among NLST participants screened with chest X-ray and that 255 people with a PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151 would need to be screened to prevent one lung cancer death. Next, they used data collected from smokers in the screened arm of the PLCO trial to compare the efficiency of the PLCOm2012 and USPSTF criteria for identifying screenees. They found that 8.8% fewer people had a PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151 than met USPSTF criteria for screening, but 12.4% more lung cancers were identified. Thus, using PLCOm2012 improved the sensitivity and specificity of the selection of individuals for lung cancer screening over using UPSTF criteria. Notably, 8.5% of PLCO former smokers with quit times of more than 15 years had PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151, none of the PLCO never-smokers had PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151, and the calculated risks and incidence of lung cancer were greater among PLCO smokers aged ≥65–80 years than among those aged 55–64 years.
What Do These Findings Mean?
Despite the absence of a cost-effectiveness analysis in this study, these findings suggest that the use of the PLCOm2012 risk ≥0.0151 threshold rather than USPSTF criteria for selecting individuals for lung cancer screening could improve screening efficiency. The findings have several other important implications. First, these findings suggest that screening may be justified in people who stopped smoking more than 15 years ago; USPSTF currently recommends that screening stop once an individual's quit time exceeds 15 years. Second, these findings do not support lung cancer screening among never-smokers. Finally, these findings suggest that smokers aged ≥65–80 years might benefit from screening, although the presence of additional illnesses and reduced life expectancy need to be considered before recommending the provision of routine lung cancer screening to this section of the population.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001764.
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about all aspects of lung cancer for patients and health-care professionals, including information on lung cancer screening (in English and Spanish)
Cancer Research UK also provides detailed information about lung cancer and about lung cancer screening
The UK National Health Service Choices website has a page on lung cancer that includes personal stories
MedlinePlus provides links to other sources of information about lung cancer (in English and Spanish)
Information about the USPSTF recommendations for lung cancer screening is available
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001764
PMCID: PMC4251899  PMID: 25460915
4.  Rate and yield of repeat upper endoscopy in patients with dyspepsia 
AIM: To determine the rate and yield of repeat esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) for dyspepsia in clinical practice, whether second opinions drive its use, and whether it is performed at the expense of colorectal cancer screening.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of all patients who underwent repeat EGD for dyspepsia from 1996 to 2006 at the University of California, San Francisco endoscopy service.
RESULTS: Of 24 780 EGDs, 5460 (22%) were performed for dyspepsia in 4873 patients. Of these, 451 patients (9.3%) underwent repeat EGD for dyspepsia at a median 1.7 (interquartile range, 0.8-3.1) years after initial EGD. Significant findings possibly related to dyspepsia were more likely at initial (29%) vs repeat EGD (18%) [odds ratio (OR), 1.45; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.20-1.75, P < 0.0001], and at repeat EGD if the initial EGD had reported such findings (26%) than if it had not (14%) (OR, 1.32; 95% CI: 1.08-1.62, P = 0.0015). The same endoscopist performed the repeat and initial EGD in 77% of cases. Of patients aged 50 years or older, 286/311 (92%) underwent lower endoscopy.
CONCLUSION: Repeat EGD for dyspepsia occurred at a low but substantial rate, with lower yield than initial EGD. Optimizing endoscopy use remains a public health priority.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v16.i20.2520
PMCID: PMC2877181  PMID: 20503451
Dyspepsia; Esophagogastroduodenoscopy; Health resources; Diagnostic techniques and procedures; Repeat; Treatment outcome
5.  A Community-Based, Case-Control Study Evaluating Mortality Reduction from Gastric Cancer by Endoscopic Screening in Japan 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e79088.
Aims
Although the incidence of gastric cancer has decreased in the last 3 decades, it remains the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide. In Asian countries, the burden of gastric cancer has remained, and cancer screening is normally expected to reduce gastric cancer death. We conducted a community-based, case-control study to evaluate the reduction of mortality from gastric cancer by endoscopic screening.
Methods
Case subjects were defined as individuals who had died of gastric cancer between 2003 and 2006 in 4 cities in Tottori Prefecture, and between 2006 and 2010 in Niigata City, Japan. Up to 6 control subjects were matched by sex, birth year (±3 years), and the residence of each corresponding case subject from the population lists in the study areas. Control subjects were required to be disease-free at the time when the corresponding case subjects were diagnosed as having gastric cancer. The odds ratios (ORs) were calculated for those who had participated in endoscopic or radiographic screening before the reference date when the case subjects were diagnosed as having gastric cancer, compared with subjects who had never participated in any screening. Conditional logistic-regression models for matched sets were used to estimate the ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results
The case subjects consisted of 288 men and 122 women for case subjects, with 2,292 matched control subjects. Compared with those who had never been screened before the date of diagnosis of gastric cancer in the case subjects, the ORs within 36 months from the date of diagnosis were 0.695 (95% CI: 0.489–0.986) for endoscopic screening and 0.865 (95% CI : 0.631–1.185) for radiographic screening.
Conclusions
The results suggest a 30% reduction in gastric cancer mortality by endoscopic screening compared with no screening within 36 months before the date of diagnosis of gastric cancer.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079088
PMCID: PMC3827316  PMID: 24236091
6.  Contribution of H. pylori and Smoking Trends to US Incidence of Intestinal-Type Noncardia Gastric Adenocarcinoma: A Microsimulation Model 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(5):e1001451.
Jennifer Yeh and colleagues examine the contribution of IHelicobacter pyloriI and smoking trends to the incidence of past and future intestinal-type noncardia gastric adenocarcinoma.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Although gastric cancer has declined dramatically in the US, the disease remains the second leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. A better understanding of reasons for the decline can provide important insights into effective preventive strategies. We sought to estimate the contribution of risk factor trends on past and future intestinal-type noncardia gastric adenocarcinoma (NCGA) incidence.
Methods and Findings
We developed a population-based microsimulation model of intestinal-type NCGA and calibrated it to US epidemiologic data on precancerous lesions and cancer. The model explicitly incorporated the impact of Helicobacter pylori and smoking on disease natural history, for which birth cohort-specific trends were derived from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Between 1978 and 2008, the model estimated that intestinal-type NCGA incidence declined 60% from 11.0 to 4.4 per 100,000 men, <3% discrepancy from national statistics. H. pylori and smoking trends combined accounted for 47% (range = 30%–58%) of the observed decline. With no tobacco control, incidence would have declined only 56%, suggesting that lower smoking initiation and higher cessation rates observed after the 1960s accelerated the relative decline in cancer incidence by 7% (range = 0%–21%). With continued risk factor trends, incidence is projected to decline an additional 47% between 2008 and 2040, the majority of which will be attributable to H. pylori and smoking (81%; range = 61%–100%). Limitations include assuming all other risk factors influenced gastric carcinogenesis as one factor and restricting the analysis to men.
Conclusions
Trends in modifiable risk factors explain a significant proportion of the decline of intestinal-type NCGA incidence in the US, and are projected to continue. Although past tobacco control efforts have hastened the decline, full benefits will take decades to be realized, and further discouragement of smoking and reduction of H. pylori should be priorities for gastric cancer control efforts.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Cancer of the stomach (gastric cancer) is responsible for a tenth of all cancer deaths world-wide, with an estimated 700,000 people dying from this malignancy every year, making it the second most common cause of global cancer-related deaths after lung cancer. Unfortunately, the projected global burden of this disease estimate that deaths from gastric cancer will double by 2030. Gastric cancer has a poor prognosis with only a quarter of people with this type of cancer surviving more than five years. In order to reduce deaths, it is therefore of utmost importance to identify and reduce the modifiable risk factors associated with gastric cancer. Smoking and chronic gastric infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), are known to be two common modifiable risk factors for gastric cancer, particularly for a type of gastric cancer called intestinal-type noncardia gastric adenocarcinoma (NCGA), which occurs at the distal end of the stomach and accounts for more than half of all cases of gastric cancer in US men.
Why Was This Study Done?
H. pylori initiates a precancerous process, and so infection with this bacteria can increase intestinal-type NCGA risk by as much as 6-fold while smoking doubles cancer risk by advancing increasing progression of existing lesions. Changes in these two risk factors over the past century (especially following the US Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health in 1964) have led to a dramatic decline in the rates of gastric cancer in US men. Understanding the combined effects of underlying risk factor trends on health outcomes for intestinal-type NCGA at the population level can help to predict future cancer trends and burden in the US. So in this study, the researchers used a mathematical model to estimate the contribution of H. pylori and smoking trends on the decline in intestinal-type NCGA incidence in US men.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used birth cohorts derived from data in two national databases, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to develop a population-based model of intestinal-type NCGA. To ensure model predictions were consistent with epidemiologic data, the researchers calibrated the model to data on cancer and precancerous lesions and using the model, projected population outcomes between 1978 and 2040 for a base-case scenario (in which all risk factor trends were allowed to vary over time). The researchers then evaluated alternative risk factors scenarios to provide insights on the potential benefit of past and future efforts to control gastric cancer.
Using these methods, the researchers estimated that the incidence of intestinal-type NCGA (standardized by age) fell from 11.0 to 4.4 per 100,000 men between 1978 and 2008, a drop of 60%. When the researchers incorporated only H. pylori prevalence and smoking trends into the model (both of which fell dramatically over the time period) they found that intestinal-type NCGA incidence fell by only 28% (from 12.7 to 9.2 per 100,000 men), suggesting that H. pylori and smoking trends are responsible for 47% of the observed decline. The researchers found that H. pylori trends alone were responsible for 43% of the decrease in cancer but smoking trends were responsible for only a 3% drop. The researchers also found evidence that after the 1960s, observed trends in lower smoking initiation and higher cessation accelerated the decline in intestinal-type NCGA incidence by 7%. Finally, the researchers found that intestinal-type NCGA incidence is projected to decline an additional 47% between 2008 and 2040 (4.4 to 2.3 per 100,000 men) with H. pylori and smoking trends accounting for more than 80% of the observed fall.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that, combined with a fall in smoking rates, almost half of the observed fall in rates of intestinal-type NCGA cancer in US men between 1978 and 2008 was attributable to the decline in infection rates of H. pylori. Rates for this cancer are projected to continue to fall by 2040, with trends for both H. pylori infection and smoking accounting for more than 80% of the observed fall, highlighting the importance of the relationship between risk factors changes over time and achieving long-term reduction in cancer rates. This study is limited by the assumptions made in the model and in that it only examined one type of gastric cancer and excluded women. Nevertheless, this modeling study highlights that continued efforts to reduce rates of smoking and H. pylori infection will help to reduce rates of gastric cancer.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001451.
The National Cancer Institute gives detailed information about gastric cancer
The Gastric Cancer Foundation has information on gastric cancer for patients and professionals
Cancer Research UK explains types of gastric cancer
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001451
PMCID: PMC3660292  PMID: 23700390
7.  Endoscopic Gastric Cancer Screening and Surveillance in High-Risk Groups 
Clinical Endoscopy  2014;47(6):497-503.
Gastric cancer remains a major cancer problem world-wide and future incidence will likely increase due to rapidly aging population demographics. Population-based screening is being undertaken in Korea and Japan, where gastric cancer incidence rates are high, and seems to be effective in reducing mortality from gastric cancer. However, such strategies are difficult to implement in countries with a low incidence or limited resources. Thus, screening strategies should be directed towards high-risk population subgroups. Gastric cancer has a relatively long mean sojourn time, and prognosis of early-stage disease is excellent. In general population, screening at 2-year interval in Korea seems to be effective for early-stage diagnosis. In subjects with atrophic gastritis or intestinal metaplasia, surveillance is recommended at 1 to 3 years intervals according to European and Japanese recommendation. Screening intervals for family members with sporadic gastric cancer has not yet been adequately evaluated, but 1-year interval is recommended for hereditary diffuse gastric cancer family-members. Gastric cancer patients treated by endoscopic resection are the highest-risk group, and 1-year interval surveillance can detect most metachronous gastric cancers at an early stage. Future gastric cancer surveillance strategies using endoscopy should be guided by risk-stratification assessment, and further refinement of optimal surveillance intervals is needed.
doi:10.5946/ce.2014.47.6.497
PMCID: PMC4260096  PMID: 25505714
Stomach neoplasms; Endoscopy; Screening; Surveillance
8.  Prevalence of gastric varices and results of sclerotherapy with N-butyl 2 cyanoacrylate for controlling acute gastric variceal bleeding 
AIM: To study the prevalence, predictors and control of bleeding following N-butyl 2 cyanoacrylate (NBC) sclerotherapy of gastric varix (GV).
METHODS: We analyzed case records of 1436 patients with portal hypertension, who underwent endoscopy during the past five years for variceal screening or upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Fifty patients with bleeding GV underwent sclerotherapy with a mean of 2 mL NBC for control of bleeding. Outcome parameters were primary hemostasis (bleeding control within the first 48 h), recurrent bleeding (after 48 h of esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy) and in-hospital mortality were analyzed.
RESULTS: The prevalence of GV in patients with portal hypertension was 15% (220/1436) and the incidence of bleeding was 22.7% (50/220). Out of the 50 bleeding GV patients, isolated gastric varices (IGV-I) were seen in 22 (44%), gastro-oesophageal varices (GOV) on lesser curvature (GOV-I) in 16 (32%), and GOV on greater curvature (GOV-II) in 15 (30%). IGV-I was seen in 44% (22/50) patients who had bleeding as compared to 23% (39/170) who did not have bleeding (P < 0.003). Primary hemostasis was achieved with NBC in all patients. Re-bleeding occurred in 7 (14%) patients after 48 h of initial sclerotherapy. Secondary hemostasis was achieved with repeat NBC sclerotherapy in 4/7 (57%). Three patients died after repeat sclerotherapy, one during transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stem shunt (TIPSS), one during surgery and one due to uncontrolled bleeding. Treatment failure-related mortality rate was 6% (3/50).
CONCLUSION: GV can be seen in 15% of patients with portal hypertension and the incidence of bleeding is 22.7%. NBC is highly effective in controlling GV bleeding. In hospital mortality of patients with bleeding GV is 6%.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v13.i8.1247
PMCID: PMC4147002  PMID: 17451208
Gastric varices; Portal hypertension; N-butyl cyanoacrylate; Bleeding; Sclerotherapy
9.  UNSEDATED TRANSNASAL ENDOSCOPY WITH ULTRATHIN ENDOSCOPE AS A SCREENING TOOL FOR RESEARCH STUDIES 
The Laryngoscope  2012;122(8):1719-1723.
AIM
Asymptomatic subjects volunteering for research studies are generally stratified as healthy based on a questionnaire, medical interviewing, and physical examination. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of upper GI abnormalities in healthy asymptomatic volunteers using unsedated transnasal esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (T-EGD) with an ultrathin endoscope as an additional screening tool.
METHODS
This is a prospective study from one academic medical center with extensive experience in T-EGD. Consecutive 150 subjects volunteering for research studies were initially screened by using a gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) questionnaire, interviewing, and examination. Based on these, they were stratified as healthy asymptomatic volunteers or with GERD. Unsedated T-EGD was then performed by a faculty who was blinded to the results of the initial assessment.
RESULTS
On initial assessment using GERD questionnaire, medical interviewing, and physical examination, of the total 150 consecutive research volunteers, 83 (33±16, 46 females, 37 males) subjects were healthy asymptomatic volunteers and 67 (36±15, 35 females, 32 males) had symptoms of GERD. On T-EGD, gastrointestinal pathology was found in 15 of 83 (18%) healthy asymptomatic volunteers as compared to 24 of 67 (36%) stratified as having GERD (p <0.01). The esophageal abnormalities found in healthy asymptomatic volunteers were esophagitis (13.3%), Barrett’s esophagus (2.4%), hiatus hernia (2.4%) and gastritis (2.4%).
CONCLUSION
A small but significant number of asymptomatic subjects have abnormal upper GI findings. Hence, transnasal unsedated endoscopy can be considered as a screening tool to stratify subjects as healthy especially when considering them for research studies.
doi:10.1002/lary.23304
PMCID: PMC3477703  PMID: 22565357
Transnasal endoscopy; unsedated endoscopy; ultrathin endoscope; gastroesophageal reflux disease; Barretts esophagus
10.  Scheduled out-patient endoscopy and lack of compliance in a minority serving tertiary institution 
Background
Lack of adherence to appointments wastes resources and portends a poorer outcome for patients. We sought to determine if the type of scheduled endoscopic procedures affect compliance.
Methods
We reviewed the final endoscopy schedule from January 2010 to August 2010 in an inner city teaching hospital that serves a predominantly African American population. The final schedule only includes patients who did not cancel, reschedule or notify the facility of their inability to adhere to their care plan up to 24 hours prior to their procedures. All patients had face to face consultation with gastroenterologists or surgeons prior to scheduling. We identified patients who did not show up for their procedures. We used Poisson regression models to calculate Relative Risks (RR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (CI).
Results
Of 2,183 patients who were scheduled for outpatient endoscopy, 400 (18.3%) patients were scheduled for Esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (EGD), 1,335 (61.2%) for colonoscopy and 448 (20.5%) for both EGD and colonoscopy. The rate of non compliance was 17.5%, 22.8% and 22.1%, respectively. When compared to those scheduled for only EGD, patients scheduled for colonoscopy alone (RR = 1.47; 95%CI: 1.13-1.92) and patients scheduled for both EGD and colonoscopy (RR = 1.36; 95%CI: 1.01-1.84) were less likely to show up for their procedures.
Conclusions
Our study suggests a high rate of non-compliance with scheduled out-patient endoscopy, particularly for colonoscopy. Since this may be a contributing factor to colorectal cancer disparities, increased community outreach on colorectal cancer education is needed and may help to reduce non compliance.
doi:10.1097/MAJ.0b013e31823ea5b0
PMCID: PMC3314107  PMID: 22197978
Colonoscopy; compliance; upper endoscopy; out-patient endoscopy
11.  Gastric choriocarcinoma admixed with an α-fetoprotein-producing adenocarcinoma and separated adenocarcinoma 
We report a case of gastric choriocarcinoma admixed with an α-fetoprotein (AFP)-producing adenocarcinoma. A 70-year-old man was hospitalized for gastric cancer that was detected during screening by esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD). Initial laboratory data showed the increased serum level of AFP and EGD revealed a 5-cm ulcerofungating mass in the greater curvature of the gastric antrum. The patient underwent radical subtotal gastrectomy with D2 lymph node dissection and Billroth II gastrojejunostomy. Histopathological evaluation confirmed double primary gastric cancer: gastric choriocarcinoma admixed with an AFP-producing adenocarcinoma and separated adenocarcinoma. At 2 wk postoperatively, his human chorionic gonadotropin and AFP levels had reduced and six cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy were initiated. No recurrence or distant metastasis was observed at 4 years postoperatively.
doi:10.3748/wjg.15.5106
PMCID: PMC2768893  PMID: 19860007
α-fetoproteins; Adenocarcinoma; Choriocarcinoma; Stomach neoplasms
12.  Early-Life Family Structure and Microbially Induced Cancer Risk 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(1):e7.
Background
Cancer may follow exposure to an environmental agent after many decades. The bacterium Helicobacter pylori, known to be acquired early in life, increases risk for gastric adenocarcinoma, but other factors are also important. In this study, we considered whether early-life family structure affects the risk of later developing gastric cancer among H. pylori+ men.
Methods and Findings
We examined a long-term cohort of Japanese-American men followed for 28 y, and performed a nested case-control study among those carrying H. pylori or the subset carrying the most virulent cagA+ H. pylori strains to address whether family structure predicted cancer development. We found that among the men who were H. pylori+ and/or cagA+ (it is possible to be cagA+ and H. pylori− if the H. pylori test is falsely negative), belonging to a large sibship or higher birth order was associated with a significantly increased risk of developing gastric adenocarcinoma late in life. For those with cagA+ strains, the risk of developing gastric cancer was more than twice as high (odds ratio 2.2; 95% confidence interval 1.2–4.0) among those in a sibship of seven or more individuals than in a sibship of between one and three persons.
Conclusions
These results provide evidence that early-life social environment plays a significant role in risk of microbially induced malignancies expressing five to eight decades later, and these findings lead to new models to explain these interactions.
This study suggests that early-life social environment has a significant role in risk of microbially induced malignancies such as gastric adenocarcinoma occuring five to eight decades later.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Although the theory that certain cancers might be caused by infectious agents (such as bacteria and viruses) has been around for some time, concrete evidence linking specific cancers and infections is only recently beginning to emerge. There is now very good evidence that stomach cancer, once one of the frequent types worldwide but now less common, is strongly associated with a particular infection of the stomach lining. This specific bacterium colonizing the stomach, Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori), often infects people early in childhood through close contact with other people, and tends to stay in the body throughout life. However, most people do not suffer any symptoms as a result of being colonized with H. pylori. Researchers are interested in the relationship between stomach cancer and aspects of someone's upbringing, for example whether an individual has a large number of sisters and brothers and whether they are the youngest or oldest in a large group of siblings. One reason for being interested in this topic is that if H. pylori is mainly spread from one child to another in the home, we might expect children from large sibling groups, and the youngest children in a group, to be at greater risk of being infected, and then more likely to get stomach cancer later in life. Furthermore—and this was the primary reason for the study—the researchers wished to determine whether, among H. pylori+ people, the structure of the family affects the risk of developing stomach cancer much later in life. With all study participants being H. pylori+, the essential comparison was between people of high and low birth order.
Why Was This Study Done?
This group of researchers had already done a previous study that had shown that people who carry H. pylori in their stomachs are more likely to get stomach cancer, and also that younger children in a sibling group are more likely to get stomach cancer. In the period following that study, the examined population has become older and more of the people concerned have developed stomach cancer. This meant that the researchers could go back and extend their previous work to see, more reliably, whether stomach cancer was linked to family structure. It also meant that the researchers could look at the effects of each factor not only in isolation, but also the combined effect of all the different factors. The researchers also stratified for the most virulent strains (those that were cagA+).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In this study, the researchers started out with a pool of 7,429 Japanese-American men living in Hawaii, USA, who had donated blood samples between 1967 and 1975. Of these men, 261 eventually developed stomach cancer. Each of the 261 men was then matched with a similarly aged man from the original pool of 7,429 men who did not have stomach cancer. The researchers then went back to the original blood samples taken many years before and tested the samples to see if the men were infected with H. pylori at the time the sample was taken and, if so, whether a particular strain of the bacterium, cagA, was present. The researchers then looked at whether the risk of getting stomach cancer was associated with the number of siblings a man had and whether he was older or younger than the other siblings.
Similar to the prior study, they found that men who had stomach cancer were three times more likely to carry H. pylori compared to men who did not develop stomach cancer. In men who had H. pylori, those with large numbers of siblings were more likely to get stomach cancer, and this was especially true for men who had the cagA strain of H. pylori. In the whole group of men with cancer, the order of birth (whether a man was older or younger in his sibling group) did not seem to be particularly linked to development of stomach cancer. However, in men who had the cagA strain of H. pylori, those from the largest sibships were at highest risk of developing gastric cancer; in this group, one particular type of cancer (the most common type—intestinal-type gastric cancer) was also associated with later birth order.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The researchers initially thought that men with H. pylori would be at a higher risk of getting stomach cancer if they had a large number of sisters and brothers, and especially if they were a younger sibling in a large group. This idea was supported by their data. These findings support the idea that people often get H. pylori from their older sisters and brothers, but there is not conclusive proof of this. There might be some other factor that explains the association between large family size and stomach cancer, for example that people from large families might be poorer and more at risk from stomach cancer for some other reason. Currently, most doctors do not recommend routinely testing people without any symptoms to see if they have H. pylori, but people with pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen would generally be screened for H. pylori and then treated to eliminate the infection if it is found. The main novel idea is that those people who are born in a large sibship, and/or are of higher birth order, are more likely to acquire their H. pylori from a genetically related person (a sibling) than from an unrelated person (friend/classmate). This “family-structure effect” could be the explanation as to why there is a higher risk of stomach cancer developing later—the strain from a genetically related person already is “preadapted” to the new host, and has a “head-start” on immunity, compared to a strain from an unrelated person. The researchers hypothesize that it is the nature of that initial interaction with the host that sets the stage for the kind of events that lead to cancers decades later.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040007.
A Perspective article by Dimitrios Trichopoulos and Pagona Lagiou discusses these findings further
MedLine Plus encyclopedia entry on stomach cancer
Wikipedia entry on Helicobacter pylori (Wikipedia is an internet encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
The US National Cancer Institute publishes information about stomach cancer
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040007
PMCID: PMC1769414  PMID: 17227131
13.  Mesenteric Pseudocyst of the Small Bowel in Gastric Cancer Patient: A Case Report 
Journal of Gastric Cancer  2012;12(1):43-45.
Mesenteric pseudocyst is rare. This term is used to describe the abdominal cystic mass, without the origin of abdominal organ. We presented a case of mesenteric pseudocyst of the small bowel in a 70-year-old man. Esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy showed a 3.5 cm sized excavated lesion on the posterior wall of angle. Endocopic biopsy confirmed a histologic diagnosis of the poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, which includes the signet ring cell component. Abdominal computed tomography scan showed a focal mucosal enhancement in the posterior wall of angle of the stomach, a 2.4 cm sized enhancing mass on the distal small bowel loop, without distant metastases or ascites in rectal shelf, and multiple gallbladder stones. The patient underwent subtotal gastrectomy with gastroduodenostomy, segmental resection of the small bowel, and cholecystectomy. The final pathological diagnosis was mesenteric pseudocyst. This is the first case report describing incidentally detected mesenteric pseudocyst of the small bowel in gastric cancer patients.
doi:10.5230/jgc.2012.12.1.43
PMCID: PMC3319799  PMID: 22500263
Mesenteric cyst; Stomach neoplasms; Pseudocyst
14.  Prevalence of Precancerous Conditions and Gastric Cancer Based upon the National Cancer Screening Program in Korea for 7 Years, Single Center Experience 
Aims. Gastric cancer is the second most prevalent cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Korea. The National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP) has implemented esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) biennially for all Koreans starting in their 40s. This study was conducted to estimate the clinical relevance of NCSP through identifying the prevalence of gastric disease, including cancer. Materials and Methods. Data from 40,821 subjects who received the screening EGD in the single center for 7 years were retrospectively investigated. Results. The overall prevalence of nonatrophic/atrophic/metaplastic gastritis, peptic ulcer, adenoma, early gastric cancer (EGC), and advanced gastric cancer (AGC) was 44.28%, 27.97%, 14.95%, 0.59%, 0.43%, 0.21%, and 0.09%, respectively. The prevalence of metaplastic gastritis, peptic ulcer, adenoma, EGC, and AGC was significantly higher in men than in women. The prevalence of preneoplastic/neoplastic disease significantly increased with age. Judged from the ratio of EGC to AGC, the proportion of EGC made up to 70% of all cancers. Conclusions. Screening endoscopy starting for people in their 40s should be strongly recommended for the elderly. Through the NCSP, the early detection of gastric cancer might contribute to the decreased mortality rate due to gastric cancer in Korea.
doi:10.1155/2015/571965
PMCID: PMC4302356  PMID: 25642244
15.  The benefit of mass eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection: a community-based study of gastric cancer prevention 
Gut  2012;62(5):676-682.
Objective
To evaluate the benefit of mass eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection in reducing premalignant gastric lesions.
Design
Mass eradication of H pylori infection was started from 2004 for a Taiwanese population with prevalent H pylori infection, who were >30 years of age. Participants positive for the 13C-urea breath test underwent endoscopic screening and 1-week clarithromycin-based triple therapy. For subjects whose initial treatment failed, 10-day levofloxacin-based triple therapy was administered. The main outcome measures were changes in the prevalence of H pylori infection and premalignant gastric lesions, and changes in the incidence of premalignant gastric lesions and gastric cancer before (1995–2003) and after (2004–2008) chemoprevention using various comparators.
Results
The reduction in H pylori infection was 78.7% (95% CI 76.8% to 80.7%), and the estimated incidence of re-infection/recrudescence was 1% (95% CI 0.6% to 1.4%) per person-year. The effectiveness of reducing the incidence of gastric atrophy resulting from chemoprevention was significant at 77.2% (95% CI 72.3% to 81.2%), while the reduction in intestinal metaplasia was not significant. Compared with the 5-year period before chemoprevention and in the absence of endoscopic screening, the effectiveness in reducing gastric cancer incidence during the chemoprevention period was 25% (rate ratio 0.753, 95% CI 0.372 to 1.524). The reduction in peptic ulcer disease was 67.4% (95% CI 52.2% to 77.8%), while the incidence of oesophagitis was 6% (95% CI 5.1% to 6.9%) after treatment.
Conclusions
Population-based eradication of H pylori infection has led to a significant reduction in gastric atrophy at the expense of increased oesophagitis. The ultimate benefit in reducing gastric cancer incidence and its mortality should be validated by a further long-term follow-up.
Trial registration number
NCT00155389.
doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2012-302240
PMCID: PMC3618687  PMID: 22698649
Helicobacter pylori; gastric cancer; chemoprevention; cancer prevention; endoscopic procedures; gastro-oesophageal reflux disease; colorectal cancer screening; oesophageal cancer; cancer epidemiology; statistics; meta-analysis; cancer registries; colonoscopy; colonic polyps; colorectal neoplasia; colonic neoplasms; colorectal adenomas; endoscopic polypectomy; colorectal neoplasm; endoscopy; gastric lymphoma; helicobacter pylori - pathogenesis; molecular oncology; gastrointestinal neoplasia
16.  Gastric Electrical Stimulation 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objective of this analysis was to assess the effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness of gastric electrical stimulation (GES) for the treatment of chronic, symptomatic refractory gastroparesis and morbid obesity.
Background
Gastroparesis - Epidemiology
Gastroparesis (GP) broadly refers to impaired gastric emptying in the absence of obstruction. Clinically, this can range from the incidental detection of delayed gastric emptying in an asymptomatic person to patients with severe nausea, vomiting and malnutrition. Symptoms of GP are nonspecific and may mimic structural disorders such as ulcer disease, partial gastric or small bowel obstruction, gastric cancer, and pancreaticobiliary disorders.
Gastroparesis may occur in association with diabetes, gastric surgery (consequence of peptic ulcer surgery and vagotomy) or for unknown reasons (idiopathic gastroparesis). Symptoms include early satiety, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and weight loss. The majority of patients with GP are women.
The relationship between upper gastrointestinal symptoms and the rate of gastric emptying is considered to be weak. Some patients with markedly delayed gastric emptying are asymptomatic and sometimes, severe symptoms may remit spontaneously.
Idiopathic GP may represent the most common form of GP. In one tertiary referral retrospective series, the etiologies in 146 GP patients were 36% idiopathic, 29% diabetic, 13% postgastric surgery, 7.5% Parkinson’s disease, 4.8% collagen vascular disorders, 4.1% intestinal pseudoobstruction and 6% miscellaneous causes.
The true prevalence of digestive symptoms in patients with diabetes and the relationship of these symptoms to delayed gastric emptying are unknown. Delayed gastric emptying is present in 27% to 58% of patients with type 1 diabetes and 30% with type 2 diabetes. However, highly variable rates of gastric emptying have been reported in type 1 and 2 diabetes, suggesting that development of GP in patients with diabetes is neither universal nor inevitable. In a review of studies examining gastric emptying in patients with diabetes compared to control patients, investigators noted that in many cases the magnitude of the delay in gastric emptying is modest.
GP may occur as a complication of a number of different surgical procedures. For example, vagal nerve injury may occur in 4% to 40% of patients who undergo laparoscopic fundoplication1 for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The prevalence of severe, refractory GP is scantily reported in the literature. Using data from a past study, it has been estimated that the prevalence of severe, symptomatic and refractory GP in the United States population is 0.017%. Assuming an Ontario population of 13 million, this would correspond to approximately 2,000 people in Ontario having severe, symptomatic, refractory GP.
The incidence of severe refractory GP estimated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is approximately 4,000 per year in the United States. This corresponds to about 150 patients in Ontario. Using expert opinion and FDA data, the incidence of severe refractory GP in Ontario is estimated to be about 20 to 150 per year.
Treatment for Gastroparesis
To date, there have been no long-term studies confirming the beneficial effects of maintaining euglycemia on GP symptoms. However, it has been suggested that consistent findings of physiologic studies in healthy volunteers and diabetes patients provides an argument to strive for near-normal blood glucose levels in affected diabetes patients.
Dietary measures (e.g., low fibre, low fat food), prokinetic drugs (e.g., domperidone, metoclopramide and erythromycin) and antiemetic or antinausea drugs (e.g, phenothiazines, diphenhydramine) are generally effective for symptomatic relief in the majority of patients with GP.
For patients with chronic, symptomatic GP who are refractory to drug treatment, surgical options may include jejunostomy tube for feeding, gastrotomy tube for stomach decompression and pyloroplasty for gastric emptying.
Few small studies examined the use of botulinum toxin injections into the pyloric sphincter. However, the contribution of excessive pyloric contraction to GP has been insufficiently defined and there have been no controlled studies of this therapy.
Treatment with GES is reversible and may be a less invasive option compared to stomach surgery for the treatment of patients with chronic, drug-refractory nausea and vomiting secondary to GP. In theory, GES represents an intermediate step between treatment directed at the underlying pathophysiology, and the treatment of symptoms. It is based on studies of gastric electrical patterns in GP that have identified the presence of a variety of gastric arrhythmias. Similar to a cardiac pacemaker, it was hypothesized that GES could override the abnormal rhythms, stimulate gastric emptying and eliminate symptoms.
Morbid Obesity Epidemiology
Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of at last 30 kg/m2. Morbid obesity is defined as a BMI of at least 40 kg/m2 or at least 35 kg/m2 with comorbid conditions. Comorbid conditions associated with obesity include diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemias, obstructive sleep apnea, weight-related arthropathies, and stress urinary incontinence.
In the United States, the age-adjusted prevalence of extreme obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2) for adults aged 20 years and older has increased significantly in the population, from 2.9% (1988–1994) to 4.7% (1999–2000). An expert estimated that about 160,000 to 180,000 people are morbidly obese in Ontario.
Treatment for Morbid Obesity
Diet, exercise, and behavioural therapy are used to help people lose weight.
Bariatric surgery for morbid obesity is considered an intervention of last resort for patients who have attempted first-line forms of medical management.
Gastric stimulation has been investigated for the treatment of morbid obesity; the intention being to reduce appetite and induce early satiety possibly due to inhibitory effects on gastric motility and effects on the central nervous system (CNS) and hormones related to satiety and/or appetite.
Possible advantages to GES for the treatment of morbid obesity include reversibility of the procedure, less invasiveness than some bariatric procedures, e.g., gastric bypass, and less side effects (e.g., dumping syndrome).
The Device
Electrical stimulation is delivered via an implanted system that consists of a neurostimulator and 2 leads. The surgical procedure can be performed via either an open or laparoscopic approach. An external programmer used by the physician can deliver instructions to the GES, i.e., adjust the rate and amplitude of stimulation (Figure 1). GES may be turned off by the physician at any time or may be removed. The battery life is approximately 4-5 years
For treatment of GP, the GES leads are secured in the muscle of the lower stomach, 10 cm proximal to the pylorus (the opening from the stomach to the intestine), 1 cm apart and connected to an implantable battery-powered neurostimulator which is placed in a small pocket in the abdominal wall
For treatment of morbid obesity, GES leads are implanted along the lesser curvature of the stomach where the vagal nerve branches spread, approximately 8 cm proximal to the pylorus. However, the implant positioning of the leads has been variably reported in the literature.
Regulatory Status
The Enterra Therapy System and the Transcend II Implantable Gastric Stimulation System (Medtronic Inc.) are both licensed as class 3 devices by Health Canada (license numbers 60264 and 66948 respectively). The Health Canada indications for use are:
Enterra Therapy System
“For use in the treatment of chronic intractable (drug-refractory) nausea and vomiting.”
Transcend II Implantable Gastric Stimulation System
“For use in weight reduction for obese adults with a body mass index greater than 35.”
The GES device that is licensed by Health Canada for treatment of GP, produces high-frequency GES. Most clinical studies examining GES for GP have used high-frequency (4 times the intrinsic slow wave frequency, i.e., 12 cycles per minute), low energy, short duration pulses. This type of stimulation does not alter gastric muscular contraction and has no effect on slow wave dysrhythmias. The mechanism of action is unclear but it is hypothesized that high-frequency GES may act on sensory fibers directed to the CNS.
The GES device licensed by Health Canada for treatment of morbid obesity produces low-frequency GES, which is close to or just above the normal/native gastric slow wave cycle (approximately 3 cycles/min.). This pacing uses low-frequency, high-energy, long-duration pulses to induce propagated slow waves that replace the spontaneous ones. Low-frequency pacing does not invoke muscular contractions.
Most studies examining the use of GES for the treatment of morbid obesity use low-frequency GES. Under normal circumstances, the gastric slow wave propagates distally and determines the frequency and propagation direction of gastric peristalsis. Low-frequency GES aims to produce abnormal gastric slow waves that can induce gastric dysrhythmia, disrupt regular propagation of slow waves, cause hypomotility of the stomach, delay gastric emptying, reduce food intake, prolong satiety, and produce weight loss.
In the United States, the Enterra Therapy System is a Humanitarian Use Device (HUD), meaning it is a medical device designated by the FDA for use in the treatment of medical conditions that affect fewer than 4,000 individuals per year.2 The Enterra Therapy System is indicated for “the treatment of chronic, drug- refractory nausea and vomiting secondary to GP of diabetes or idiopathic etiology” (not postsurgical etiologies).
GES for morbid obesity has not been approved by the FDA and is for investigational use only in the United States.
Review Strategy
The Medical Advisory Secretariat systematically reviewed the literature to assess the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of GES to treat patients who have: a) chronic refractory symptomatic GP; or b) morbid obesity.
The Medical Advisory Secretariat used its standard search strategy to retrieve international health technology assessments and English-language journal articles from selected databases.
The GRADE approach was used to systematically and explicitly make judgments about the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations.
Findings
As stated by the GRADE Working Group, the following definitions were used in grading the quality of the evidence in Tables 1 and 2.
GRADE Quality of Studies – Gastroparesis
Confounders related to diabetes.
Possible Type 2 error for subgroup analyses.
Subjective self-reported end point.
Posthoc change in primary end point analysis.
No sample size justification.
Concomitant prokinetic/antiemetic therapy.
Only 1 RCT (with different results for FDA and publication).
GES originally hypothesized to correct gastric rhythms, stimulate gastric emptying and therefore eliminate symptoms.
Now hypothesized to directly act on neurons to the CNS to control symptoms.
Weak correlation between symptoms and gastric emptying.
Unclear whether gastric emptying is still considered an end point to investigate.
GRADE Quality of Studies – Morbid Obesity
No sample size calculation.
Small sample size.
No ITT analysis.
Lack of detail regarding dropouts.
Possible Type 2 error.
Sparse details about randomization/blinding.
Full, final results not published.
Only 1 RCT (technically grey literature).
Economic Analysis
No formal economic analysis was identified in the literature search.
The Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research reported that the cost of implanting a GES in the United States for the treatment of GP is estimated to be $30,000 US. In Canada, the device costs approximately $10,700 Cdn; this does not include costs associated with the physician’s training, the implantation procedure, or device programming and maintenance.
Ontario Context
There is no Schedule of Benefits code for GES.
There is no Canadian Classification of Health Interventions Index (CCI) procedure code for GES.
Since the ICD-10 diagnosis code for gastroparesis falls under K31.8 “Other specified diseases of the stomach and duodenum”, it is impossible to determine how many patients in Ontario had discharge abstracts because of gastroparesis.
In 2005, there were less than 5 out-of-country requests for GES (for either consultation only or for surgery).
Gastroparesis
The prevalence of severe, refractory GP is variably reported in the literature.
The Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research estimated that the prevalence of severe, symptomatic and medically refractory GP in the United States population was 0.017%. Assuming a total Ontario population of 13 million, this would correspond to a budget impact of approximately $23.6 M
Cdn ($10,700 Cdn x 2,210 patients) for the device cost alone.
The incidence of severe refractory GP estimated by the FDA is approximately 4,000 per year in the United States. This corresponds to about 150 patients in Ontario. Using expert opinion and FDA data, the incidence of severe refractory GP in Ontario is estimated to be about 20 to 150 per year. This corresponds to a budget impact of approximately $107,000 Cdn to $1.6M Cdn per year for the device cost alone.
Morbid Obesity
An expert in the field estimated that there are 160,000 to 180,000 people in Ontario who are morbidly obese. This would correspond to a budget impact of approximately $1.7B Cdn to $1.9B Cdn for the device cost alone (assuming 100% uptake). However, the true uptake of GES for morbid obesity is unknown in relation to other types of bariatric surgery (which are more effective).
Conclusion
As per the GRADE Working Group, overall recommendations consider 4 main factors.
The tradeoffs, taking into account the estimated size of the effect for the main outcome, the confidence limits around those estimates and the relative value placed on the outcome.
The quality of the evidence.
Translation of the evidence into practice in a specific setting, taking into consideration important factors that could be expected to modify the size of the expected effects such as proximity to a hospital or availability of necessary expertise.
Uncertainty about the baseline risk for the population of interest.
The GRADE Working Group also recommends that incremental costs of healthcare alternatives should be considered explicitly alongside the expected health benefits and harms. Recommendations rely on judgments about the value of the incremental health benefits in relation to the incremental costs. The last column in Table 3 shows the overall trade-off between benefits and harms and incorporates any risk/uncertainty.
For GP, the overall GRADE and strength of the recommendation is “weak” – the quality of the evidence is “low” (uncertainties due to methodological limitations in the study design in terms of study quality, consistency and directness), and the corresponding risk/uncertainty is increased due to a budget impact of approximately $107,000 Cdn to $1.6M Cdn for the device cost alone, while the cost-effectiveness of GES is unknown and difficult to estimate considering that there are no high-quality studies of effectiveness. Further evidence of effectiveness should be available in the future since there is a RCT underway that is examining the use of GES in patients with severe refractory GP associated with diabetes and idiopathic etiologies (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT00157755).
For morbid obesity, the overall GRADE and strength of the recommendation is “weak” – the quality of the evidence is “low” (uncertainties due to methodological limitations in the study design in terms of study quality and consistency), and the corresponding risk/uncertainty is increased due to a budget impact of approximately $1.7B Cdn to $1.9B Cdn for the device cost alone (assuming 100% uptake) while the cost-effectiveness of GES is unknown and difficult to estimate considering that there are no high quality studies of effectiveness. However, the true uptake of GES for morbid obesity is unknown in relation to other types of bariatric surgery (which are more effective).
Overall GRADE and Strength of Recommendation (Including Uncertainty)
PMCID: PMC3413096  PMID: 23074486
17.  A Prospective Study of Red and Processed Meat Intake in Relation to Cancer Risk 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(12):e325.
Background
Red meat and processed meat have been associated with carcinogenesis at several anatomic sites, but no prospective study has examined meat intake in relation to a range of malignancies. We investigated whether red or processed meat intake increases cancer risk at a variety of sites.
Methods and Findings
The National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP (formerly the American Association for Retired Persons) Diet and Health Study is a cohort of approximately 500,000 people aged 50–71 y at baseline (1995–1996). Meat intake was estimated from a food frequency questionnaire administered at baseline. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals within quintiles of red and processed meat intake. During up to 8.2 y of follow-up, 53,396 incident cancers were ascertained. Statistically significant elevated risks (ranging from 20% to 60%) were evident for esophageal, colorectal, liver, and lung cancer, comparing individuals in the highest with those in the lowest quintile of red meat intake. Furthermore, individuals in the highest quintile of processed meat intake had a 20% elevated risk for colorectal and a 16% elevated risk for lung cancer.
Conclusions
Both red and processed meat intakes were positively associated with cancers of the colorectum and lung; furthermore, red meat intake was associated with an elevated risk for cancers of the esophagus and liver.
Using data from a large cohort study, Amanda Cross and colleagues found that both red and processed meat intakes were positively associated with cancers of the colorectum and lung.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Every year, there are more than 10 million new cases of cancer around the world. These cases are not spread evenly across the globe. The annual incidence of cancer (the number of new cases divided by the population size) and the type of cancer most commonly diagnosed varies widely among countries. Much of the global variation in cancer incidence and type is thought to be due to environmental influences. These include exposure to agents in the air or water that cause cancer, and lifestyle factors such as smoking and diet. Researchers identify environmental factors that affect cancer risk by measuring the exposure of a large number of individuals to a specific environmental factor and then monitoring these people for several years to see who develops cancer. The hope is that by identifying the environmental factors that cause or prevent cancer, the global burden of cancer can be reduced.
Why Was This Study Done?
Diet is thought to influence the incidence of several cancers but it is very difficult to unravel which aspects of diet are important. Being overweight, for example, is strongly associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer, but the evidence that the intake of red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) and of processed meat (for example, bacon, ham, and sausages) is linked to cancer risk is much weaker. Although several studies have linked a high intake of red meat and processed meat to an increased risk of colorectal cancer (the colon is the large bowel; the rectum is the final few inches of the large bowel before the anus), whether this aspect of diet affects the risk of other types of cancer is unclear. In this prospective study, the researchers have examined the association between meat intake and the incidence of a wide range of cancers.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In 1995–1996, nearly half a million US men and women aged 50–71 y joined the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. The participants in this study—none of whom had had cancer previously—completed a questionnaire about their dietary habits over the previous year and provided other personal information such as their age, weight, and smoking history. The researchers used these data and information from state cancer registries to look for associations between the intake of red and processed meat and the incidence of various cancers. They found that people whose red meat intake was in the top fifth of the range of intakes recorded in the study (the highest quintile of consumption) had an increased risk of developing colorectal, liver, lung, and esophageal cancer when compared with people in the lowest quintile of consumption. People in the highest quintile of processed meat intake had an increased risk of developing colorectal and lung cancer. The incidences of other cancers were largely unaffected by meat intake.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide strong evidence that people who eat a lot of red and processed meats have greater risk of developing colorectal and lung cancer than do people who eat small quantities. They also indicate that a high red meat intake is associated with an increased risk of esophageal and liver cancer, and that one in ten colorectal and one in ten lung cancers could be avoided if people reduced their red and processed meat intake to the lowest quintile. However, although the researchers allowed for factors such as smoking history that might have affected cancer incidences, some of the effects they ascribe to meat intake might be caused by other lifestyle factors. Furthermore, because the study's definitions of red meat and processed meat overlapped—bacon and ham, for example, were included in both categories—exactly which type of meat is related to cancer remains unclear. Finally, most of the study participants were non-Hispanic white, so these findings may not apply to people with different genetic backgrounds. Nevertheless, they add to the evidence that suggests that decreased consumption of red and processed meats could reduce the incidence of several types of cancer.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040325.
The American Cancer Society provides answers to common questions about diet and cancer
Information is available from the charity Cancer Research UK about diet, healthy eating, and cancer
The American Institute for Cancer Research also provides information on diet and cancer.
The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study presents information on the impact of diet and lifestyle factors on risk of cancer
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about the kind of food questionnaire used in this study
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0040325
PMCID: PMC2121107  PMID: 18076279
18.  Utilization of Upper Endoscopy for Surveillance of Gastric Ulcers in the United States 
The American journal of gastroenterology  2008;103(8):10.1111/j.1572-0241.2008.01945.x.
BACKGROUND
Current guidelines recommend that all gastric ulcers (GUs) be biopsied extensively to exclude underlying malignancy. However, many gastroenterologists opt to also perform surveillance endoscopy (EGD) to document ulcer healing. The purpose of this study was to examine frequency of utilization of surveillance EGD in patients found to have GUs using a national endoscopic database.
METHODS
The Clinical Outcomes Research Initiative (CORI) database was used to identify ambulatory patients diagnosed with a GU between 2001 and 2005. A surveillance EGD was defined as any EGD performed ≤3 months after index EGD. Results were stratified by patient demographic factors, index ulcer size and location, practice setting, and geographic region. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify independent predictors of surveillance EGD utilization.
RESULTS
In the database, 6,113 patients met our inclusion/exclusion criteria, of which 1,510 (24.7%) underwent surveillance EGD. Older patients were more likely to undergo surveillance than younger patients (P < 0.0001), though a substantial minority (15.2%) of patients <40 years of age underwent a surveillance examination. Index ulcer size ≥1 cm and care in a Veterans Affairs (VA) setting were also independent predictors of surveillance EGD utilization. Significant geographic variation was noted, with surveillance rates varying from 16.0% to 35.9% across the United States (P < 0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS
In contrast to guideline recommendations, approximately 25% of ambulatory patients diagnosed with GUs underwent surveillance EGD within 3 months. Notably, patients at low-risk for gastric cancer, including young patients, those with small index ulcers, and those with antral ulcers, underwent surveillance at higher than expected rates, which suggests overuse of surveillance EGD.
doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2008.01945.x
PMCID: PMC3883105  PMID: 18796092
19.  Cancer Screening with Digital Mammography for Women at Average Risk for Breast Cancer, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for Women at High Risk 
Executive Summary
Objective
The purpose of this review is to determine the effectiveness of 2 separate modalities, digital mammography (DM) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), relative to film mammography (FM), in the screening of women asymptomatic for breast cancer. A third analysis assesses the effectiveness and safety of the combination of MRI plus mammography (MRI plus FM) in screening of women at high risk. An economic analysis was also conducted.
Research Questions
How does the sensitivity and specificity of DM compare to FM?
How does the sensitivity and specificity of MRI compare to FM?
How do the recall rates compare among these screening modalities, and what effect might this have on radiation exposure? What are the risks associated with radiation exposure?
How does the sensitivity and specificity of the combination of MRI plus FM compare to either MRI or FM alone?
What are the economic considerations?
Clinical Need
The effectiveness of FM with respect to breast cancer mortality in the screening of asymptomatic average- risk women over the age of 50 has been established. However, based on a Medical Advisory Secretariat review completed in March 2006, screening is not recommended for women between the ages of 40 and 49 years. Guidelines published by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Care recommend mammography screening every 1 to 2 years for women aged 50 years and over, hence, the inclusion of such women in organized breast cancer screening programs. In addition to the uncertainty of the effectiveness of mammography screening from the age of 40 years, there is concern over the risks associated with mammographic screening for the 10 years between the ages of 40 and 49 years.
The lack of effectiveness of mammography screening starting at the age of 40 years (with respect to breast cancer mortality) is based on the assumption that the ability to detect cancer decreases with increased breast tissue density. As breast density is highest in the premenopausal years (approximately 23% of postmenopausal and 53% of premenopausal women having at least 50% of the breast occupied by high density), mammography screening is not promoted in Canada nor in many other countries for women under the age of 50 at average risk for breast cancer. It is important to note, however, that screening of premenopausal women (i.e., younger than 50 years of age) at high risk for breast cancer by virtue of a family history of cancer or a known genetic predisposition (e.g., having tested positive for the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and/or BRCA2) is appropriate. Thus, this review will assess the effectiveness of breast cancer screening with modalities other than film mammography, specifically DM and MRI, for both pre/perimenopausal and postmenopausal age groups.
International estimates of the epidemiology of breast cancer show that the incidence of breast cancer is increasing for all ages combined whereas mortality is decreasing, though at a slower rate. The observed decreases in mortality rates may be attributable to screening, in addition to advances in breast cancer therapy over time. Decreases in mortality attributable to screening may be a result of the earlier detection and treatment of invasive cancers, in addition to the increased detection of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), of which certain subpathologies are less lethal. Evidence from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (better known as SEER) cancer registry in the United States, indicates that the age-adjusted incidence of DCIS has increased almost 10-fold over a 20 year period, from 2.7 to 25 per 100,000.
There is a 4-fold lower incidence of breast cancer in the 40 to 49 year age group than in the 50 to 69 year age group (approximately 140 per 100,000 versus 500 per 100,000 women, respectively). The sensitivity of FM is also lower among younger women (approximately 75%) than for women aged over 50 years (approximately 85%). Specificity is approximately 80% for younger women versus 90% for women over 50 years. The increased density of breast tissue in younger women is likely responsible for the decreased accuracy of FM.
Treatment options for breast cancer vary with the stage of disease (based on tumor size, involvement of surrounding tissue, and number of affected axillary lymph nodes) and its pathology, and may include a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. Surgery is the first-line intervention for biopsy-confirmed tumors. The subsequent use of radiation, chemotherapy or hormonal treatments is dependent on the histopathologic characteristics of the tumor and the type of surgery. There is controversy regarding the optimal treatment of DCIS, which is considered a noninvasive tumour.
Women at high risk for breast cancer are defined as genetic carriers of the more commonly known breast cancer genes (BRCA1, BRCA2 TP53), first degree relatives of carriers, women with varying degrees of high risk family histories, and/or women with greater than 20% lifetime risk for breast cancer based on existing risk models. Genetic carriers for this disease, primarily women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, have a lifetime probability of approximately 85% of developing breast cancer. Preventive options for these women include surgical interventions such as prophylactic mastectomy and/or oophorectomy, i.e., removal of the breasts and/or ovaries. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the benefits and risks of different screening modalities, to identify additional options for these women.
This Medical Advisory Secretariat review is the second of 2 parts on breast cancer screening, and concentrates on the evaluation of both DM and MRI relative to FM, the standard of care. Part I of this review (March 2006) addressed the effectiveness of screening mammography in 40 to 49 year old average-risk women. The overall objective of the present review is to determine the optimal screening modality based on the evidence.
Evidence Review Strategy
The Medical Advisory Secretariat followed its standard procedures and searched the following electronic databases: Ovid MEDLINE, EMBASE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and The International Network of Agencies for Health Technology Assessment database. The subject headings and keywords searched included breast cancer, breast neoplasms, mass screening, digital mammography, magnetic resonance imaging. The detailed search strategies can be viewed in Appendix 1.
Included in this review are articles specific to screening and do not include evidence on diagnostic mammography. The search was further restricted to English-language articles published between January 1996 and April 2006. Excluded were case reports, comments, editorials, nonsystematic reviews, and letters.
Digital Mammography: In total, 224 articles specific to DM screening were identified. These were examined against the inclusion/exclusion criteria described below, resulting in the selection and review of 5 health technology assessments (HTAs) (plus 1 update) and 4 articles specific to screening with DM.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging: In total, 193 articles specific to MRI were identified. These were examined against the inclusion/exclusion criteria described below, resulting in the selection and review of 2 HTAs and 7 articles specific to screening with MRI.
The evaluation of the addition of FM to MRI in the screening of women at high risk for breast cancer was also conducted within the context of standard search procedures of the Medical Advisory Secretariat. as outlined above. The subject headings and keywords searched included the concepts of breast cancer, magnetic resonance imaging, mass screening, and high risk/predisposition to breast cancer. The search was further restricted to English-language articles published between September 2007 and January 15, 2010. Case reports, comments, editorials, nonsystematic reviews, and letters were not excluded.
MRI plus mammography: In total, 243 articles specific to MRI plus FM screening were identified. These were examined against the inclusion/exclusion criteria described below, resulting in the selection and review of 2 previous HTAs, and 1 systematic review of 11 paired design studies.
Inclusion Criteria
English-language articles, and English or French-language HTAs published from January 1996 to April 2006, inclusive.
Articles specific to screening of women with no personal history of breast cancer.
Studies in which DM or MRI were compared with FM, and where the specific outcomes of interest were reported.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) or paired studies only for assessment of DM.
Prospective, paired studies only for assessment of MRI.
Exclusion Criteria
Studies in which outcomes were not specific to those of interest in this report.
Studies in which women had been previously diagnosed with breast cancer.
Studies in which the intervention (DM or MRI) was not compared with FM.
Studies assessing DM with a sample size of less than 500.
Intervention
Digital mammography.
Magnetic resonance imaging.
Comparator
Screening with film mammography.
Outcomes of Interest
Breast cancer mortality (although no studies were found with such long follow-up).
Sensitivity.
Specificity.
Recall rates.
Summary of Findings
Digital Mammography
There is moderate quality evidence that DM is significantly more sensitive than FM in the screening of asymptomatic women aged less than 50 years, those who are premenopausal or perimenopausal, and those with heterogeneously or extremely dense breast tissue (regardless of age).
It is not known what effect these differences in sensitivity will have on the more important effectiveness outcome measure of breast cancer mortality, as there was no evidence of such an assessment.
Other factors have been set out to promote DM, for example, issues of recall rates and reading and examination times. Our analysis did not show that recall rates were necessarily improved in DM, though examination times were lower than for FM. Other factors including storage and retrieval of screens were not the subject of this analysis.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
There is moderate quality evidence that the sensitivity of MRI is significantly higher than that of FM in the screening of women at high risk for breast cancer based on genetic or familial factors, regardless of age.
Radiation Risk Review
Cancer Care Ontario conducted a review of the evidence on radiation risk in screening with mammography women at high risk for breast cancer. From this review of recent literature and risk assessment that considered the potential impact of screening mammography in cohorts of women who start screening at an earlier age or who are at increased risk of developing breast cancer due to genetic susceptibility, the following conclusions can be drawn:
For women over 50 years of age, the benefits of mammography greatly outweigh the risk of radiation-induced breast cancer irrespective of the level of a woman’s inherent breast cancer risk.
Annual mammography for women aged 30 – 39 years who carry a breast cancer susceptibility gene or who have a strong family breast cancer history (defined as a first degree relative diagnosed in their thirties) has a favourable benefit:risk ratio. Mammography is estimated to detect 16 to 18 breast cancer cases for every one induced by radiation (Table 1). Initiation of screening at age 35 for this same group would increase the benefit:risk ratio to an even more favourable level of 34-50 cases detected for each one potentially induced.
Mammography for women under 30 years of age has an unfavourable benefit:risk ratio due to the challenges of detecting cancer in younger breasts, the aggressiveness of cancers at this age, the potential for radiation susceptibility at younger ages and a greater cumulative radiation exposure.
Mammography when used in combination with MRI for women who carry a strong breast cancer susceptibility (e.g., BRCA1/2 carriers), which if begun at age 35 and continued for 35 years, may confer greatly improved benefit:risk ratios which were estimated to be about 220 to one.
While there is considerable uncertainty in the risk of radiation-induced breast cancer, the risk expressed in published studies is almost certainly conservative as the radiation dose absorbed by women receiving mammography recently has been substantially reduced by newer technology.
A CCO update of the mammography radiation risk literature for 2008 and 2009 gave rise to one article by Barrington de Gonzales et al. published in 2009 (Barrington de Gonzales et al., 2009, JNCI, vol. 101: 205-209). This article focuses on estimating the risk of radiation-induced breast cancer for mammographic screening of young women at high risk for breast cancer (with BRCA gene mutations). Based on an assumption of a 15% to 25% or less reduction in mortality from mammography in these high risk women, the authors conclude that such a reduction is not substantially greater than the risk of radiation-induced breast cancer mortality when screening before the age of 34 years. That is, there would be no net benefit from annual mammographic screening of BRCA mutation carriers at ages 25-29 years; the net benefit would be zero or small if screening occurs in 30-34 year olds, and there would be some net benefit at age 35 years or older.
The Addition of Mammography to Magnetic Resonance Imaging
The effects of the addition of FM to MRI screening of high risk women was also assessed, with inclusion and exclusion criteria as follows:
Inclusion Criteria
English-language articles and English or French-language HTAs published from September 2007 to January 15, 2010.
Articles specific to screening of women at high risk for breast cancer, regardless of the definition of high risk.
Studies in which accuracy data for the combination of MRI plus FM are available to be compared to that of MRI and FM alone.
RCTs or prospective, paired studies only.
Studies in which women were previously diagnosed with breast cancer were also included.
Exclusion Criteria
Studies in which outcomes were not specific to those of interest in this report.
Studies in which there was insufficient data on the accuracy of MRI plus FM.
Intervention
Both MRI and FM.
Comparators
Screening with MRI alone and FM alone.
Outcomes of Interest
Sensitivity.
Specificity.
Summary of Findings
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Plus Mammography
Moderate GRADE Level Evidence that the sensitivity of MRI plus mammography is significantly higher than that of MRI or FM alone, although the specificity remains either unchanged or decreases in the screening of women at high risk for breast cancer based on genetic/familial factors, regardless of age.
These studies include women at high risk defined as BRCA1/2 or TP53 carriers, first degree relatives of carriers, women with varying degrees of high risk family histories, and/or >20% lifetime risk based on existing risk models. This definition of high risk accounts for approximately 2% of the female adult population in Ontario.
PMCID: PMC3377503  PMID: 23074406
20.  Personality and Gastric Cancer Screening Attendance: 
A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the Miyagi Cohort Study 
Journal of Epidemiology  2009;19(1):34-40.
Objective
To determine the associations between personality subscales and attendance at gastric cancer screenings in Japan.
Methods
A total of 21,911 residents in rural Japan who completed a short form of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised (EPQ-R) and a questionnaire on various health habits including the number of gastric cancer screenings attended were included in the primary analysis. We defined gastric cancer screening compliance as attendance at gastric cancer screening every year for the previous 5 years; all other patterns of attendance were defined as non-compliance. We defined gastric cancer screening visiting as attendance at 1 or more screenings during the previous 5 years; lack of attendance was defined as non-visiting. We used logistic regression to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) of gastric cancer screening compliance and visiting according to 4 score levels that corresponded to the 4 EPQ-R subscales (extraversion, neuroticism, psychoticism, and lie).
Result
Extraversion had a significant linear, positive association with both compliance and visiting (trend, P < 0.001 for both). Neuroticism had a significant linear, inverse association with compliance (trend, P = 0.047), but not with visiting (trend, P = 0.21). Psychoticism had a significant linear, inverse association with both compliance and visiting (trend, P < 0.001 for both). Lie had no association with either compliance or visiting.
Conclusion
The personality traits of extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism were significantly associated with gastric cancer screening attendance. A better understanding of the association between personality and attendance could lead to the establishment of effective campaigns to motivate people to attend cancer screenings.
doi:10.2188/jea.JE20080024
PMCID: PMC3924094  PMID: 19164872
attendance; cross-sectional study; gastric cancer screening; Japanese; personality
21.  A Population-Based Evaluation of a Publicly Funded, School-Based HPV Vaccine Program in British Columbia, Canada: Parental Factors Associated with HPV Vaccine Receipt 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(5):e1000270.
Analysis of a telephone survey by Gina Ogilvie and colleagues identifies the parental factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake in a school-based program in Canada.
Background
Information on factors that influence parental decisions for actual human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine receipt in publicly funded, school-based HPV vaccine programs for girls is limited. We report on the level of uptake of the first dose of the HPV vaccine, and determine parental factors associated with receipt of the HPV vaccine, in a publicly funded school-based HPV vaccine program in British Columbia, Canada.
Methods and Findings
All parents of girls enrolled in grade 6 during the academic year of September 2008–June 2009 in the province of British Columbia were eligible to participate. Eligible households identified through the provincial public health information system were randomly selected and those who consented completed a validated survey exploring factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to calculate adjusted odds ratios to identify the factors that were associated with parents' decision to vaccinate their daughter(s) against HPV. 2,025 parents agreed to complete the survey, and 65.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] 63.1–67.1) of parents in the survey reported that their daughters received the first dose of the HPV vaccine. In the same school-based vaccine program, 88.4% (95% CI 87.1–89.7) consented to the hepatitis B vaccine, and 86.5% (95% CI 85.1–87.9) consented to the meningococcal C vaccine. The main reasons for having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine were the effectiveness of the vaccine (47.9%), advice from a physician (8.7%), and concerns about daughter's health (8.4%). The main reasons for not having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine were concerns about HPV vaccine safety (29.2%), preference to wait until the daughter is older (15.6%), and not enough information to make an informed decision (12.6%). In multivariate analysis, overall attitudes to vaccines, the impact of the HPV vaccine on sexual practices, and childhood vaccine history were predictive of parents having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine in a publicly funded school-based HPV vaccine program. By contrast, having a family with two parents, having three or more children, and having more education was associated with a decreased likelihood of having a daughter receive the HPV vaccine.
Conclusions
This study is, to our knowledge, one of the first population-based assessments of factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake in a publicly funded school-based program worldwide. Policy makers need to consider that even with the removal of financial and health care barriers, parents, who are key decision makers in the uptake of this vaccine, are still hesitant to have their daughters receive the HPV vaccine, and strategies to ensure optimal HPV vaccine uptake need to be employed.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
About 10% of cancers in women occur in the cervix, the structure that connects the womb to the vagina. Every year, globally, more than a quarter of a million women die because of cervical cancer, which only occurs after the cervix has been infected with a human papillomavirus (HPV) through sexual intercourse. There are many types of HPV, a virus that infects the skin and the mucosa (the moist membranes that line various parts of the body, including the cervix). Although most people become infected with HPV at some time in their life, most never know they are infected. However, some HPV types cause harmless warts on the skin or around the genital area and several—in particular, HPV 16 and HPV 18, so-called high-risk HPVs—can cause cervical cancer. HPV infections are usually cleared by the immune system, but about 10% of women infected with a high-risk HPV develop a long-term infection that puts them at risk of developing cervical cancer.
Why Was This Study Done?
Screening programs have greatly reduced cervical cancer deaths in developed countries in recent decades by detecting the cancer early when it can be treated; but it would be better to prevent cervical cancer ever developing. Because HPV is necessary for the development of cervical cancer, vaccination of girls against HPV infection before the onset of sexual activity might be one way to do this. Scientists recently developed a vaccine that prevents infection with HPV 16 and HPV 18 (and with two HPVs that cause genital warts) and that should, therefore, reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. Publicly funded HPV vaccination programs are now planned or underway in several countries; but before girls can receive the HPV vaccine, parental consent is usually needed, so it is important to know what influences parental decisions about HPV vaccination. In this study, the researchers undertake a telephone survey to determine the uptake of the HPV vaccine by 11-year-old girls (grade 6) in British Columbia, Canada, and to determine the parental factors associated with vaccine uptake; British Columbia started a voluntary school-based HPV vaccine program in September 2008.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In early 2009, the researchers contacted randomly selected parents of girls enrolled in grade 6 during the 2008–2009 academic year and asked them to complete a telephone survey that explored factors associated with HPV vaccine uptake. 65.1% of the 2,025 parents who completed the survey had consented to their daughter receiving the first dose of HPV vaccine. By contrast, more than 85% of the parents had consented to hepatitis B and meningitis C vaccination of their daughters. Nearly half of the parents surveyed said their main reason for consenting to HPV vaccination was the effectiveness of the vaccine. Conversely, nearly a third of the parents said concern about the vaccine's safety was their main reason for not consenting to vaccination and one in eight said they had been given insufficient information to make an informed decision. In a statistical analysis of the survey data, the researchers found that a positive parental attitude towards vaccination, a parental belief that HPV vaccination had limited impact on sexual practices, and completed childhood vaccination increased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the HPV vaccine. Having a family with two parents or three or more children and having well-educated parents decreased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the vaccine.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings provide one of the first population-based assessments of the factors that affect HPV vaccine uptake in a setting where there are no financial or health care barriers to vaccination. By identifying the factors associated with parental reluctance to agree to HPV vaccination for their daughters, these findings should help public-health officials design strategies to ensure optimal HPV vaccine uptake, although further studies are needed to discover why, for example, parents with more education are less likely to agree to vaccination than parents with less education. Importantly, the findings of this study, which are likely to be generalizable to other high-income countries, indicate that there is a continued need to ensure that the public receives credible, clear information about both the benefits and long-term safety of HPV vaccination.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000270.
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about cervical cancer for patients and for health professionals, including information on HPV vaccines (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has information about cervical cancer and about HPV
The UK National Health Service Choices website has pages on cervical cancer and on HPV vaccination
More information about cervical cancer and HPV vaccination is available from the Macmillan cancer charity
ImmunizeBC provides general information about vaccination and information about HPV vaccination in British Columbia
MedlinePlus provides links to additional resources about cervical cancer (in English and Spanish)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000270
PMCID: PMC2864299  PMID: 20454567
22.  Risk Prediction for Breast, Endometrial, and Ovarian Cancer in White Women Aged 50 y or Older: Derivation and Validation from Population-Based Cohort Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2013;10(7):e1001492.
Ruth Pfeiffer and colleagues describe models to calculate absolute risks for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers for white, non-Hispanic women over 50 years old using easily obtainable risk factors.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers share some hormonal and epidemiologic risk factors. While several models predict absolute risk of breast cancer, there are few models for ovarian cancer in the general population, and none for endometrial cancer.
Methods and Findings
Using data on white, non-Hispanic women aged 50+ y from two large population-based cohorts (the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial [PLCO] and the National Institutes of Health–AARP Diet and Health Study [NIH-AARP]), we estimated relative and attributable risks and combined them with age-specific US-population incidence and competing mortality rates. All models included parity. The breast cancer model additionally included estrogen and progestin menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) use, other MHT use, age at first live birth, menopausal status, age at menopause, family history of breast or ovarian cancer, benign breast disease/biopsies, alcohol consumption, and body mass index (BMI); the endometrial model included menopausal status, age at menopause, BMI, smoking, oral contraceptive use, MHT use, and an interaction term between BMI and MHT use; the ovarian model included oral contraceptive use, MHT use, and family history or breast or ovarian cancer. In independent validation data (Nurses' Health Study cohort) the breast and ovarian cancer models were well calibrated; expected to observed cancer ratios were 1.00 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.96–1.04) for breast cancer and 1.08 (95% CI: 0.97–1.19) for ovarian cancer. The number of endometrial cancers was significantly overestimated, expected/observed = 1.20 (95% CI: 1.11–1.29). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUCs; discriminatory power) were 0.58 (95% CI: 0.57–0.59), 0.59 (95% CI: 0.56–0.63), and 0.68 (95% CI: 0.66–0.70) for the breast, ovarian, and endometrial models, respectively.
Conclusions
These models predict absolute risks for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers from easily obtainable risk factors and may assist in clinical decision-making. Limitations are the modest discriminatory ability of the breast and ovarian models and that these models may not generalize to women of other races.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
In 2008, just three types of cancer accounted for 10% of global cancer-related deaths. That year, about 460,000 women died from breast cancer (the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women and the fifth most common cause of cancer-related death). Another 140,000 women died from ovarian cancer, and 74,000 died from endometrial (womb) cancer (the 14th and 20th most common causes of cancer-related death, respectively). Although these three cancers originate in different tissues, they nevertheless share many risk factors. For example, current age, age at menarche (first period), and parity (the number of children a woman has had) are all strongly associated with breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer risk. Because these cancers share many hormonal and epidemiological risk factors, a woman with a high breast cancer risk is also likely to have an above-average risk of developing ovarian or endometrial cancer.
Why Was This Study Done?
Several statistical models (for example, the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool) have been developed that estimate a woman's absolute risk (probability) of developing breast cancer over the next few years or over her lifetime. Absolute risk prediction models are useful in the design of cancer prevention trials and can also help women make informed decisions about cancer prevention and treatment options. For example, a woman at high risk of breast cancer might decide to take tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention, but ideally she needs to know her absolute endometrial cancer risk before doing so because tamoxifen increases the risk of this cancer. Similarly, knowledge of her ovarian cancer risk might influence a woman's decision regarding prophylactic removal of her ovaries to reduce her breast cancer risk. There are few absolute risk prediction models for ovarian cancer, and none for endometrial cancer, so here the researchers develop models to predict the risk of these cancers and of breast cancer.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Absolute risk prediction models are constructed by combining estimates for risk factors from cohorts with population-based incidence rates from cancer registries. Models are validated in an independent cohort by testing their ability to identify people with the disease in an independent cohort and their ability to predict the observed numbers of incident cases. The researchers used data on white, non-Hispanic women aged 50 years or older that were collected during two large prospective US cohort studies of cancer screening and of diet and health, and US cancer incidence and mortality rates provided by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program to build their models. The models all included parity as a risk factor, as well as other factors. The model for endometrial cancer, for example, also included menopausal status, age at menopause, body mass index (an indicator of the amount of body fat), oral contraceptive use, menopausal hormone therapy use, and an interaction term between menopausal hormone therapy use and body mass index. Individual women's risk for endometrial cancer calculated using this model ranged from 1.22% to 17.8% over the next 20 years depending on their exposure to various risk factors. Validation of the models using data from the US Nurses' Health Study indicated that the endometrial cancer model overestimated the risk of endometrial cancer but that the breast and ovarian cancer models were well calibrated—the predicted and observed risks for these cancers in the validation cohort agreed closely. Finally, the discriminatory power of the models (a measure of how well a model separates people who have a disease from people who do not have the disease) was modest for the breast and ovarian cancer models but somewhat better for the endometrial cancer model.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer can all be predicted using information on known risk factors for these cancers that is easily obtainable. Because these models were constructed and validated using data from white, non-Hispanic women aged 50 years or older, they may not accurately predict absolute risk for these cancers for women of other races or ethnicities. Moreover, the modest discriminatory power of the breast and ovarian cancer models means they cannot be used to decide which women should be routinely screened for these cancers. Importantly, however, these well-calibrated models should provide realistic information about an individual's risk of developing breast, ovarian, or endometrial cancer that can be used in clinical decision-making and that may assist in the identification of potential participants for research studies.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001492.
This study is further discussed in a PLOS Medicine Perspective by Lars Holmberg and Andrew Vickers
The US National Cancer Institute provides comprehensive information about cancer (in English and Spanish), including detailed information about breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer;
Information on the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool, the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, and on the prospective cohort study of screening and the diet and health study that provided the data used to build the models is also available on the NCI site
Cancer Research UK, a not-for-profit organization, provides information about cancer, including detailed information on breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer
The UK National Health Service Choices website has information and personal stories about breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and endometrial cancer; the not-for-profit organization Healthtalkonline also provides personal stories about dealing with breast cancer and ovarian cancer
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001492
PMCID: PMC3728034  PMID: 23935463
23.  Gastric cancer at a university teaching hospital in northwestern Tanzania: a retrospective review of 232 cases 
Background
Despite marked decreases in its incidence, particularly in developed countries, gastric cancer is still the second most common tumor worldwide. There is a paucity of information regarding gastric cancer in northwestern Tanzania. This study was undertaken to describe our experience, in our local setting, on the management of gastric cancer, outlining the clinicopathological and treatment outcome of these patients and suggesting ways to improve the treatment outcome.
Methods
This was a retrospective study of histologically confirmed cases of gastric cancer seen at Bugando Medical Centre between January 2007 and December 2011. Data were retrieved from patients’ files and analyzed using SPSS computer software version 17.0.
Results
A total of 232 gastric cancer patients were enrolled in the study, representing 4.5% of all malignancies. The male to female ratio was 2.9:1. The median age of patients was 52 years. The majority of the patients (92.1%) presented late with advanced gastric cancer (Stages III and IV). Lymph node and distant metastasis at the time of diagnosis was recorded in 31.9% and 29.3% of cases, respectively. The antrum was the most frequent anatomical site (56.5%) involved and gastric adenocarcinoma (95.1%) was the most common histopathological type. Out of 232 patients, 223 (96.1%) patients underwent surgical procedures for gastric cancer of which gastro-jejunostomy was the most frequent performed surgical procedure, accounting for 53.8% of cases. The use of chemotherapy and radiotherapy was documented in 56 (24.1%) and 12 (5.1%) patients, respectively. Postoperative complication and mortality rates were 37.1% and 18.1%, respectively. According to multivariate logistic regression analysis, preoperative co-morbidity, histological grade and stage of the tumor, presence of metastases at the time of diagnosis was the main predictors of death (P <0.001). At the end of five years, only 76 (32.8%) patients were available for follow-up and the overall five-year survival rate was 6.9%. Evidence of cancer recurrence was reported in 45 (19.4%) patients. Positive resection margins, stage of the tumor and presence of metastasis at the time of diagnosis were the main predictors of local recurrence (P <0.001).
Conclusions
Gastric cancer in this region shows a trend towards relative young age at diagnosis and the majority of patients present late with an advanced stage. Lack of awareness of the disease, poor accessibility to health care facilities and lack of screening programs in this region may contribute to advanced disease at the time of diagnosis. There is a need for early detection, adequate treatment and proper follow-up to improve treatment outcome.
doi:10.1186/1477-7819-10-257
PMCID: PMC3527214  PMID: 23181624
Gastric cancer; Clinicopathological pattern; Treatment outcome; Tanzania
24.  Decision-analytic modeling to evaluate the long-term effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HPV-DNA testing in primary cervical cancer screening in Germany 
Background
Persistent infections with high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) are associated with the development of cervical neoplasia. Compared to cytology HPV testing is more sensitive in detecting high-grade cervical cancer precursors, but with lower specificity. HPV based primary screening for cervical cancer is currently discussed in Germany. Decisions should be based on a systematic evaluation of the long-term effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HPV based primary screening.
Research questions
What is the long-term clinical effectiveness (reduction in lifetime risk of cervical cancer and death due to cervical cancer, life years gained) of HPV testing and what is the cost-effectiveness in Euro per life year gained (LYG) of including HPV testing in primary cervical cancer screening in the German health care context? How can the screening program be improved with respect to test combination, age at start and end of screening and screening interval and which recommendations should be made for the German health care context?
Methods
A previously published and validated decision-analytic model for the German health care context was extended and adapted to the natural history of HPV infection and cervical cancer in order to evaluate different screening strategies that differ by screening interval, and tests, including cytology alone, HPV testing alone or in combination with cytology, and HPV testing with cytology triage for HPV-positive women. German clinical, epidemiological and economic data were used. In the absence of individual data, screening adherence was modelled independently from screening history. Test accuracy data were retrieved from international meta-analyses. Predicted outcomes included reduction in lifetime-risk for cervical cancer cases and deaths, life expectancy, lifetime costs, and discounted incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER). The perspective of the third party payer and 3% annual discount rate were adopted. Extensive sensitivity analyses were performed in order to evaluate the robustness of results and identify areas of future research.
Results
In the base case analysis screening resulted in a 53% to 97% risk reduction for cervical cancer with a discounted ICER between 2,600 Euro/LYG (cytology alone every five years) and 155,500 Euro/LYG (Annual cytology age 20 to 29 years, and annual HPV age 30 years and older). Annual cytology, the current recommended screening strategy in Germany, was dominated. In sensitivity analyses variation in the relative increase in the sensitivity of HPV testing as compared to cytology, HPV test costs, screening adherence, HPV incidence, and annual discount rate influenced the ICER results. Variation in the screening start age also influenced the ICER. All cytology strategies were dominated by HPV screening strategies, when relative sensitivity increase by HPV testing compared to cytology was higher (scenario analysis with data for test accuracy from German studies). HPV testing every one, two or three years was more effective than annual cytology. With increased screening adherence a longer screening interval and with low screening adherence a shorter interval would be more cost-effective. With a reduction in HPV incidence of more than 70% triennial HPV screening in women aged 30 years and older (and biennial Pap screening in women aged 20 to 29 years) is cost-effective. The discounted ICER increases with increasing annual discount rate. Increasing screening start age to 25 years had no relevant loss in effectiveness but resulted in lower costs. An optimal strategy may be biennial HPV testing age 30 years and older with biennial cytology at age 25 to 29 years (ICER of 23,400 Euro/LYG).
Conclusions
Based on these results, HPV-based cervical cancer screening is more effective than cytology and could be cost-effective if performed at intervals of two years or greater. Increasing the age at screening start to 25 years causes no relevant loss in effectiveness but saves resources. In the German context an optimal screening strategy could be biennial HPV testing at age 30 years and older with biennial cytology at the age of 25 to 29 years. An extension to a three-yearly screening interval requires substantially improved screening adherence or a higher relative increase in the sensitivity of HPV testing as compared to cytology. The implementation of an organised screening program for quality-controlled introduction of HPV-screening and -vaccination with continued systematic outcome evaluation is recommended.
doi:10.3205/hta000083
PMCID: PMC3010885  PMID: 21289878
cervix; cervix of uterus; cervical carcinoma; carcinoma; cancer; cytology; human papillomavirus; HPV; DNA; HPV-DNA diagnosis; diagnosis; early finding; screening; primary screening; test; decision-analytical modelling; Markov model; effectiveness; systematic review; meta-analysis; Health Technology Assessment; long-term effectiveness; cost-effectiveness; health economic evaluation
25.  Successful retrieval using ultrathin transnasal esophagogastroduodenoscopy of a significant amount of residual tricyclic antidepressant following serious toxicity: a case report 
Background
In Japan, ultrathin transnasal esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) with a 4.9-mm diameter endoscope (Olympus XP260) is routinely used to examine the upper gastrointestinal tract. This procedure does not require sedation and does not affect vital signs. Gastric lavage is not empirically employed in the management of all poisoning patients. It is considered only for potentially life-threatening overdoses when the procedure can be performed within 1 h of ingestion of the poison. However, there are no absolute indications for gastric lavage. EGD may increase the indications, efficiency and safety of gastric lavage in poisoning patients.
Findings
A 35-year-old female was admitted to our emergency department 2 h after ingesting multiple drugs, including a critical dose of the tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) amitriptyline, at which time she was confused and had a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 8 (E1V2M5). Endotracheal intubation was performed. To confirm the type of TCA and in order to determine whether gastric lavage was required, we decided to perform EGD. Endoscopy demonstrated adherence of residual drugs to the stomach wall, in a soluble form and not as a mass. Hence, gastric lavage was performed via the EGD to avoid passage of these drugs into the small bowel. The patient was extubated on day 2, without the development of complications such as aspiration pneumonia, and was discharged on day 5.
Conclusion
EGD may be useful in poisoning patients for determining the amount of residual drug in the stomach, also allowing direct observation of the effectiveness of gastric lavage.
doi:10.1186/1865-1380-6-39
PMCID: PMC3853774  PMID: 24148152
Tricyclic antidepressant; Gastric lavage; Endoscopy; Transnasal esophagogastroduodenoscopy

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