Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pathway uncovered linking heartburn, esophageal cancer

Date:
October 7, 2013
Source:
Lifespan
Summary:
More than 60 million adults in the US have acid reflux, or heartburn, and approximately 10 percent are at risk for developing esophageal cancer, due in part to complications from Barrett's esophagus. But researchers have discovered a pathway they believe links Barrett's esophagus to the development of esophageal cancer. Their data suggest that blocking this pathway, such as with a proton pump inhibitor (e.g., omeprazole), may prevent the development of esophageal cancer.

The common ailment goes by many names: heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). But no matter what you call it, it’s uncomfortable and at times painful.
Credit: Lifespan

Got heartburn? More than 60 million adults in the U.S. have acid reflux, or heartburn, and approximately 10 percent are at risk for developing esophageal cancer, due in part to complications from Barrett's esophagus. But researchers at Rhode Island Hospital discovered a pathway they believe links Barrett's esophagus to the development of esophageal cancer. Their data suggest that blocking this pathway, such as with a proton pump inhibitor (e.g. omeprazole), may prevent the development of esophageal cancer. The study is published online in advance of print in the journal American Journal of Cell Physiology.

Related Articles


The common ailment goes by many names: heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). But no matter what you call it, it's uncomfortable and at times painful. There are numerous causes of acid reflux, including pregnancy; large meals and eating habits; bending forward; hiatal hernia; peptic ulcers and insufficient digestive enzymes; asthma; smoking; and alcohol. Only a small percentage of those with GERD or heartburn will develop Barrett's esophagus, a condition in which the cells of the lower esophagus become damaged from repeated exposure to stomach acid.

"Patients with persistent acid reflux complicated by Barrett's esophagus may be at a higher risk of developing cancer of the esophagus," said principal investigator Weibiao Cao, M.D., of the department of pathology and medicine at Rhode Island Hospital. "However, we have discovered a pathway connecting the two that, if blocked by complete acid suppression with a proton pump inhibitor, may reduce the risk of esophageal cancer."

Patients with acid reflux and Barrett's esophagus may need to take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) such as omeprazole twice a day if they are still experiencing symptoms with just a single daily dose. The study also suggests that an enzyme NADPH oxidase NOX5-S, which produces hydrogen peroxide, is responsible for gene damage such as p16, a tumor suppressor, and plays an important role in the development of esophageal cancer. NOX5-S may be a preventive and/or therapeutic target for esophageal cancer.

"Further research is needed, but this finding suggests that patients with acid reflux complicated by Barrett's esophagus may be able to significantly reduce, or even eliminate, their risk of esophageal cancer through daily or twice-daily doses of PPI," Cao said.

One of the PPIs, omeprazole, is available by prescription and over the counter, but patients should consult with their physicians before taking any medication.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Hong, D. Li, J. Wands, R. Souza, W. Cao. Role of NADPH Oxidase NOX5-S, NF-kB and DNMT1 in Acid-Induced P16 Hypermethylation in Barrett's cells. AJP: Cell Physiology, 2013; DOI: 10.1152/ajpcell.00080.2013

Cite This Page:

Lifespan. "Pathway uncovered linking heartburn, esophageal cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007151833.htm>.
Lifespan. (2013, October 7). Pathway uncovered linking heartburn, esophageal cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007151833.htm
Lifespan. "Pathway uncovered linking heartburn, esophageal cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131007151833.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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