Premalignant lesions and chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract
01 / 2001 - unknown
METIS Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
The research of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology is centered around the themes of premalignant lesions and chronic inflammatory processes of the gastrointestinal tract. In this respect the main focus is on molecular and immunological aspects of the development, diagnosis, progression and treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases of 1) esophagus, 2) stomach, and 3) colon. Ad1) Esophagus. Reflux-induced chronic inflammation is thought to be initiating factor of the development of Barrett's esophagus, a precursor of adenocarcinoma of the gastro-esophageal junction. Concerning Barrett's esophagus, the investigations aims at: a)the determination of prognostic parameters in Barrett's epithelium, that can predict if malignancy will develop; b) the treatment of gastro-esophageal reflux disease and Barrett's epithelium by endoscopic means and c) the understanding of the inflammation-inducing factors in reflux-esophagitis and Barrett's esophagus. Ad 2) Stomach. Chronic inflammation in the stomach caused by Helicobacter pylori is an important factor in the development of peptic ulcer disease and gastric malignancies. Research aims to improve the understanding of the pathogenesis of chronic H. pylori infections and to improve the detection and treatment of the micro-organism. In addition, the putative role of related pathogenic micro-organisms, like non-pylori Helicobacters spp. and Campylobacter spp., is studied. Ad 3) Colon. Colon carcinoma research concerns effective screening and interventions strategies. Mediators of inflammation in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are investigated and the focus is on their mutual interaction and the effects of drugs hereon.