Evidence
Alert

People with anorectal melanoma may not benefit from radical surgery

New research suggests that limited surgery is preferable to radical surgery for a rare and aggressive type of cancer called anorectal melanoma. This cancer starts in the anus or rectum (back passage). In limited surgery (wide local excision or WLE), the cancer and a small area around it is removed. In more radical surgery (abdominoperineal ...

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A new technique could make more livers available for transplant

Demand for liver transplants is so high that many people on the waiting list die before they can receive a transplant. But surgeons are rejecting increasing numbers of donated livers because they are not satisfied with the quality. New research could address this problem and make more livers available for transplant. Current practice is for ...

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Tranexamic acid should not be used for patients with severe gastrointestinal bleeding

A drug called tranexamic acid is used to control severe bleeding caused by injury or childbirth. Some doctors had also started using it to treat patients with severe gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, which is a common medical emergency. Evidence from small trials had suggested it could reduce deaths. The HALT-IT (Haemorrhage alleviation with tranexamic acid-Intestinal system) ...

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MRI and ultrasound scans are both helpful in assessing Crohn’s disease; MRI is slightly more accurate

Two types of scan, MRI and ultrasound, work well when used for staging and monitoring Crohn’s disease. MRI is more accurate. Researchers compared a form of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging that includes an oral contrast agent, with ultrasound scans. They aimed to see which was better able to detect the presence and extent of active ...

Collection

My Signals - Patients, 2019

In My Signals, health and social care staff and service users tell us what research is important to them and why they feel others need to know about it. In this collection, we asked seven members of the public to tell us which Signals have interested them most and explain why they feel the findings ...

Alert

Stopping smoking is unlikely to worsen symptoms of ulcerative colitis

Non-smokers and people who stop smoking after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis are unlikely to have more flare-ups or other signs of worsening disease, compared with those who continue to smoke. Smoking is linked to reduced rates of developing ulcerative colitis in some studies. Some patients also believe that smoking can also lessen the symptoms ...

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Robotic surgery for rectal cancer produces similar results to keyhole surgery

Robotic rectal cancer surgery does not appear technically easier than standard keyhole surgery. The researchers, in this trial, judged this by measuring the need to ‘convert’ a keyhole procedure to open surgery when operating. This NIHR-funded trial also found that robotic surgery produced similar clinical results to standard laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery in treating rectal cancer. ...

Alert

Telephone-delivered CBT can provide lasting benefits for people with IBS

People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who receive cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) continue to have lower levels of symptoms over the following two years. Telephone-delivered CBT is particularly effective, with 71% of study participants experiencing a clinically significant improvement in their IBS symptoms. This NIHR-funded study is the 24-month follow-up to an earlier publication of ...

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Telephone or internet delivered talking therapy can alleviate irritable bowel symptoms

People with irritable bowel syndrome may find cognitive behavioural therapy (a talking therapy) delivered via telephone or internet improves their symptoms. Compared with usual care alone, both interventions were shown to be more effective, with telephone delivery resulting in greater symptom reduction and web-based therapy being more cost-effective. Irritable bowel symptoms can persist long-term and ...

Alert

Treatments for depression may help irritable bowel symptoms

Antidepressants are likely to provide more than a placebo effect for those with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Antidepressants improve symptoms in about 60% of those taking them, but two-thirds of that effect may be due to placebo. Psychological therapies, such as talking therapies also appear effective in about half of those offered them but ...

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