Insights Into the Pathophysiology of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma.
406 - 420
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Although researchers have identified genetic alterations that contribute to development of esophageal adenocarcinoma, we know little about features of patients or environmental factors that mediate progression of chronic acid biliary reflux to Barrett's esophagus and cancer. Increasing our understanding of the mechanisms by which normal squamous epithelium progresses to early-stage invasive cancer will help formulate rational surveillance guidelines and allow us to divest resources away from patients at low risk of malignancy. We review the cellular and genetic alterations that occur during progression of Barrett's esophagus, based on findings from clinical studies and mouse models of disease. We review the features of the luminal and mucosal microenvironment of Barrett's esophagus that promote, in a small proportion of patients, development of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Markers of clonal evolution can be used to determine patient risk for cancer and set surveillance intervals.