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News & Press Releases

November 2015
Adherence to Competing Strategies for CRC Screening Over 3 Years »
In a randomized trial comparing adherence to different colorectal cancer (CRC) screening strategies, participants assigned to either fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) or given a choice between FOBT and colonoscopy had significantly higher adherence than those assigned to colonoscopy during the first year. However, how adherence to screening changes over time is unknown.
Dr. Peter Liang (American Journal of Gastroenterology)
November 2015
Sex Difference in Liver-Related Mortality and Transplantation Associated with Dietary Cholesterol in Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection »
Recent study results show that the relationship between cholesterol intake and liver-related death or transplantation is significantly different between men and women. High dietary cholesterol was associated with an increased risk for liver-related death and transplantation in HCV-infected women with advanced fibrosis or compensated cirrhosis.
Dr. Lei Yu (British Journal of Nutrition)
November 2015
Therapeutic Potential of Ultrasound Microbubbles in Gastrointestinal Oncology: Recent Advances and Future Prospects »
Microbubbles were initially invented as contrast agents for ultrasound imaging. However, lately more and more therapeutic applications of microbubbles are emerging. This review covers the basic principles of ultrasound-microbubble interaction, the types of microbubbles and the effect they have on tissue, and the preclinical and clinical experience with this approach to date in the field of gastrointestinal oncology.
Dr. Tatiana Khokhlova (Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology)
October 2015
Dr. Christina Surawicz Receives ACG 2015 Samuel S. Weiss Award »
Congratulations to Dr. Christina Surawicz, who is the recipient of the ACG 2015 Samuel S. Weiss Award. Described as “a beacon for women’s achievements in medicine and gastroenterology,” Dr. Surawicz is the first woman to earn this award. Her contributions to the College are many. She served as President in 1989-99, being the first woman elected to this position, and has previously served as a Governor, Trustee, Treasurer, Secretary, and President-Elect. It's not only her service and commitment to the College, but her role as mentor, colleague and friend that has also earned her such prestigious recognition by her peers.
(American College of Gastroenterology)
October 2015
Drs. Anita Afzali & Scott Lee Receive UW Medicine PRAISE Awards »
Congratulations to Drs. Anita Afzali and Scott Lee, who are the recipients of Patient Reported Assessment in Satisfaction and Excellence (PRAISE) awards from UW Medicine. The PRAISE awards rate top healthcare providers for listening and communication skills, based on patient survey scores for clinic visits.
(UW Medicine)
October 2015
Safety-Net Hospital Improves Colon Cancer Screening in Primary Care Setting »
Dr. Elizabeth Broussard recently discussed CRC screening rates with in an interview titled, Safety Net Hospital Improves Colon Cancer Screening in Primary Care Setting.
Dr. Elizabeth Broussard (
October 2015
A Comprehensive Self-Management Irritable Bowel Syndrome Program Produces Sustainable Changes in Behavior After 1 Year »
This study developed a comprehensive self-management program to reduce symptoms and increase quality of life in patients with IBS that produced sustainable behavioral changes in almost all patients after 1 year follow-up.
Dr. Jasmine Zia (Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology)
October 2015
AGA Institute Technical Review on the Management of Acute Diverticulitis »
The AGA has identified acute diverticulitis to be a priority topic for the generation of updated practice guidelines. This technical review addresses 11 key questions regarding the management and prevention of acute diverticulitis.
Dr. Lisa Strate (Gastrointestinal Endoscopy)
October 2015
Endoscopic Resection of Gastric and Esophageal Cancer »
In the past, the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers centered on surgical resection. With steady advances in endoscopic techniques in the treatment of localized early cancers of the stomach and esophagus, more cancer patients are avoiding surgery altogether.
Dr. Bryan Balmadrid (Oxford Journals: Gastroenterology Report)
October 2015
HIFU for Palliative Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer »
In the past decade, HIFU ablation has emerged as a modality for palliative treatment of pancreatic tumors. This chapter summarizes the pre-clinical and clinical experience obtained to date in HIFU treatment of pancreatic tumors and discusses the challenges, limitations and new approaches in this modality.
Dr. Tatiana Khokhlova (Therapeutic Ultrasound)
October 2015
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Associated with Improvements Among Veterans with Gulf War Illness »
Many Gulf War I veterans report ongoing negative health consequences. The constellation of pain, fatigue and concentration/memory disturbances is referred to as Gulf War Illness. Prior research suggests that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction may be beneficial for these symptoms.
Dr. David Kearney (American Journal of Medicine)
October 2015
Striving for Efficient, Patient-Centered Endoscopy »
It is widely accepted that screening with fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) or colonoscopy decreases colorectal cancer incidence and mortality. To reach the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable goal of screening 80% of the population by 2018, at least 24.4 million additional individuals will need to undergo screening in the United States.
Dr. Peter Liang (Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology)
September 2015
Use of a Novel Polyp “Ruler Snare” Improves Estimation of Colon Polyp Size »
Prior studies have demonstrated that endoscopists’ estimates of polyp size are imprecise. The aim of this study was to determine whether a modified polypectomy “ruler snare” improves the accuracy of assessment of polyp size in real time without the use of additional devices.
Dr. Andrew Kaz (Gastrointestinal Endoscopy)
August 2015
Seattle Top Doctors 2015 »
Every year more than 1,000 doctors, physician assistants and nurses in the Seattle area participate in the Top Doctor surveys conducted by Seattle Magazine and Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. Congratulations to Drs. Joo Ha Hwang, John Inadomi, Scott Lee, Michael Saunders, Christina Surawicz, and Timothy Zisman.
(Seattle Magazine and Seattle Met)
August 2015
Administration of Fecal Microbiota to Patients with Ulcerative Colitis »
Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is an investigational treatment for diseases thought to involve alterations in the intestinal microbiota including ulcerative colitis. Case reports have described therapeutic benefit of FMT in patients with UC, possibly due to changes in the microbiota.
Dr. Christopher Damman (PLoS One)
August 2015
Broadening the Approach to PTSD and the Consequences of Trauma »
Given the marked influence of PTSD on multiple domains of health and well-being, reliable assessment tools and effective treatments for PTSD suitable for broad implementation are needed.
Dr. David Kearney (Journal of the American Medical Association)
July 2015
Bone Marrow Transplant Shows Promise as Crohn's Disease Cure »
Dr. George McDonald co-leads the Crohn’s Allogeneic Transplant Study (CATS), with his colleague Dr. George Georges. A recent Hutch News story features one of CATS’ patients, Elise Elholm, who just passed her one-year anniversary in the study, which examines whether bone marrow transplant can cure Crohn’s disease in its most severe form.
Dr. George McDonald (Hutch News)
July 2015
Plasma Biomarkers of Acute GVHD and Non-Relapse Mortality »
The purpose of this study was to identify biomarkers before the development of symptoms that would predict grade 3-4 GVHD and non-relapse mortality with sufficient accuracy that would allow preemptive therapy.
Dr. George McDonald (Blood)
July 2015
The Gut Microbiome: A Clinically Significant Player in Transplantation? »
Multiple studies have demonstrated a significant shift in the intestinal microbiome comparing pre- and post-transplant patients. Alteration of this microbiome can result in Clostridium difficile infection and may play a role in other conditions. Does transplant redefine the intestinal microbiome forever?
Dr. Stephen Vindigni (Expert Review of Clinical Immunology)
July 2015
Download Alert: Understanding Gastroenterology Patients' Perspectives on Health-Related Smartphone Apps »
Are patients willing to use different types of health-related smartphone apps? What are their attitudes on the overall value, usability, feasibility, credibility, intrusiveness, and obtrusiveness of these apps?
Dr. Jasmine Zia (Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology)
July 2015
C. difficile Infection: Changing Epidemiology and Management Paradigms »
With the emergence of a hypervirulent strain of C. difficile and the increasing prevalence of community-acquired CDI among healthy patients without traditional risk factors, the epidemiology of C. difficile has been evolving.
Dr. Stephen Vindigni (Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology)
July 2015
Genetic Insigts in Barrett's Esophagus & Esophageal Carcinoma »
Modern genomic technologies provide improved strategies for prevention and early detection of EA by addressing the environmental and mutational processes that can determine “windows of opportunity” in time to detect rapidly progressing BE and distinguish it from slowly or nonprogressing BE.
Dr. Brian Reid (Gastroenterology)
July 2015
Simeprevir & Sofosbuvir and Fulminant Hepatitis B Reactivation »
A report on the first case of HBV reactivation in a patient with isolated HBV core antibody leading to fulminant hepatic failure and liver transplantation following treatment with simeprevir, sofosbuvir, and ribavirin for HCV. This case raises concern for the safety of new direct-acting antiviral drugs in patients coinfected with HBV and HCV, or in those who have chronic HCV infection and isolated HBcAb.
Dr. Alex Ende (Journal of Medical Case Reports)
June 2015
Dr. Teresa Brentnall Accepts 2015 Honor for UW at the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's 2015 Celebration of Hope Gala »
The UW was among five institutions honored by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at their 9th Annual Celebration of Hope Gala, on June 6, 2015. Among the attendees at this year's event was Drs. Ru Cheng, Sheng Pan and Teresa Brentnall, who accepted the honor on the behalf of the UW.
Dr. Teresa Brentnall (Pancreatic Cancer Action Network)
June 2015
Polymerase Slippage Restoration of Frameshifted TGFBR2 in
Colorectal Cancer: A Novel Paradigm »

The demonstration of RNA polymerase slippage in CRC is an aspect of a recent study that deserves special attention. Polymerase slippage has been observed in model organisms and in other contexts, but the findings in this study demonstrate that this can also occur in human cancer cells.
Dr. William Grady (Gastroenterology)
June 2015
Genetic and Epigenetic Alterations in Barrett's Esophagus (BE) and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma (EAC) »
Genomic and epigenomic analyses of BE/EAC may improve the precision of risk stratification to select high-risk patients for more intensive surveillance.
Dr. Andrew Kaz (Gastroenterology Clinics of North America)
June 2015
Irreversible Electroporation Can Effectively Ablate Hepatocellular Carcinoma to Complete Pathologic Necrosis »
Research results describing the efficacy of IRE for HCC based on patholgoic evaluation and correlation of radiographic findings.
Dr. Rex Cheng (Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology)
May 2015
Dr. Scott Lee Receives 2015 CCFA and McCready Family Award »
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (Northwest Chapter) and the McCready Family were honored to recognize Dr. Scott Lee for his ongoing efforts to better the lives of those living with inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Lee has been a leader in the field of IBD in the Northwest and has been key in placing Seattle and the Northwest on the map for excellence in IBD care.
Dr. Scott Lee (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
May 2015
Associations Between Lipodystrophy or Antiretroviral Medications and Cirrhosis in Patients with HIV Infection or HIV/HCV Coinfection. »
Is long-term intake of selected antiretroviral medications associated with increased risk of developing cirrhosis?
Dr. George Ioannou (European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology)
May 2015
Fecal Microbiota Transplantation: What We Know and What We Need to Know »
The excitement about FMT is justified given its high efficacy in treating recurrent CDI, relative availability and simplicity, and favorable cost profile compared with other therapies. FMT also gives us insight into the importance of the gut microbiota in maintaining health and the therapeutic potential therein.
Dr. Christina Surawicz (Annals of Internal Medicine)
April 2015
A New Less-Than-Expected Gastrointestinal Treatment »
Seattle Magazine features Drs. Christina Surawicz and Elizabeth Broussard and their work with stool transplants (fecal microbiota transplantation) for treating patients suffering from Clostridium difficile.
(Seattle Magazine)
April 2015
Putting Together The Puzzle: Pancreatic Cancer »
RadioLab follows Dr. Teresa Brentnall's decade-long race to discover the source of familial pancreatic cancer. Listen to the story of Family X and the road to announcing a powerful discovery.
Dr. Teresa Brentnall (RadioLab)
April 2015
The Impact of Racial and Ethnic Differences in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Phenotype in the United States »
IBD has become a global disease with a rising incidence in both developed and developing countries. There are racial differences in IBD phenotype in the adult population in the US. These differences have implications in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of disease as well as complications of disease.
Dr. Anita Afzali (e-WGN (World Gastroenterology News))
April 2015
Drs. Rahul Kuver & Charles Landis Receive UWMC PRAISE Awards »
Drs. Rahul Kuver and Charles Landis have received 2015 UWMC PRAISE (Patient Reported Assessment in Satisfaction and Excellence) Awards. This award is given biannually to physicians ranking top in the nation for their excellent communication with patients. Dr. Landis is a two-time recipient. He and Dr. Anita Afzali received HMC PRAISE Awards in July 2014. Congratulations to all our physicians. We are honored to receive such generous support from our patients.
(DOM Week)
April 2015
Trends in Hospitalization for Diverticulitis and Diverticular Bleeding
in the United States From 2000 to 2010 »

Complications of diverticular disease are the leading gastrointestinal indication for hospital admission in the US. In 2009, an estimated 280,000 individuals were hospitalized for diverticular complications in the US at an aggregate cost of $2.7 billion.
Dr. Lisa Strate (Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology)
April 2015
Hepatocyte Transplantation:
A Potential Treatment for Radiation-Induced Liver Damage »

Radiation-induced liver damage (RILD) is a poorly understood and potentially devastating complication of hepatic radiation therapy for liver cancers. Previous work has demonstrated that hepatocyte transplantation can ameliorate RILD in rats.
Dr. Charles Landis (Liver International)
April 2015
Dr. Peter Liang Receives 2015 Fellowship2Leadership Award »
This is a competitive award given to 35 GI Fellows each year. The overall goal of this travel grant program is to facilitate the continued growth and development of 2nd- and 3rd-year gastroenterology and hepatology fellows who have demonstrated the ability and initiative to be future leaders in their field. This is the third year that our program has had a winner.
(Unrestricted Educational Grant from Salix Pharmaceuticals)
March 2015
Proteomics Analysis of Bodily Fluids in Pancreatic Cancer »
Proteomics study of pancreatic cancer using bodily fluids emphasizes biomarker discovery and clinical application, presenting unique prospects and challenges. Fluid proteomics studies to date have provided a wealth of information in revealing proteome alterations associated with pancreatic cancer in various bodily fluids.
Dr. Sheng Pan (Proteomics)
February 2015
Cost Considerations in Implementing a Screening and Surveillance Strategy for Barrett's Esophagus »
There is increasing concern over the rising costs of healthcare leading to debate regarding the use of resources to implement preventive strategies. Oesophageal adenocarcinoma and its precursor, Barrett's oesophagus provides an excellent opportunity to highlight this issue since cancer is uncommon even among individuals with documented Barrett's oesophagus.
Dr. John Inadomi (Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology)
February 2015
Molecular Markers Predictive of Chemotherapy Response in Colorectal Cancer »
Recognition of the molecular heterogeneity of colorectal cancer (CRC) has led to the classification of CRC based on a variety of clinical and molecular characteristics. Although the clinical significance of the majority of these molecular alterations is still being ascertained, it is widely anticipated that these characteristics will improve the accuracy of our ability to determine the prognosis and therapeutic response of CRC patients.
Dr. William Grady (Current Gastroenterology Reports)
February 2015
Dr. Jasmine Zia Among 14 Researchers to Win 2015 UW Innovation Awards »
Congratulations to Dr. Jasmine Zia, one of 14 researchers across the UW campus to receive this year's UW Innovation Awards. Dr. Zia is part of a team of six researchers building tools for use on a mobile device that let patients easily enter data about their habits and behaviors related to a particular health problem. These data will help extend the reach of health care beyond the clinic, making it easier for physicians to make diagnoses and treatment plans.
Dr. Jasmine Zia (UW Today)
February 2015
Yuck Factor, Yes, But Stool’s Medical Impact Could Be Huge »
Dr. Christina Surawicz, an early advocate of stool transplants (fecal microbiota transplantation), discusses the procedure's extraordinary success and impact.
Dr. Christina Surawicz (UW Health Sciences News Beat)
January 2015
Proteins Assocated with Pancreatic Cancer Survival in Patients with Resectable Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma »
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly lethal disease with a dismal prognosis. However, while most patients die within the first year of diagnosis, very rarely, a few patients can survive for >10 years. Better understanding the molecular characteristics of the pancreatic adenocarcinomas from these very-long-term survivors (VLTS) may provide clues for personalized medicine and improve current pancreatic cancer treatment.
Dr. Ru Chen (Laboratory Investigation)
January 2015
Prevalence and Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C Virus Infection in the US Department of Veterans Affairs »
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common blood-borne pathogen in the United States. HCV disproportionately affects Veterans Affairs (VA) health-care users: 174,302 HCV-infected veterans were in VA care in 2013, making the VA the world's largest HCV care provider.
Dr. George Ioannou (Epidemiologic Reviews)
January 2015
Clostridium Difficile Infection: Risk Factors, Diagnosis and Management »
Clostridium difficile infection is the leading cause of death due to gastrointestinal infections in the US and is the most common cause of nosocomial diarrhea. The emergence of a hypervirulent strain in the early 2000s has been associated with a dramatic increase in the number and severity of cases in the US, Canada, and several other countries.
Dr. Christina Surawicz (Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology)
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