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IBD Research Foundation at Digestive Diseases Week

IBD Research Foundation at Digestive Diseases Week
DDW Chicago, USA, 31 May – 3 June 2009

EFCCA kindly invited 2 representatives from the foundation to join their team at the recent  DDW and to share Exhibition space at this years important Chicago based event from 31 May – 3 June. Over 13, 000 Gastroenterology health professionals from around the world attended the high profile” Digestive Diseases” annual event where the latest science is presented and we are able to learn about innovative developments in the world of Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. DDW is an occasion to meet with the Doctors, Nurses and other health professionals and with the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry, the media representatives and to network positively to promote this new IBD research Foundation. The global economic recession seemed though to impact on this years
attendance figures and programmes.

However as always the IBD sessions were very well attended and often the rooms were over full demonstrating the considerable interest by the Doctors from around the world in these debilitating diseases for which neither cause nor cure is yet known. 

During our time in Chicago we also met formally with our friends, the representatives from a number of international and national IBD – inflammatory bowel disease patient organisations and foundations and were able to exchange knowledge and to learn about what is happening in their areas of the world for patients with IBD. We made plans too for the first Global IBD Day during formal discussions hosted by CCFA. (Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America).

Web addresses of those organisations attending our National and International discussions in Chicago are:

www.crohnsandcolitis.com.au (Australia) ; www.ccfa.org (USA); www.ccfc.org,co  (Canada); www.efcca.org (Europe); www.ibdresearch.org (Europe); www.nacc.org.uk (UK) ; www.abcd.br (Brazil)

As usual specialist training and educations sessions were held for Doctors at the start of DDW. These included the latest surgical management techniques for the increasingly seen C difficile colitis, Crohn’s, and Ulcerative colitis, the optimal time for intervention, tailoring treatment for difficult cases of IBD, strategies to avoid short bowel syndrome, the implications of the wider use of immunosupressive treatments …including the broader implementation of biologic agents. Improving Patient satisfaction was also reviewed. Other participants had the opportunity to learn more about Capsule Endoscopy imaging and among other strategic discussions young clinicians have the opportunity to join “Meet the “Expert” Professor sessions.

One major symposium at DDW Chicago discussed the role of Autophagy in the digestive tract, which is important because it is a fundamental process by which the cells prevent cell death. Many of the genes regulate autophagy  (ATG Genes), It has already been shown that they play a fundamental role in Crohn’s disease, further studies are ongoing in Crohn’s disease to understand the precise genes and proteins in the pathway of interactions between the cells and the role of the cells when they send messages  (talk) to one another.


Participants were reminded in one important session about the long-term effects of with IBD and that it was not limited to the bowel. One of the leading American Doctors reminded those attending that they “need to keep an eye on the whole patient” with bone denisity loss, eye inflammation and opportunistic infections, taking into account the treatments used.

 Another presenter reminded participants about the value of establishing good physician- patient communication and we were also reminded in some of the background papers that patients want to be treated with dignity and respect, that they want doctors to listen carefully to their health concerns, be easy to talk to, take their concerns seriously, be willing to spend enough time with them, and truly care about them and their health.

During the DDW days we heard too about the best of the presentations from the Autumn 2008 United European Gastroenterology Week – UEGW in Vienna, so continuing the reciprocal exchange of the latest scientific and clinical outcomes from the European scene, including stem cell research and the work associated with the intestinal microbiome.

As always the “Late- breaking news” attracts much attention. This year at DDW we heard more about treating Clostridium difficile colitis and further positive studies relating to the use of biologicals in IBD.


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