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Watchful waiting no longer recommended for some high-risk Barrett's esophagus patients
Date:2/28/2011

Bethesda, MD (March 1, 2011) Endoscopic removal of pre-cancerous cells in patients with confirmed, high-risk Barrett's esophagus is recommended rather than surveillance, according to a new "Medical Position Statement on the Management of Barrett's Esophagus," published by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. The medical position statement was published in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the AGA Institute.

In patients with Barrett's esophagus, the normal cells lining the esophagus are replaced with tissue that is similar to the lining of the intestine. The goal of endoscopic eradication therapy is to permanently eliminate all intestinal-type cells in the esophagus. A small number of people with Barrett's esophagus develop a rare, but often deadly, type of cancer of the esophagus.

"The AGA's recommendations for the treatment of patients with Barrett's esophagus are based on the best data currently available within the medical literature," said John M. Inadomi, MD, AGAF, chair of the AGA Clinical Practice & Quality Management Committee. "When considering whether surveillance or endoscopic eradication therapy is the preferred management option for patients with Barrett's esophagus, the AGA strongly supports the concept of shared decision-making between the treating physician and patient."

The AGA recommends endoscopic eradication therapy with radiofrequency ablation (RFA), photodynamic therapy (PDT) or endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR), as follows for various patient groups:

  • Patients with confirmed high-grade dysplasia (advanced pre-cancerous cells): endoscopic eradication therapy is recommended.
  • Patients with confirmed low-grade dysplasia (beginning pre-cancerous cells): endoscopic eradication therapy is a treatment option and should be discussed with patients as such.
  • Patients with Barrett's esophagus without abnormal cells: endoscopic eradication therapy is
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Contact: Aimee Frank
media@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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