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Searching for a cure to Crohn's disease, Ulcerative Colitis &  Bowel cancer. 

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Current Research

Our current research is focussed upon repurposing and combining an existing drug, Artesunate (which is an extract of sweet wormwood and used to treat malaria) for the treatment of Bowel Disease. Artesunate is a plant based drug and, if successful, the drug can be readily prescribed to all in the Western and Developing worlds (it only costs $1 per day), making it a truly global solution.

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Artesunate Trials

TRIAL NEOART: ARTESUNATE TO TREAT BOWEL CANCER, ST GEORGES HOSPITAL, LONDON

Background

Phase I of the trial confirmed the positive outcome of administrating Artesunate to patients with Bowel Cancer before any necessary surgery. 

The trial showed amongst 23 patient's who were given either Artesunate or a placebo for the 2 weeks prior to surgery, only one patient taking Artesunate had a re-occurrence of cancer in the 3 years following surgery compared to 6 in the placebo group. 

The anticancer properties shown in this study was the foundation for this subsequent global program.

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Overview

We are now funding phase II of the trial at St. George's Hospital, West London, to hopefully prove the findings of phase I. Should this be the case it will be possible to develop an effective, well tolerated and affordable, anti-cancer therapy that can be used to treat patients globally. 

Progress on the Phase II trial has been excellent. Now the study has received approval from: Research Ethics Committee, Health Research Authority, and Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency, and the trial has commenced. Over the next 2 years Yolanda Augustin and her research team at St. George's University of London, plan to develop a global program to repurpose the Artesunate drug for cancer treatment. This program includes trials of Artesunate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia in India, and for the treatment of cervical and anal cancer in Malaysia. This global focus is part of our efforts to make effective cancer treatments affordable to more patients globally.

To read more and keep up to date on this NeoArt research trial click on the links below.

TRIAL LUCKNOW: ARTESUNATE AND CURCUMIN TO TREAT CROHN'S, LUCKNOW, INDIA

Background

Artesunate (sweet wormwood extract) and curcumin (the active ingredient in Turmeric) are powerful anti inflammatory drugs. The concept for this Phase IIa Trail is that the combination of these 2 drugs will have a positive outcome for patients with Crohn's disease.

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Overview

In collaboration with the Gastroenterology department of Sanjay Gandhi Post graduate institute in Lucknow, Professor Kumar has set up a research project investigating the efficacy of a novel drug in patients with Crohn's disease not responding to standard therapeutic approaches.

 

We are funding the cost associated with the drugs and a senior researcher who will implement the trial under the guidance of Professor Uday C Ghoshal (Professor of Gasteroenterology), Ujjala Ghoshal and Professor Kumar.

 

This is our most recently approved study, which if successful could provide a natural and inexpensive drug to patients both in developed countries and the developing world alike.

The protocol has been approved by the ethics committee. Covid 19 permitting, we hope to start recruiting to this exciting new project. It is expected that 40 patients will be part of the trial in year 1, and we are excited to see how they get on.

A WORD FROM OUR AMBASSADOR, CLEMMIE OLIVER

Is diet important when we have bowel conditions?

The short answer is, YES!

Every system in our body, from our immune system to our brain, requires nutrients from our food to function. Not having the right nutrients from our food and being malnourished is a little bit like not putting oil and fuel in a car then expecting it to drive without any issues!

It is our digestive systems job to break down the food we eat so the nutrients can be absorbed and used to help all of our body systems work properly and efficiently.

But, if we have problems with our digestive system this can sometimes impact our digestive processes. Not only can diseases of our digestive system impact our appetite and the food we feel we can eat, sometimes it can impact our ability to absorb nutrients from our food, and many other issues. But nutrition is particularly important for people with digestive conditions. 

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What should we be eating?  

The Eatwell Guide is a great place to start. It shows the different types of foods and drinks we should consume – and in what proportions – to have a healthy, balanced diet. You can find more information about this on the NHS website

 

(https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/food-guidelines-and-food-labels/the-eatwell-guide/).

The guide has been put together for the general population in the UK so its important to remember when we have bowel conditions, sometimes we may need to adapt or avoid foods to help reduce symptoms, or our diet may have to change for a short time due to treatment or surgery, but this should only ever be done with the guidance of a specialist Dietitian or Nutritionist. You can ask to be referred to see someone on the NHS or you can see someone privately. 

Why is nutrition particularly important in people with bowel conditions?

Sadly, all too often, I hear of people with digestive conditions being told diet doesn’t make a difference to their disease or is not important. But the truth is nutrition and diet are important for EVERYONE no matter whether you have a bowel disease or not and they are arguably more important when we have digestive conditions. Here’s why:

  • What we eat can increase or decrease our risk of developing other diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), and research has suggested certain dietary patterns could be associated with an increased or decreased risk of developing certain digestive conditions like IBD and bowel cancer.

  • The gold standard treatment for flares of Crohn's Disease in children is not steroids but instead a liquid-only diet called exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN). There is also some emerging evidence for the role of exclusive (EEN) or partial liquid diet (PEN) in the treatment of Crohn’s Disease and Crohn’s flares in adults (CDED) and this is being used at some of the leading London IBD centres now.  

  • The food we eat comes into direct contact with the organ we have issues with when we have bowel conditions.

  • Research shows that malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies can negatively impact disease course and outcomes in many bowel conditions. In IBD this includes increased risk of flares, hospitalisations, and complications.

  • Just because there is no single prescription diet that can be given to everyone and no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to diet and every digestive condition, it doesn’t mean it’s not important.

  • Some medications increase our need for certain nutrients as they impact their absorption.

  • Some food intolerances which cause unpleasant symptoms are higher in people with certain bowel conditions (e.g. lactose intolerance in Crohn’s Disease).

  • Diet can hugely impact our symptoms when we have a bowel condition including bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and pain. We can help to manage these symptoms more effectively through diet.

  • Diet can impact overall quality of life.

  • Eating disorders and disordered eating patterns are common in people with bowel conditions.  

  • Changes in weight, either weight loss or weight gain, can hugely impact our body image and mental health.

  • Food related quality of life (the impact of diet, eating behaviours, and food-related anxiety on a person's quality of life) is known to be poor in people with bowel conditions.

 

People with bowel conditions often follow self-imposed restrictive diets leading them to miss out on important nutrients increasing their risk of nutrient deficiency and complications that can come with that, in addition to reducing quality of life.

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