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Improved Endoscopy Method Increases Detection of Esophageal Pre-Cancer by Over 40 Percent
Date:5/19/2011

tient. When detected at this early, pre-cancerous stage, development of esophageal cancer can typically be prevented.

"If you have frequent heartburn and have never had an upper endoscopy you should make an appointment for one today, especially if you are over 50. If you have had an upper endoscopy and no Barrett's or dysplasia was found, but your heartburn symptoms have persisted, our study teams have found that the new brush biopsy technique may discover abnormal cells which may have been missed by standard biopsy procedures," said Jerome D. Waye, MD, former President of the American College of Gastroenterology and of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and a study author.

"These two large studies demonstrating the same high degree of benefit from addition of the brush biopsy in two very different patient populations are extremely convincing. There is no reason not to include this test as part of every upper endoscopy with biopsy, and it will soon be available through all of our member hospitals and GI ambulatory surgery centers," said Bruce Wenig, MD, Chairman of Pathology at Continuum Health Partners (Beth Israel Medical Center Hospital, Roosevelt Hospital, and St Luke's Hospital in New York).  Dr. Wenig was not a participant in the study.

Background on Esophageal Adenocarcinoma (EA) and Why Standard Upper Endoscopy Often Fails to Detect its Pre-cancerous Precursors:

Many cases of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) are preceded by chronic heartburn. About 30 million Americans report having heartburn at least twice a week. This condition, also known as GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, is not only uncomfortable but potentially dangerous. About 10 percent of patients with GERD, or 3 million Americans, will develop small areas of altered cells in their esophagus. This condition, known as Barrett's esophagus, is not harmful in itself. However, each year about 0.5 percent of people with Barrett's will de
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SOURCE CDx Diagnostics
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