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Are there treatments that specifically target Barrett's esophagus?

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There are several treatments, including surgery, that are designed specifically to focus on the abnormal tissue. They include:

  • Radiofrequency ablation uses radio waves delivered through an endoscope inserted into the esophagus to destroy abnormal cells while protecting the healthy cells underneath.
  • Photodynamic therapy uses a laser through an endoscope to kill abnormal cells in the lining without damaging normal tissue. Before the procedure, the patient takes a drug known as Photofrin, which causes cells to become light-sensitive.
  • Endoscopic spray cryotherapy is a newer technique that applies cold nitrogen or carbon dioxide gas, through the endoscope to freeze the abnormal cells.
  • Endoscopic mucosal resection lifts the abnormal lining and cuts it off the wall of the esophagus before it's removed through the endoscope. The goal is to remove any precancerous or cancer cells contained in the lining. If cancer cells are present, an ultrasound is done first to be sure the cancer hasn't moved deeper into the esophagus walls.
  • Surgery to remove most of the esophagus is an option in cases where severe precancer (dysplasia) or cancer has been diagnosed. The earlier the surgery is done following the diagnosis, the better the chance for the cure.

SOURCES :

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Barrett's Esophagus."

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: "Barrett's esophagus."

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: "GERD, Barrett's Esophogus, and the Risk for Esophageal Cancer."

Smith K., et al. August 2009; vol 7: pp 840-848. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology,

National Heartburn Alliance: "What You Should Know About Heartburn and Esophageal Cancer."

 Ferri: Practical Guide to the Care of the Medical Patient,  8th ed.

Feldman: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease,  9th ed.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 16, 2019

SOURCES :

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Barrett's Esophagus."

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: "Barrett's esophagus."

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: "GERD, Barrett's Esophogus, and the Risk for Esophageal Cancer."

Smith K., et al. August 2009; vol 7: pp 840-848. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology,

National Heartburn Alliance: "What You Should Know About Heartburn and Esophageal Cancer."

 Ferri: Practical Guide to the Care of the Medical Patient,  8th ed.

Feldman: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease,  9th ed.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 16, 2019

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