Public Release: 

New studies add to understanding of treatments for Barrett's esophagus

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. - October 6, 2017 - The October issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy features several new studies evaluating various treatments for Barrett's esophagus (BE). Two of these studies are highlighted below.

BE is a condition in which there are unusual changes to the cells lining the esophagus. It is believed to be most commonly due to inflammation from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Some of the cellular changes may be referred to as neoplasia or dysplasia, and sometimes these may be considered precancerous. Endoscopic treatments for BE focus on removing or destroying the problematic tissue.

Largest U.S. Multicenter Study of ESD for Barrett's Early Neoplasia Shows the Procedure Is Safe and Effective

The role of endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) in Barrett's early neoplasia has not previously been well defined, with most studies originating from Asia and Europe. A new study, 'Endoscopic submucosal dissection for Barrett's early neoplasia; a multicenter study in the United States," published in the October issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, shows the procedure is safe and effective for addressing cellular changes from Barrett's esophagus (BE), including high-grade dysplasia (HGD) and early adenocarcinoma (EAC).

The study was a multicenter retrospective analysis on 46 patients with BE who underwent ESD for BE-HGD or EAC, or both, between January 2010 and April 2015. The goal was to determine the rate of (1) removal of the problematic tissue in one piece (en-bloc resection), (2) completeness of removal (R0 resection), (3) curative resection; and to determine adverse events as well as remission at follow-up.

The median age of patients was 69 years (range, 42-82 years). The median resected specimen size was 45 mm (range, 13-125 mm). En-bloc and curative resection rates were 96 percent (44/46) and 70 percent (32/46), respectively. Most lesions (11/20; 55 percent) diagnosed as BE-HGD on biopsy were upstaged to intramucosal or invasive EAC on post-ESD analysis.

There were four early (<48 hours) adverse events, and all were treated endoscopically. Seven patients (15 percent) developed esophageal strictures that were managed endoscopically. Complete remission of BE neoplasia was found in 100% (32/32) of patients with curative resection at median follow-up of 11 months (range, 2-25 months).

The authors concluded that ESD appears to be safe and effective, with high en-bloc and curative resection rates in the treatment of early BE neoplasia.

Liquid Nitrogen Cryotherapy Shows Good Long-Term Results for Treating Barrett's Esophagus

Liquid nitrogen spray cryotherapy (LNSCT) has been shown to be a safe, well-tolerated, and effective therapy for cellular changes occurring with Barrett's esophagus (BE). A new study, "Outcomes after liquid nitrogen spray cryotherapy in Barrett's esophagus-associated high-grade dysplasia and intramucosal adenocarcinoma: 5-year follow-up," provided previously lacking follow-up to determine long-term efficacy of the treatment. The study appears in the October issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

LNSCT uses liquid nitrogen to "freeze" and destroy diseased tissue. The study looked at treatment of BE-associated high-grade dysplasia (BE-HGD) and intramucosal (within the esophageal lining) adenocarcinoma (IMC).

In this single-center, retrospective study, patients with BE-HGD/IMC of any length treated with LNSCT were followed with surveillance endoscopy with biopsy for three to five years. Patients with IMC completely removed by endoscopic resection were included. Outcome measures included complete eradication of HGD (CE-HGD), dysplasia, and intestinal metaplasia; incidence rates; durability of response; location of recurrent intestinal metaplasia and dysplasia; and rate of disease progression.

There were 50 patients in the three-year analysis, and 40 patients in the five-year analysis. Initial complete eradication of HGD, dysplasia, and intestinal metaplasia was achieved in 98 percent, 90 percent, and 60 percent, respectively. At the three-year follow-up, these measures were 96 percent (48/50), 94 percent (47/50), and 82 percent (41/50). At five years, they were 93 percent (37/40), 88 percent (35/40), and 75 percent (30/40). These results allow for retreatment or interval touch-up with ablation during the follow-up period.

Incidence rates of recurrent intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia, and HGD/esophageal adenocarcinoma after initial complete eradication of intestinal metaplasia (CE-IM) were 12.2%, 4.0%, and 1.4% per person-year for the 5-year cohort. Two of seven HGD recurrences occurred later than four years after initial eradication, and two patients (4 percent) progressed to adenocarcinoma despite treatment.

The authors concluded that, in patients with BE-HGD/IMC, LNSCT is effective in eliminating dysplasia and intestinal metaplasia. Progression to adenocarcinoma was uncommon, and recurrence of dysplasia was successfully treated in most cases. Long-term surveillance is necessary to detect late recurrence of dysplasia.

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Editor's Note: ASGE has information for patients about GERD, Barrett's Esophagus and the risk for esophageal cancer.

About Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures allow the gastroenterologist to visually inspect the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) and the lower bowel (colon and rectum) through an endoscope, a thin, flexible device with a lighted end and a powerful lens system. Endoscopy has been a major advance in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. For example, the use of endoscopes allows the detection of ulcers, cancers, polyps and sites of internal bleeding. Through endoscopy, tissue samples (biopsies) may be obtained, areas of blockage can be opened and active bleeding can be stopped. Polyps in the colon can be removed, which has been shown to prevent colon cancer.

About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence and innovation in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 15,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit http://www.asge.org and http://www.screen4colonand is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit http://www.asge.org and http://www.screen4coloncancer.org for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area.

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