UEG Week exhibition celebrates 50 years of colonoscopy in preventing and diagnosing gastrointestinal diseases, including colorectal cancer

23 October 2019



UEG Week exhibition celebrates 50 years of colonoscopy in preventing and diagnosing gastrointestinal diseases, including colorectal cancer

(Barcelona,  21 October, 2019)
An interactive exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary since the completion of the first successful colonoscopy has been launched at the United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Week in Barcelona. The educational exhibition is jointly supported by Norgine, Fujifilm and Olympus in association with UEG Week.


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In the 50 years since the first colonoscopy, the procedure has become a crucial tool in the prevention and detection of gastrointestinal disorders, including colorectal cancer. Despite significant advances, however, the variation in uptake across Europe continues to prevent the potential of colonoscopy being fully realised for patients and health systems.

Over 14,000 participants attending this year’s UEG Week will have the opportunity to visit this impressive exhibition showcasing five decades of scientific advancements in colonoscopy. Visitors will be taken on a fascinating journey into the past, present and future of colonoscopy through fine art, engaging storytelling, interactive memorabilia and breath-taking science and technology.

The exhibition pays homage to pioneers of medicine who worked hard to advance the procedure to better diagnose and care for their patients. At the heart of this exhibition lies the impact colonoscopy has had on patients’ lives. The canvasses that have been painted by artist Fabric Lenny bring to life the stories of some of the many patients whose lives have been touched by colonoscopy. Attendees will be able to admire artworks celebrating life and also speak to an artist in person, who will be capturing live their experience and anecdotes about the importance of colonoscopy and what their thoughts and hopes are for the next 50 years.

UEG President Mr Paul Fockens commented, “We have come a long way since the introduction of this important technique. Colonoscopy is a potentially life-saving procedure for many patients and has a vital role to play in enhancing public health. Today we celebrate scientific dedication and cutting-edge technology to care for patients.”

Mr Peter Stein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Norgine added, “We are proud of the important contribution we have made to improving both the patient experience of colonoscopy and the efficacy of the procedure. Colonoscopy plays a critical role in the prevention and diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases including colorectal cancer. We are honoured to have worked together with UEG, Fujifilm and Olympus to celebrate the achievements of the past 50 years and to look forward to the technological advancements of the future that will help to further transform the lives of patients.”

Mr Takemasa Kojima, Head of European Marketing & Sales, Fujifilm said, “We are delighted to support this important exhibition which brings together the pioneering history of colonoscopy with the ambition to continuously evolve best-in-breed technologies now and in the future. Colonoscopy is one of the areas that drives our innovation to increase the diagnostic and therapeutic performance enhancing physicians’ capabilities without limitations.”  

Dr. Harald Dremel, Director Medical Endoscopy Group, Olympus Europa SE & Co. KG commented, “It is our vision that one day the only place where we will see colorectal cancer is in history books. To decrease mortality, we need to not only drive innovation but also fa

cilitate better access to more effective screening and treatment. We believe that together we can push the limits of endoscopy, so that one day our vision might become true.”

50 Years of Conoscopy Exhibition at UEGW


– ENDS –


Media contacts:

For further information please contact:

Eleni Fistikaki +44 (0)1895826227 or +44 (0)7825 389477


Clara Bentham +44 (0)1895 826654 or +44 (0)7734 367883


Matthias Gengenbach, Senior Communication Manager, +49 40 23773 5867 matthias.gengenbach@olympus-europa.com


To book a media interview with a colonoscopy expert please contact: 

Luke Paskins +44 (0)7732 499170


Notes to Editors

About Colorectal Cancer (CRC) and colonoscopy

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related mortality world-wide.[1] Colorectal cancer is largely preventable, with early detection being associated with a 90% with a 90% 5-year survival rate.[2] Colonoscopy is an effective method for colorectal cancer screening and has been shown to reduce both the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer when applied in the general population. Inadequate pre-colonoscopy bowel cleansing reduces the diagnostic accuracy of colonoscopy, particularly for the detection of smaller lesions and sessile (slightly flattened) polyps. This may result in repeated procedures, thereby potentially increasing patient burden, resource requirement and costs and can possibly delay the initiation of treatment.[3],[4],[5]

The first successful colonoscopy of the entire colon was performed in June 1969 by Dr William Wolff and his associates at the Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, New York. Three months later, the first endoscopic excision of polyps from anywhere in the colon was also completed. Today, colonoscopy is one of the most sensitive tests currently available to help diagnose and prevent colorectal cancer. It also plays a key role in the monitoring of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Despite this, a lot still needs to be done to increase awareness of the importance of screening, and the role of colonoscopy.


About UEG Week

UEG Week is the largest and most prestigious gastroenterology meeting in Europe and has developed into a global congress. It attracts over 14,000 participants each year, from more than 120 countries, and numbers are steadily rising. UEG Week provides a forum for basic and clinical scientists from across the globe to present their latest research in digestive and liver diseases, and also features a two-day postgraduate course that brings together top lecturers in their fields for a weekend of interactive learning.


About UEG

UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation combining all the leading European medical specialist and national societies focusing on digestive health. Together, its member societies represent over 30,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for collaboration and the exchange of knowledge.

To advance the standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across the world and to reduce the burden of digestive diseases, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:

  • UEG Week, the biggest congress of its kind in Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
  • UEG Education, the universal source of knowledge in gastroenterology, providing online and classroom courses, a huge online library and delivering the latest GI news, fostering debate and discussion
  • Activity Grants, promoting and funding educational projects in the field of digestive health to advance and harmonise the training and continuing education of professionals
  • UEG Journal, covering translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
  • Public Affairs, promoting research, prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop an effective health policy for Europe
  • Quality of Care, European-based and English clinical practice guidelines, clinical standards, consensus, position papers and standard protocols in the field of digestive health, are available in the repository.

Find out more about UEG’s work by visiting www.ueg.eu or contact:    

Luke Paskins on +44 (0)1444 811099 or media@ueg.eu

Follow UEG on Twitter


About Norgine

Across the globe in 2018, Norgine is proud to have helped 23 million patients and generated €395 million in net product sales to reinvest in medicines for the future, a growth of 15% over 2017.

Norgine is a leading European specialist pharmaceutical company that has been bringing transformative medicines to patients for over a century. We understand the complexities of the European healthcare systems and have a direct presence in 14 European countries, as well as Australia and New Zealand. We also have a strong global network of partnerships in non-Norgine markets.

We are a flexible and fully integrated pharmaceutical business, with manufacturing (Hengoed, Wales and Dreux, France), third party supply networks and significant product development capabilities, in addition to our sales and marketing infrastructure. This enables us to acquire, develop and commercialise specialist and innovative products that make a real difference to the lives of patients around the world.

In 2012, Norgine established a complementary business, Norgine Ventures, supporting innovative healthcare companies through the provision of debt-like financing in Europe and the US. For more information, please visit www.norgineventures.com

Follow us on twitter @norgine or visit us at www.norgine.com

NORGINE and the sail logo are trademarks of the Norgine group of companies.


About Fujifilm

Fujifilm Europe GmbH (Duesseldorf, Germany) acts as strategic headquarter for the region and supports its group companies in Europe by formulating marketing and corporate strategies. Fujifilm entities operate in over 50 group companies and branches in Europe and employ around 4,500 people engaged in R&D, manufacturing, sales, and service. Throughout Europe they serve a range of industries including medical technology, graphic systems, electronic materials, chemicals, optical devices, recording media, and photography. Over the last decade, the company has more intensively focused on healthcare, and now looks back on over 80 years of experience in medical imaging. Today, Fujifilm provides the entire spectrum of patient care, ranging from prevention to diagnostics and therapy solutions. Today, research and development in medicine, bio-pharmaceuticals, as well as regenerative medicine are part of Fujifilm’s unique portfolio.

For more information, please visit: www.fujifilm.eu


About Olympus

Olympus Europa is the headquarters for the region Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) of the Olympus Corporation, Tokyo. As a worldwide leading manufacturer of optical and digital precision technology, Olympus provides innovative solutions for state-of-the-art medical systems, digital cameras as well as scientific solutions in the fields of microscopy and industrial inspection. The company’s award-winning products are instrumental in detecting, preventing and healing illness, driving scientific research and documenting life with artistic freedom. In the hands of its customers, Olympus’ high-tech products help to make people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling.

Follow us on twitter @OlympusMedEMEA or visit us at www.olympus-europa.com



  1. World Health Organisation. Cancer Fact Sheet https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer Last accessed April 2019
  2. American Cancer Society. Can Colorectal Polyps and Cancer Found Early? https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/detection.html Last accessed April 2019
  3. Bechtold ML, Mir F, Puli SR et al. Optimizing bowel preparation for colonoscopy: a guide to enhance quality of visualization. Ann Gastroenterol 2016; 29: 137 – 146
  4. Brenner H, Stock C, Hoffmeister M. Effect of screening sigmoidoscopy and screening colonoscopy on colorectal cancer incidence and mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials and observational studies. BMJ 2014; 348: g2467
  5. Baxter NN, Warren JL, Barrett MJ et al. Association between colonoscopy and colorectal cancer mortality in a US cohort according to site of cancer and colonoscopist specialty. J Clin Oncol 2012; 30: 2664 – 2669