Gastroenterology special issue highlights the pancreas

The editors of Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute, are pleased to announce the publication of this year's highly anticipated special 13th issue. Published each May, the 13th issue is devoted to a particular gastroenterological topic of broad interest; this year's topic is the biology, diseases and therapy of the pancreas. To access the 13th issue in its entirety, please visit http://www.gastrojournal.org/issues?issue_key=S0016-5085(13)X0005-8.

In conjunction with Editor-in-Chief M. Bishr Omary, PhD, MD, this issue was developed by internationally renowned experts in the pancreas: Diane M. Simeone, MD, associate editor for Gastroenterology, and Stephen J. Pandol, MD, Gastroenterology editorial board member.

"Our goal in this special issue of Gastroenterology is to present readers with a variety of topics related to the exocrine pancreas and its disorders that will spur innovations and lead to critical new treatments," said Dr. Simeone from the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, MI. The pancreas has two main functions—the exocrine function, which helps in digestion, and the endocrine function, which helps regulate blood sugar.

With new findings on how diseases affect the exocrine pancreas being released at a rapid pace, the field of gastroenterology is approaching the crossroads of converting the understanding of how pancreatic diseases work into new treatments for patients with these diseases. At this critical time, the Gastroenterology board of editors unanimously decided that it was necessary to devote the 2013 13th issue to the pancreas to provide readers with important and state-of-the-art information about pancreatic biology and disease.

Comprised of classic review articles and insightful commentaries from leading authorities in both the basic and , this supplement addresses critical topics in both domains, outlines the challenges that lie ahead and dissects the approaches that may be used to advance the care of patients with pancreatic disease. This year's issue is divided into two sections. The first section includes topics of basic investigation related to biology and disease mechanisms; the second is focused on clinical manifestations and management of pancreatic disorders. The commentaries and reviews, and their distinguished authors, are as follows:

A. Biology of the Pancreas

  • "The Nobel Pancreas: A Historical Perspective" by John Williams.
  • "Relevance of Animal Models of Pancreatic Cancer and Pancreatitis to Human Disease" by Ashok Saluja and Vikas Dudeja.
  • "Control of Cell Identity in Pancreas Development and Regeneration" by Matthias Hebrok and Ben Stanger.
  • "Models of Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis" by Fred Gorelick and Marcus Lerch.
  • "Inflammation, Autophagy and Obesity—Common Features in the Pathogenesis of Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer" by Ilya Gukovsky, Ning Li, Jelena Todoric, Anna Gukovskaya and Michael Karin.
  • "A Starring Role for Stellate Cells in the Pancreatic Cancer Microenvironment" by Minoti Apte, Jeremy Wilson, Aurelia Lugea and Stephen Pandol.
  • "Roles for KRAS in Pancreatic Tumor Development and Progression" by Marina Pasca di Magliano and Craig Logsdon.
  • "Role of Immune Cells and Immune-Based Therapies in Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma" by Lei Zheng, Jing Xue, Elizabeth Jaffee and Aida Habtezion.
  • "Biology and Clinical Applications of Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells" by Ethan Abel and Diane Simeone.

B. Disease and Therapy of Pancreatic Disorder

  • "A Historical Perspective on Clinical Advances in Pancreatic Diseases" by Anil Rustgi. Listen to related podcast
  • "The Epidemiology of Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer" by Dhiraj Yadav and Albert Lowenfels.
  • "Technologies for Imaging the Normal and Diseased " by Greg Cote, Jeffrey Smith, Stuart Sherman and Kimberly Kelly.
  • "Clinical Management of Patients with Acute Pancreatitis" by Bechien Wu and Peter Banks
  • "Management of Chronic Pancreatitis" by Chris Forsmark.
  • "Genetic Risk Factors for Pancreatic Disorders" by David Whitcomb.
  • "Pancreatic Cystic Neoplasms: Management and Unanswered Questions" by James Farrell and Carlos Fernandez del-Castillo.
  • "Therapeutic Advances in " by Andrew Scott Paulson, Hop Tran Cao, Margaret Tempero and Andrew Lowy.

"We believe that this 13th issue will inspire our readers not only by knowledge transfer, but also in ways that lead to new discoveries and therapies to improve the lives of patients afflicted with pancreatic disorders," stated Dr. Pandol from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Department of Veterans Affairs in Los Angeles, CA.

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