The IPAA Center
The IPAA Center is affiliated with a group of investigators with diverse interests in gastrointestinal surgery and medicine. Our common goal is to improve the care of patients with inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer, and other disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. In our basic sciences laboratory, we are interested in better understanding how adhesions form after surgery and identifying novel substances that prevent them. We are also studying gene and protein expression associated with colorectal cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. In our clinical laboratory, our research has focused on improving outcomes in patients undergoing intestinal resection for inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. A list of our publications is available at PubMed.gov
Is infliximab associated with post-op complications?
Physicians try to treat ulcerative colitis with medications. When these don’t work, patients usually have surgery. Recently there has been a debate among IBD physicians about whether infliximab (Remicade®) can affect how well a patient recovers from surgery. Infliximab is a biologic therapy that neutralizes certain antibodies believed to cause auto-immune diseases, such as IBD. However, patients who take infliximab just prior to surgery may have a suppressed immune system and be more prone to infections and other post-operative complications. Several papers were published in medical journals that had conflicting results. We used IPAA Registry data to see if we could find a connection between pre-operative use of infliximab and post-operative complications.
How do normal cells become cancer?
Patients who have ulcerative colitis (UC) for a long time have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). While we know that chronic inflammation is a key risk factor, we don’t understand how normal cells change to cancer. There is evidence that a protein known as substance P initiates the inflammation in UC patients. Cells make receptors, which attach to substance P. Patients with cancer may make too many of these cells. Two different versions of this receptor can be made: a full-length and truncated form. We are studied how changes in gene expression are associated with CRC.