"The coming together of all these clinicians who specialize in the repair, rehabilitation or transplant of the small intestine represents the development of a new specialty that integrates treatments all dedicated to one purpose. In the past twenty years we have gone from most patients dying to most people living when they have an injury to or a disability from their small intestine," said Dr. Fishbein.
Topics include intestinal tissue engineering, the growth of bio-artificial small intestines in the laboratory; the discovery of the effects of a gene mutation called NOD2 that could lead to new treatments for Crohn's disease, a chronic disorder that causes inflammation of the GI tract, ongoing stomach cramps and diarrhea in a half a million people in the US; the development of a new TPN component derived from fish oil rather than vegetable oil that might be less toxic to the human liver; and the discovery of new biomarkers for organ rejection that could be tested non-invasively via a urine or stool sample rather than an invasive endoscopy.
"Small bowel transplantation has been one of the most challenging 'last frontiers' in transplant medicine," said Dr. Fishbein. "The small intestine itself has presented the medical community with huge challenges including infection and rejection that has taken us years to understand. About 80-percent of the body's entire immune system is found in the small intestine, leading to major immunologic complexities. That has helped us understand a great deal about organ rejection and the immune system itself. These are all very exciting develop
|Contact: Marianne Worley|
Georgetown University Medical Center