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May is the month for esophageal, intestinal and gastric health - How to prevent diseases and diagnose them early?

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Press Release
20.5.2019 at 10.30 local time (EET)

May is devoted to increase the awareness of digestive diseases and their prevention. Colorectal cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among the Finnish people. Biohit Oyj and UEG (United European Gastroenterology) encourage to prevention of these cancers by testing the intestinal and gastric health and by paying attention to a healthy lifestyle. 

Early detection of the gastric-, esophageal- and colorectal cancer risk and population-based screening of the risk groups can decrease the annual cancer incidence and mortality rate significantly. In 2014, 650 people were diagnosed with gastric cancer (430 died), 307 with esophageal cancer (257 died) and 3500 with colorectal cancer (1220 died).

Using the Finnish innovations, GastroPanel and ColonView-FIT, for diagnosis of dyspeptic symptoms as well as for screening of the gastric-, esophageal- and colorectal cancer risks, also contributes to an early detection of the tumours at these sites bringing them within reach of curative treatment. At present in Finland, no national screening program exists for any of these cancers. For example, gastric cancer remains asymptomatic for long and thus often detected as an incidental finding in gastroscopy performed for another indication, or only when alarming symptoms appear, when the disease outlook is poor.  

UEG’s manifesto on digestive health for decision-makers

Each year, across Europe, digestive diseases lead to the death of one million people of all ages, thus representing the leading cause of cancer-related mortality in Europe. Poor dietary habits, heavy alcohol consumption and increasing obesity are all linked to the increase of chronic digestive diseases. However, all these factors are preventable by following more healthy lifestyles.  

UEG (United European Gastroenterology) (7) is asking the decision-makers to recognize, pay attention to and take actions to reduce the gastrointestinal disease-associated morbidity at EU-level.

UEG:n manifesto emphasizes the following core issues: alimentation, alcohol consumption, chronic gastrointestinal diseases and cancers. 

On nutrition, we call for more healthy food reformulation based on scientific evidence.  Since in Europe alcohol-related morbidity is on an alarming level, we call from the EU for further actions to reduce alcohol consumption, because the actions taken so far have been far too ineffective. In this UEG manifesto, emphasis is also given to the importance of colorectal cancer screening and additional funding for pancreatic cancer research. 

UEG invites everybody to distribute the UEG:n Digestive health message via different communication channels.  This is the right way to increase awareness on the impact of gastrointestinal tract in our health, including the community and economy.

#DigestiveHealthMonth #Biohit #Gastropanel

Major savings by using appropriate diagnostic tests

GastroPanel,  unlike conventional helicobacter tests,  can detect Helicobacter-induced or autoimmune  type of atrophic gastritis (atrophy of the stomach mucosa) (1-7, 9,10), which significantly increases the risk of gastric and esophageal cancer and leads to  malabsorption of vitamin B12, iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium as well as certain medications. Atrophic gastritis, which is a risk factor for gastric cancer among other things, can be detected with Gastropanel. Atrophic gastritis is usually asymptomatic and cannot be detected with just Helicobacter pylori tests; therefor discontinuing said testing would significantly increase patient safety and produce savings (9-10).

Atrophic gastritis detected by GastroPanel is usually symptomatic and remains undetectable by the conventional Helicobacter tests. Abandoning these obsolete tests would significantly increase the patient safety and lead to substantial savings of the health care costs (www.biohithealthcare.com/additional-information )(9-10).

To estimate these savings of the health care costs, a health economic model was designed, based on the use of GastroPanel test for systematic screening of the gastric cancer risks. According to this modelling, the life-time savings to be reached by screening of 10 age groups (65-74-year-old) by GastroPanel could exceed 800 million (calculation model: https://www.gastropanel.com/decision-makers/screening-model ). The most significant driver in these cost savings is the reduced costs due to gastroscopy, of which up to 80 % can be considered unnecessary on the basis of a normal GastroPanel result.

Because of the fact that particularly among elderly people, upper abdominal symptoms not infrequently are of colonic origin, inclusion of Biohit ColonView-FIT test among the repertoire of diagnostic tests of upper abdominal symptoms is indicated to exclude colorectal cancer and its precursors as the cause of fecal occult blood.

#DigestiveHealthMonth #Biohit #Gastropanel

Information about the tests for intestinal and stomach health:

GastroPanel – a unique helicobacter test. GastroPanel is a quick and safe blood test for diagnosis of Helicobacter-induced or autoimmune type of atrophic gastritis (www.biohithealthcare.com / Links: State of the art diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori). Atrophic gastritis (mucosal injury) increases the risk of gastric- and esophageal cancer and also leads to malabsorption of some trace elements and medicines. Atrophic gastritis is also the most important cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. Normal GastroPanel result indicates that the stomach mucosa functions normally and the origin of the symptoms is elsewhere. GastroPAnel is a perfect first-line test for anybody suffering from dyspeptic symptoms like regurgitation, bloating, gastric pain or malaise. www.gastropanel.com, www.biohithealthcare.com/additional-information

ColonView-FIT- test for fecal occult blood.  Immunochemical ColonView-FIT detects occult fecal blood derived from both the upper- and lower intestinal tract. ColonView-FIT is specific to human blood and as such a highly accurate diagnostic tool for detection of intestinal tumours and their precursors. ColonView-FIT is a user friendly test package, perfect for use at home.  www.colonview.com

Calprotectin ELISA – a test for intestinal inflammation. Calprotectin measurement in the stools helps distinguishing between irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD; ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease), because calprotectin is elevated only in IBD. Calprotectin testing is also helpful in monitoring the activity of IBD as well as its response to treatment. An easy-to-use test package, ideal for use at home.  www.biohithealthcare.com/fi/tuotteet/diagnostiset-testit/kalprotektiini-elisa/

Additional information
CEO Semi Korpela
Biohit Oyj
tel. +358 9 773 861

Biohit in brief

Biohit Oyj is a globally operating Finnish biotechnology company. Biohit’s mission is “Innovating for Health” – we produce innovative products and services to promote research and early diagnosis. Biohit is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, and has subsidiaries in Italy and the UK. Biohit's Series B share (BIOBV) is quoted on Nasdaq Helsinki in the Small cap/Healthcare group.



  1. www.gastropanel.com, www.biohithealthcare.com/additional-information
  2. Agreus L et al., Rationale in diagnosis and screening of atrophic gastritis with stomachspecific plasma biomarkers. Scand J Gastroenerol 47,136-147,2012.
  3. Syrjänen K, A Panel of serum biomarkers (GastroPanel®) in noninvasive diagnosis of atrophic gastritis. Systematic review and meta-analysis. Anticancer Res. 36, 5133-5144, 2016.
  4. Zagari RM et al., Systematic review with meta-analysis: diagnostic performance of the combination of pepsinogen, gastrin-17 and anti-Helicobacter pylori antibodies serum assays for the diagnosis of atrophic gastritis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2017;1-11.
  5. Syrjänen K, Eronen K. Serological testing in management of dyspeptic patients and in screening of gastric cancer risks. J. Gastrointest. Disord. Liver Funct. 2(3), 1-5, 2016
  6. Syrjänen K, Role of serological biomarker testing (GastroPanel®) in diagnosis of symptomatic dyspepsia and in screening of the risks of stomach cancer. EC Gastroenterol Digest Syst 1(6), 209-222, 2017.
  7. https://www.ueg.eu/public-affairs/
  8. Vasilyev, S et al., A new-generation fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is superior to guaiacbased test in detecting colorectal neoplasia among colonoscopy referral patients. Anticancer Res. 35, 2873-2880, 2015.
  9. Syrjänen, K., Eskelinen, M., Peetsalu, A., Sillakivi, T., Sipponen, P., Härkönen, M., Paloheimo, L., Mäki, M., Tiusanen, T., Suovaniemi, O., DiMario, F. and Fan, ZP. GastroPanel® Biomarker Panel: The most comprehensive test for Helicobacter pylori infection and its clinical sequels. Anticancer Res. Hyväksytty julkaistavaksi, 2019.
  10. Syrjänen, K. False negative and false positive results in diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infections can be avoided by a panel of serum biomarkers (GastroPanel). M. J. Gast. 1 (1), 007-014, 2017.