CANCER

Predicting esophageal cancer

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Science  03 Aug 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6401, pp. 464
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6401.464-b

Barrett's esophagus (BE) is an abnormal change in the lining of the lower esophagus caused by stomach acid reflux injury. This is the biggest risk factor for esophageal cancer, although fewer than 1% of BE patients will develop cancer. Stachler et al. analyzed genomic changes in biopsy samples from almost 100 patients with BE and monitored them for esophageal cancer for 5 years. Patients who progressed to cancer showed more mutations than nonprogressors, particularly in the tumor suppressor gene TP53. Mutations were detected frequently before the onset of dysplasia in 46% of the progressors, but only in 5% of the nonprogressors. TP53 mutations in BE lesions increased the risk of developing esophageal cancer by almost 14-fold.

Gastroenterology 10.1053/j.gastro.2018.03.047 (2018).

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