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Investigators uncover intriguing clues to why persistent acid reflux sometimes turns into cancer
Date:8/13/2007

lleagues demonstrate that bone-marrow cells come into play to regenerate the esophageal lining in rats that have heavy reflux.

So the first paper shows that the telomeres are short, suggesting that the normal squamous cells might not be able to divide anymore, so they die out, Dr. Spechler said. The second paper suggests that the bone-marrow cells may then come and take their place, giving rise to the intestinal cells instead of the normal, skin-like cells.

Further research will be needed to confirm that hypothesis, Dr. Souza said.

Its an interesting series of experiments, she said. None of them absolutely prove that this is whats going on, but its an interesting concept, and it certainly supports the theory that your normal cells poop out and eventually they cant replace the damaged ones, and maybe thats why you get Barretts esophagus.

If confirmed, the research might also help scientists find a way to prevent the bone-marrow cells from invading or to identify markers that would allow an earlier diagnosis for Barretts esophagus, which doesnt usually have symptoms.


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Contact: Russell Rian
russell.rian@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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