Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Esophageal cancer risk higher in medically treated GERD patients with fewest symptoms

Date:
July 18, 2011
Source:
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Summary:
Medically treated patients with mild or no symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are at higher risk for developing esophageal cancer than those with severe GERD symptoms, according to a new study.

Medically treated patients with mild or no symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are at higher risk for developing esophageal cancer than those with severe GERD symptoms, according to a University of Pittsburgh study published in the current issue of Archives of Surgery.

Many patients who develop adenocarcinoma, a common form of esophageal cancer, are unaware that they have Barrett's esophagus -- a change in the cells lining the esophagus often due to repeated stomach acid exposure. In some cases, Barrett's esophagus develops into esophageal cancer.

"Typically, patients with severe GERD symptoms are screened for Barrett's esophagus, but those with mild or absent symptoms are not. Unfortunately, many patients who develop adenocarcinoma don't know that they have Barrett's esophagus until it has transformed into cancer and become advanced, leading to obstruction," said principal investigator Blair A. Jobe, M.D., professor and director of esophageal research and esophageal diagnostics and therapeutic endoscopy, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Pitt School of Medicine.

The study included 769 GERD patients who presented for their first upper endoscopy, in which a flexible endoscopic camera is guided through the esophagus and stomach to look for tissue changes. Participants were separated into three groups: patients who were referred for upper endoscopy for any clinical indication regardless of symptoms; patients with typical GERD symptoms, such as heartburn, regurgitation and difficulty swallowing; and patients with atypical GERD symptoms, such as hoarseness, throat-clearing, mucus, coughing and a lump sensation in the throat.

All study participants underwent endoscopy and completed questionnaires and a detailed medication history. Endoscopy revealed that 122 of these patients, or 15.9 percent, had Barrett's esophagus or adenocarcinoma. Patients who were adequately managing their GERD symptoms with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were 61 percent more likely to have Barrett's esophagus or adenocarcinoma if they reported no severe GERD symptoms, compared to patients taking PPIs who reported severe symptoms. Patients with severe GERD symptoms often experienced irritation or swelling of the esophagus, but that was associated with decreased odds of having esophageal cancer.

"Our research indicates that even patients without severe symptoms may benefit from Barrett's esophagus screening," Dr. Jobe noted. "If GERD patients are screened early enough, there is a better chance that Barrett's esophagus can be identified before it becomes cancerous," he stated. "We are learning that the chronic and long-term use of PPIs may not be entirely without consequences and may lead to more insidious problems such as calcium malabsorption or cause one to be asymptomatic in the face of continued esophageal injury from GERD."

Dr. Jobe and his Pitt colleagues have established the Barrett's Esophagus Risk Consortium (BERC), in which primary care patients are being screened with in-office, small-caliber, unsedated endoscopy in an attempt to better understand risk factors for the condition as well as lower the threshold for screening. The multicenter effort is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Study co-authors include Katie S. Nason, M.D., M.P.H., Omar Awais, M.D., Matthew J. Schuchert, M.D., and James D. Luketich, M.D., all from Pitt; and Promporn Paula Wichienkuer, M.D., M.P.H., Robert W. O'Rourke, M.D., John G. Hunter, M.D., and Cynthia D. Morris, Ph.D., M.P.H., all from Oregon Health and Science University.

The study was funded by the Robert Anthony McHugh Research Fund for the Prevention and Early Detection of Esophageal Cancer, David Gold and Irene Blumenkrantz Esophageal Cancer Research Fund, the Sampson Family Endowed Chair, the UPMC Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute, the American Surgical Association Foundation Fellowship Award and grants from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Katie S. Nason; Promporn Paula Wichienkuer; Omar Awais; Matthew J. Schuchert; James D. Luketich; Robert W. O'Rourke; John G. Hunter; Cynthia D. Morris; Blair A. Jobe. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Symptom Severity, Proton Pump Inhibitor Use, and Esophageal Carcinogenesis. Archives of Surgery., 2011; 146 (7): 851-858 DOI: 10.1001/archsurg.2011.174

Cite This Page:

University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Esophageal cancer risk higher in medically treated GERD patients with fewest symptoms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110718161333.htm>.
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. (2011, July 18). Esophageal cancer risk higher in medically treated GERD patients with fewest symptoms. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110718161333.htm
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. "Esophageal cancer risk higher in medically treated GERD patients with fewest symptoms." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110718161333.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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