Barrett's esophagus (BE) is a major predisposing factor for the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma. Current strategies for treatment of BE, both dysplastic and nondysplastic, include photodynamic therapy (PDT) and argon plasma coagulation (APC). However, the effect of ablative therapy at the genetic level is unclear. We performed loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis of BE in baseline and follow-up biopsy specimens from 21 patients with BE (17 male, 4 female) treated with PDT and/or APC. At baseline, 14 patients had intestinal metaplasia without dysplasia (MET), 4 low-grade dysplasia (LGD) and 3 high-grade dysplasia (HGD). LOH was assessed using a panel of 9 polymorphic markers for evaluation of the P53 gene on 17p, P16 on 9p, DCC and SMAD4 on 18q and the APC gene on Sq. The tissue specimens obtained at baseline (t = 0) were analysed, as well as the first (t = 1; mean interval: 4 months) and last (t = 2; mean interval: 8 months) available biopsy with residual or recurrent BE after ablation. At t = 0, allelic loss was detected of 5q in 27%, 9p in 56%, 17p in 31% and 18q in 6% of informative cases. At t = 1 (18 patients with persistent MET and 3 with LGD) and at t = 2 (8 MET, 2 LGD), the LOH patterns were not statistically different from t = 0. Further, multiple genetic lineages before and after therapy were detected in 15 cases illustrating the multiclonal nature of BE. We conclude that recurrent and/or persistent BE after ablative therapy still contains genetic alterations associated with malignant progression to cancer. Therefore, the goal of treatment should be the complete elimination of Barrett's mucosa.

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International Journal of Cancer
Department of Pathology

Hage, M., Siersema, P., Vissers, K., Dinjens, W., Steyerberg, E., Haringsma, J., … van Dekken, H. (2006). Genomic analysis of Barrett's esophagus after ablative therapy: Persistence of genetic alterations at tumor suppressor loci. International Journal of Cancer, 118(1), 155–160. doi:10.1002/ijc.21302