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$220K investment supports local research in inflammatory bowel disease

$220K investment supports local research in inflammatory bowel disease

Toronto, ON, (September 4, 2013) – Over $220,000 has been awarded to a Toronto researcher, with the aim to document and improve the quality of healthcare delivered to the Canadian youth living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Awarded by the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC), this clinical research grant will help Dr. Geoffrey Nguyen of Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, as well as Dr. Anne Griffiths from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Dr. John Marshall from McMaster University and Dr. Eric Benchimol from the University of Ottawa, explore how to maintain the high level of healthcare received by paediatric IBD patients as they transition to an adult care focused treatment centre.

The incidence of IBD has been rising, particularly since 2001, and significantly so in children under the age of 10. Canada has among the highest reported prevalence (number of people) and incidence (number of new cases per year) of IBD in the world. Fortunately, Canada is a world leader in paediatric IBD healthcare delivery. However, at the age of eighteen, the typical IBD patient moves into a new adult treatment environment, most often a general hospital or treatment centre. Dr. Nguyen’s study will follow young IBD patients, to explore innovative communication methods that may improve IBD treatment policies.

The SickKids Pediatric IBD Centre of Excellence offers a program of monthly teen support evenings, which makes use of transition materials developed by SickKids Good to Go Program and aims to prepare teenagers for transition to adult IBD care. Last year, the IBD physicians and nurse specialists expanded their transition of care programming to include a once monthly joint clinic held at SickKids and attended by IBD clinicians from Mount Sinai Hospital. Pediatric IBD patients who are close to their 18th birthday and ready to be cared for by an adult IBD specialist attend these transition clinics, and have found them very effective.

A total of 50-75 older teenagers require transfer of care from SickKids IBD program each year. Approximately half are referred to one of the six gastroenterologists at the Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases at Mount Sinai Hospital. Through the Zane Cohen Centre, Canada’s largest, most comprehensive multidisciplinary team of IBD clinicians care for more than 4,700 patients annually, many who come from outside of Toronto and Ontario. Adolescents with IBD may be particularly troubled by psychological and behavioural issues related to their IBD and its impact on their quality of life.

The CCFC research grants support high-quality research projects that will enhance the understanding of IBD and have the potential to improve the lives of children and adults living with this chronic disease. The CCFC grants build upon the achievements and strengths of the world-class IBD research community in Canada by supporting the pipeline for discovery and clinical research of new IBD therapies and keeping cutting- edge researchers in Canada. The research projects funded by the CCFC are devoted to finding the causes of IBD, developing new treatments that block the inflammatory process, and advocating to government on behalf of those living with IBD.

In 2012, the CCFC invested more than $5.4 million in top-calibre IBD research. This $220,000 investment is part of a national research program valued at $3.1 million.

The CCFC supports some of the most progressive and innovative projects that bring together the finest scientific minds to find new approaches and treatments for IBD. Through CCFC partnerships with 17 various Canadian health agencies, hospitals and universities, the CCFC has leveraged its investments to train over 31 future IBD researchers, encouraging them to pursue careers in IBD research, and support additional ongoing and groundbreaking IBD-related research.


“For teenagers with IBD, the transition of care from their pediatric gastroenterologists to their adult doctors can be a very emotionally difficult and sometimes alienating process. In our study, we will look at how to best support these patients to ensure there is continuity of care, regardless of where their adult IBD care is provided. Through the Mount Sinai Hospital-SickKids Transition Clinic, we will explore whether regular communication with a health professional through telephone or other electronic communications can keep our IBD teenagers engaged in the health system and lead to improved health and greater patient satisfaction.” Dr. Geoffrey Nguyen, Gastroenterologist at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

“The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) is pushing the dial on translating research into outcomes. With these research grants and the work of Dr. Nguyen, together, we will continue to make significant progress in research and care and make IBD a thing of the past.” Aida Fernandes, Chief Science and Education Officer, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada.

“The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada’s (CCFC) commitment to finding cures for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and improving the lives of those with IBD is stronger than ever. The CCFC’s research grants support some of the most progressive and innovative projects aimed at finding novel treatments, prevention strategies and, ultimately a cure for inflammatory bowel disease.” Kevin W. Glasgow, MD, Chief Executive Officer, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada.

“It’s invaluable to have lay reviewers involved in the research grants evaluation process. I was honoured to be part of the process for my second year and it gives me great hope that my children’s quality of life will improve and that cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis will be found in their lifetime. The Canadian scientific and medical community dedicated to inflammatory disease is amongst the best in the world and it was exciting for me, as a lay reviewer to hear their perspectives on the quality, feasibility and creativity of the many research proposals reviewed over two days.” Ruth Scully, Lay Reviewer of the Grant Review Committee, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, mother of 2 children with IBD

Quick facts about inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

IBD is a group of disorders that causes the intestines to become inflamed and ulcerated. This is caused by an abnormal response to the
body’s immune system.
The main forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. There are more than 233,000 Canadians living with IBD.
One in every 150 Canadians has IBD.
Canada has among the highest reported prevalence (number of people) and incidence (number of new cases per year) of IBD in the
About the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) is a volunteer-based charity dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and to improving the lives of children and adults affected by these chronic diseases. As Canada’s leading non-governmental funder of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)research, the CCFC to date, has invested over $82 million to foster advances in research, education, awareness and advocacy. By working together we can help advance the understanding of IBD and fund the programs that result in more treatment options and, ultimately cures.

Please visit www.ccfc.ca, join us on https://www.facebook.com/ccfc.ca, follow us on Twitter at @isupportibd or call 1-800-387-1479.

SOURCE: Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada

Jeff Livingston    9/4/2013


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