Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Can you fix the typos????

The Sherpa would like to thank all of the readers who have tolerated the foray into mobile blogging that I have undertaken. I have had a few posts which have been hard to read as well as full of typos. Lately given my schedule I have had little time to revise these. I will take more time from now on I promise.

Now Back to some interesting stuff!!! Recently in The Journal of the American Medical Association a study was published linking Coronary Artery Disease and Colorectal Cancer. Why am I, a gene guy, posting this study? Several reasons, but first let me talk about the study. Patients in Hong Kong were recruited for screening colonoscopy after cardiac catheterization (a procedure where they look for disease in your heart blood vessels.)

Right there I think I several confounders. Aspirin can reduce colon cancer occurrence in some types of patients, Statins (Lipitor et al) have been portrayed by pharma companies to prevent cancers (Although the Sherpa thinks the opposite....) in addition what about prior colon disease????? All of these things were controlled for. But what wasn't? Family History of colon cancer, it wasn't even checked.

That being said, the results are interesting simply because there have been smaller studies linking and refuting the link between CAD and Colon Cancer. In this very large study where they controlled for several factors in this chinese population, the Odds Ratio of Colon Neoplasm and CAD was 1.88 more worrisome, if you had Colon lesion and you have CAD your OR for an advanced lesion is 2.51 YIKES!!!!

Now the real question......Why? The authors identify inflammation as the culprit. Inflammation is known to be a risk factor for CAD as well as Colorectal Carcinoma. Perhaps these hyperinflammatory people are getting hit with both. Well, I would say that is pretty reductionist. What I would like to propose.....Every person who enters any study in the US or even any country, Everyone gets their DNA sample taken. We knock down the barriers to getting this information and then we really find out what's going on in these susceptible persons.

That's why the Broad Institute has started this amazing project called the Connectivity Map. What is a connectivity map? It connects the dots by analyzing gene expression patterns. Led by Todd Golub, this team is pretty amazing. MedGadget posted on it last year. I am surprised it hasn't gotten more play. Maybe this will help us find out what's going on with ASA and heart attack or even colorectal cancer.....

The Sherpa Says: I am curious to know what all of you think about getting to: knowing what's wrong, why it's wrong, why the medication to treat it works, and who it works for. I know for one that I am

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