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Latest breakthroughs in technology expand options for diagnosing and treating disease
Date:5/4/2010

t, endoscopy was performed at five years. Results showed that 46 of the 50 remained free of BE, and four patients had low levels of residual disease that was eliminated in a single RFA session.

"We've shown that by treating patients with early Barrett's we were able to eliminate the disease in most instances, and we hope that will lead to a reduction in the cancer associated with it," said David Fleischer, MD, staff physician at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. "RFA represents a durable, long-term approach to treating Barrett's esophagus and restoring cells to normal."

BE is a complication of acid reflux that affects mostly Caucasian males over the age of 50. BE occurs when the esophagus is burned by stomach acid causing normal cells to resemble cells from the stomach or intestine. Normally this disease progresses in stages: from the initial stage of metaplasia to low grade dysplasia, high grade dysplasia and cancer. National recommendations for BE in its early stages suggest monitoring the disease progression with regular endoscopies.

Dr. Fleischer points out that there are some limitations to surveillance for patients with Barrett's. Surveillance as a primary strategy has not been shown to be cost-effective and some patients who have followed recommended surveillance strategies are diagnosed with esophageal carcinoma despite undergoing surveillance. In addition, recommendations assume that the endoscopist takes the requisite number of biopsies and information suggests that the requisite number of biopsies is not always taken.

Dr. Fleischer and colleagues will continue to follow patients to assess continued durability of the procedure. He cautioned that no therapy is perfect, but RFA technology is exciting and the results to date encouraging.

This study was funded by BARRX Medical Inc.

Dr. Fleischer will present these data on Monday, May 3 at 4:48 p.m. CT in Ballroom C, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.


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Contact: Amy Levey
alevey@gymr.com
202-745-5116
Digestive Disease Week
Source:Eurekalert

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