This article summarizes the present recommendations for the screening, surveillance and treatment of Barrett's oesophagus, and identifies those areas in which change seems likely within the next decade. As a result of economic constraints and emerging data on ethnic variations in the frequency of Barrett's oesophagus, future screening programmes will probably focus on those individuals most likely to develop Barrett's adenocarcinomas: older white men whose gastro-oesophageal reflux symptoms are of long duration. The present surveillance strategy for patients with Barrett's oesophagus relies heavily on random biopsy sampling of the oesophagus to find dysplasia. In the future, biomarkers other than dysplasia may be used to identify patients at high risk for carcinogenesis, and physicians may use endoscopic techniques, such as fluorescence spectroscopy, to identify areas of dysplasia for biopsy sampling. Indirect evidence suggests that super-aggressive antisecretory therapy and treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may reduce the risk of cancer in Barrett's oesophagus. Well-designed prospective studies will be needed to determine whether these treatments have sufficient efficacy in cancer prophylaxis to justify the large numbers needed to treat. Finally, recent data are reviewed, which suggest that the gastro-oesophageal junction is exposed repeatedly to concentrated acid and to potentially genotoxic concentrations of nitric oxide generated from dietary nitrate. Future studies on carcinogenesis in Barrett's oesophagus may well focus on the combined roles of nitric oxide and gastric acid.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Supplement|
|State||Published - Oct 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
- Pharmacology (medical)