Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pre-cancerous Condition Linked To Chronic Acid Reflux Faces Several Hurdles

Date:
August 11, 2008
Source:
The Company of Biologists
Summary:
UK researchers address challenges in treating Barrett's esophagus, a precancerous condition found in some sufferers of chronic acid reflux disease, and call for better disease models and diagnostic markers.

A pre-cancerous condition linked to chronic acid reflux often gets overlooked. Can the medical community do a better job intervening? Researchers from the Hutchinson-MRC Research Centre in Cambridge think so.

In a review published in the inaugural issue of Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM), experts on a disease known as "Barrett's oesophagus" discuss how "Barrett's" presents unique challenges in diagnosis and treatment. They cite key factors which make this illness difficult to detect, and suggest how scientists and doctors can team up to improve the odds of intervention.

Doctors want to understand more about this condition because patients with Barrett's have 30 to 125 times increased risk of an often fatal cancer of the oesophagus. One of the most common indicators of Barrett's is severe and chronic acid reflux. The authors of the review article discuss several reasons why most Barrett's cases are undiagnosed. The wide-spread availability of over-the-counter antacid medications may contribute by suppressing symptoms such that only the most severe and persistent cases of acid reflux are recommended for screening. Additionally, in order to screen for Barrett's, the oesophagus must be examined with a small light and camera (endoscope) which is not a routine procedure.

The biological basis of Barrett's is an abnormal change, or dysplasia, in the oesophagus. Normally, the oesophagus is lined with flat-shaped cells known as squamous cells. However, in patients with Barrett's, the cell lining consists of rectangular-shaped columnar cells. This process of normal cells morphing into abnormal cells is common to several types of cancer, not just oesophageal cancer. Thus, a greater understanding of Barrett's can also lead to potential therapies for similar pre-cancerous conditions.

In order to advance the diagnosis of Barrett's oesophagus, researchers recommend identifying standardized indicators which can be used to identify the presence of Barrett's as well as predict the likelihood that it will progress into cancer. Additionally, they recommend developing less costly screening methods to allow routine checks for Barrett's in patients with acid reflux. They point out the need for developing laboratory animal models of this disease in order to study the underlying molecular mechanisms of Barrett's, as well as to test potential novel therapies.

The review was written by Massimilian di Pietro, Christopher J. Peters and Rebecca C. Fitzgerald of the Hutchinson-MRC Research Centre in Cambridge, UK. The report was published in the inaugural July/August issue of a new research journal, Disease Models & Mechanisms (DMM), published by The Company of Biologists, a non-profit based in Cambridge, UK.

The DMM website is located at: http://dmm.biologists.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Company of Biologists. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. di Pietro et al. Clinical puzzle: Barrett's oesophagus. Disease Models and Mechanisms, 2008; 1 (1): 26 DOI: 10.1242/dmm.000273

Cite This Page:

The Company of Biologists. "Pre-cancerous Condition Linked To Chronic Acid Reflux Faces Several Hurdles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807130927.htm>.
The Company of Biologists. (2008, August 11). Pre-cancerous Condition Linked To Chronic Acid Reflux Faces Several Hurdles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807130927.htm
The Company of Biologists. "Pre-cancerous Condition Linked To Chronic Acid Reflux Faces Several Hurdles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807130927.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he expects revised CDC protocols on Ebola to focus on training, observation and ensuring health care workers are more protected. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins