Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center gastrointestinal physicians and surgeons are nationally recognized for contributions to the future of digestive disease care through their studies and publications, as well as training Harvard Medical School students and providing graduate medical education.
The DDC pursues a wide variety of research, ranging from inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and pancreatic cancer therapies, to improving the management of diverticulitis abscess disease and fine-tuning biological and probiotic therapies.
BIDMC gastroenterologists work closely with colleagues in surgery and radiology, leading national and international trials for GI advancements to offer patients access to new treatments before they are widely available. For example, the discovery by Richard Farrell, M.D.,and Mark Peppercorn, M.D., that pre-medicating patients receiving Remicade® with hydrocortisone reduces antibody levels, is now an accepted protocol nationwide to improve safety and treatment response. A sample of current research includes:
- Innovative diagnostic tests for liver cancer and liver fibrosis (Nezam H. Afdhal, M.D., Detlef Schuppan, M.D., Ph.D .)
- Therapeutic trials with anti-viral agents for HBV and HCV, featuring the first U.S. trials of polymerase and protease inhibitors (Nezam H. Afdhal, M.D., and Liver Center investigators)
- Angiogenesis inhibitors as promising treatment agents in pancreatic cancer (Sareh Parangi, M.D.)
- Novel therapeutic strategies to break through chemoresistance and disable anti-apoptotic mechanisms in pancreatic cancer cells (Mark Callery, M.D.)
- Identifying protective immunity against
Clostridium difficile, the leading cause of infectious diarrhea in hospital patients, to accelerate vaccine development and other novel treatments (Ciarán P. Kelly, M.D.)
- Multi-drug resistance (MDR) genes and steroid resistance in patients with ulcerative colitis (Richard J. Farrell, M.D.)
- New radiation therapy techniques and protocols in digestive-related cancer therapy (Keith Stuart, M.D.)
- Virtual colonoscopy (CT and MR colonography), including the national American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) trial evaluating CT colonography as a potential colorectal cancer screening test (Martina Morrin, M.D.)
- Diagnosing dysplasia affecting Barrett's esophagus and chronic colitis (Harvey Goldman, M.D., and Donald Antonioli, M.D.)