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New Hope for Patients with Rectal Cancer

Published on: 6 Sep, 2022
There is new hope for the 5-10% of patient with rectal cancer with tumours with deficient mismatch repair (dMMR). A drug by the name of dostarlimab, already approved for use in Canada for advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer, has shown promise for treatment of certain types of rectal cancer and researchers are greatly optimistic. In a small study, consisting of only 12 patients, all 12 of them had a complete clinical response to the drug. None of the patients had undergone surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, and yet showed no signs of cancer in the follow up period, which ranged from 6 to 25 months. This is an encouraging finding, but until more research and longer term follow up is completed, standard treatment strategies such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are recommended.
 
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Western Diet and Colorectal Cancer

Published on: 9 Aug, 2022
Multiple studies have confirmed that diet influences the development of colorectal cancer. Researchers have recently gain new insight on how this association may work. A study performed in the United States aimed to examine the link between a typical Western-style diet (high in processed and red meats), a bacteria called pks+ E coli that has been shown to cause colonic cell mutations, and incidence of colorectal cancer. Study results have supported the researchers' hypothesis that Western-style diets can cause colorectal cancer as a result of the pks+ E coli bacteria. 
 
Early onset colorectal cancer (CRC), defined as a CRC diagnosis before the age of fifty, has risen sharply since the late 1980s. Furthermore, rates of early onset CRC are projected to double by the year 2030. Patients with early onset CRC are more likely to have an underlying hereditary syndrome compared to those who are diagnosed at a later age, but most cases do not have a clearly identifiable cause. However, rising obesity rates and changes in dietary habits, including higher intake of refined and processed foods, are theorized to play a role. Early and consistent screening, as well as raising awareness regarding the symptoms of colorectal cancer, is key in prevention, early detection, and successful treatment. 
 

Can Fecal Transplants Reverse Aging?

Published on: 5 Jun, 2022
New research has demonstrated that microorganisms in the gut may play a role in aging. After receiving a fecal transplant from young mice, older mice showed a reversal in the signs of aging in the eyes, brain, and gut. On the contrary, young mice who received a fecal transplant from aging mice quickly developed signs of aging in the same organs. Researchers believe that this is due to age-related changes in gut microbiota and associated low-grade systemic inflammation. This research further supports the relationship between the gut and the brain and findings may help develop recommendations for manipulating diet and microbiota in order to maximize good health later on in life. 
 
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Colorectal Cancer Risk Calculator

Published on: 7 May, 2022
A new risk score calculator can help identify men and women under the age of 50 who are most likely to develop colorectal cancer. The score can range between 0 and 1 and takes into account a number of genetic variants that are often associated with colorectal cancer, as well as various lifestyle factors that have been shown to play a role in the development of colorectal cancer. The ultimate goal is to provide physicians with a tool with which to determine when their patients should begin screening based on their individualized health and lifestyle factors.
 
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Too Much Processed Meat May Be Deadly

Published on: 9 Apr, 2022
In our busy lives, it is often all too easy to turn to processed foods for a quick meal. In moderation, some processed foods are not necessarily immediately harmful. However, new research has shown that for individuals suffering from inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's or ulcerative colitis, too much processed food, particularly processed meat, can be deadly; this study has shown that higher intake of processed meats is associated with a higher risk of mortality. Limiting intake of processed meats and instead focusing on unprocessed red meat, chicken, and fish is an important step in optimizing long-term health for IBD patients.
 

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