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TGFβ signaling has been implicated in the metaplasia from squamous epithelia to Barrett's esophagus and, ultimately, esophageal adenocarcinoma. The role of the family member Activin A in Barrett's tumorigenesis is less well established. As tumorigenesis is influenced by factors in the tumor microenvironment, such as fibroblasts and the extracellular matrix, we aimed to determine if epithelial cell-derived Activin affects initiation and progression differently than Activin signaling stimulation from a mimicked stromal source. Using Barrett's esophagus cells, CPB, and the esophageal adenocarcinoma cell lines OE33 and FLO-1, we showed that Activin reduces colony formation only in CPB cells. Epithelial cell overexpression of Activin increased cell migration and invasion in Boyden chamber assays in CPB and FLO-1 cells, which exhibited mesenchymal features such as the expression of the CD44 standard form, vimentin, and MT1-MMP. When grown in organotypic reconstructs, OE33 cells expressed E-cadherin and Keratin 8. As mesenchymal characteristics have been associated with the acquisition of stem cell-like features, we analyzed the expression and localization of SOX9, showing nuclear localization of SOX9 in esophageal CPB and FLO-1 cells.In conclusion, we show a role for autocrine Activin signaling in the regulation of colony formation, cell migration and invasion in Barrett's tumorigenesis.
The development of and adherence to quality indicators in gastroenterology, as in all of medicine, is increasing in importance to ensure that patients receive consistent high-quality care. In addition, government-based and private insurers will be expecting documentation of the parameters by which we measure quality, which will likely affect reimbursements. Barrett's esophagus remains a particularly important disease entity for which we should maintain up-to-date guidelines, given its commonality, potentially lethal outcomes, and controversies regarding screening and surveillance. To achieve this goal, a relatively large group of international experts was assembled and, using the modified Delphi method, evaluated the validity of multiple candidate quality indicators for the diagnosis and management of Barrett's esophagus. Several candidate quality indicators achieved >80% agreement. These statements are intended to serve as a consensus on candidate quality indicators for those who treat patients with Barrett's esophagus.
Copyright © 2015 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The role of esophageal dilation in patients with esophageal eosinophilia with dysphagia remains unknown. The practice of dilation is currently based on center preferences and expert opinion. The aim of this study is to determine if, and to what extent, dysphagia improves in response to initial esophageal dilation followed by standard medical therapies. We conducted a randomized, blinded, controlled trial evaluating adult patients with dysphagia and newly diagnosed esophageal eosinophilia from 2008 to 2013. Patients were randomized to dilation or no dilation at time of endoscopy and blinded to dilation status. Endoscopic features were graded as major and minor. Subsequent to randomization and endoscopy, all patients received fluticasone and dexlansoprazole for 2 months. The primary study outcome was reduction in overall dysphagia score, assessed at 30 and 60 days post-intervention. Patients with severe strictures (less than 7-mm esophageal diameter) were excluded from the study. Thirty-one patients were randomized and completed the protocol: 17 randomized to dilation and 14 to no dilation. Both groups were similar with regard to gender, age, eosinophil density, endoscopic score, and baseline dysphagia score. The population exhibited moderate to severe dysphagia and moderate esophageal stricturing at baseline. Overall, there was a significant (P < 0.001) but similar reduction in mean dysphagia score at 30 and 60 days post-randomization compared with baseline in both groups. No significant difference in dysphagia scores between treatment groups after 30 (P = 0.93) or 60 (P = 0.21) days post-intervention was observed. Esophageal dilation did not result in additional improvement in dysphagia score compared with treatment with proton pump inhibitor and fluticasone alone. In patients with symptomatic esophageal eosinophilia without severe stricture, dilation does not appear to be a necessary initial treatment strategy.
© 2015 International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus.
Idiopathic achalasia is a primary esophageal motor disorder characterized by loss of esophageal peristalsis and insufficient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation in response to deglutition. Patients with achalasia commonly complain of dysphagia to solids and liquids, bland regurgitation often unresponsive to an adequate trial of proton pump inhibitor, and chest pain. Weight loss is present in many, but not all patients. Although the precise etiology is unknown, it is often thought to be either autoimmune, viral immune, or neurodegenerative. The diagnosis is based on history of the disease, barium esophagogram, and esophageal motility testing. Endoscopic assessment of the gastroesophageal junction and gastric cardia is necessary to rule out malignancy. Newer diagnostic modalities such as high resolution manometry help in predicting treatment response in achalasia based on esophageal pressure topography patterns identifying three phenotypes of achalasia (I-III) and outcome studies suggest better treatment response with types I and II compared to type III. Although achalasia cannot be permanently cured, excellent outcomes are achieved in over 90 % of patients. Current medical and surgical therapeutic options (pneumatic dilation, endoscopic and surgical myotomy, and pharmacologic agents) aim at reducing the LES pressure and facilitating esophageal emptying by gravity and hydrostatic pressure of retained food and liquids. Either graded pneumatic dilatation or laparoscopic surgical myotomy with a partial fundoplication are recommended as initial therapy guided by patient age, gender, preference, and local institutional expertise. The prognosis in achalasia patients is excellent. Most patients who are appropriately treated have a normal life expectancy but the disease does recur and the patient may need intermittent treatment.
Achalasia is an esophageal motility disorder that is commonly misdiagnosed initially as gastroesophageal reflux disease. Patients with achalasia often complain of dysphagia with solids and liquids but may focus on regurgitation as the primary symptom, leading to initial misdiagnosis. Diagnostic tests for achalasia include esophageal motility testing, esophagogastroduodenoscopy and barium swallow. These tests play a complimentary role in establishing the diagnosis of suspected achalasia. High-resolution manometry has now identified three subtypes of achalasia, with therapeutic implications. Pneumatic dilation and surgical myotomy are the only definitive treatment options for patients with achalasia who can undergo surgery. Botulinum toxin injection into the lower esophageal sphincter should be reserved for those who cannot undergo definitive therapy. Close follow-up is paramount because many patients will have a recurrence of symptoms and require repeat treatment.
Metaplastic epithelial cells of Barrett's esophagus transformed by the combination of p53-knockdown and oncogenic Ras expression are known to activate signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). When phosphorylated at tyrosine 705 (Tyr705), STAT3 functions as a nuclear transcription factor that can contribute to oncogenesis. STAT3 phosphorylated at serine 727 (Ser727) localizes in mitochondria, but little is known about mitochondrial STAT3's contribution to carcinogenesis in Barrett's esophagus, which is the focus of this study. We introduced a constitutively active variant of human STAT3 (STAT3CA) into the following: 1) non-neoplastic Barrett's (BAR-T) cells; 2) BAR-T cells with p53 knockdown; and 3) BAR-T cells that express oncogenic H-Ras(G12V). STAT3CA transformed only the H-Ras(G12V)-expressing BAR-T cells (evidenced by loss of contact inhibition, formation of colonies in soft agar, and generation of tumors in immunodeficient mice), and did so in a p53-independent fashion. The transformed cells had elevated levels of both mitochondrial (Ser727) and nuclear (Tyr705) phospho-STAT3. Introduction of a STAT3CA construct with a mutated tyrosine phosphorylation site into H-Ras(G12V)-expressing Barrett's cells resulted in high levels of mitochondrial phospho-STAT3 (Ser727) with little or no nuclear phospho-STAT3 (Tyr705), and the cells still formed tumors in immunodeficient mice. Thus tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 is not required for tumor formation in Ras-expressing Barrett's cells. We conclude that mitochondrial STAT3 (Ser727) can contribute to oncogenesis in Barrett's cells that express oncogenic Ras. These findings suggest that agents targeting STAT3 might be useful for chemoprevention in patients with Barrett's esophagus.
Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
OBJECTIVES - Symptom eradication in patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) does not guarantee control of acid or duodenogastroesophageal reflux (DGER). Continued reflux of acid and/or DGER may increase risk of neoplastic progression and may decrease the likelihood of columnar mucosa eradication after ablative therapy. To date, no study has addressed whether both complete acid and DGER control is possible in patients with BE. This prospective study was designed to assess the effect of escalating-dose proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy on esophageal acid and DGER.
METHODS - Patients with BE (≥3 cm in length) underwent simultaneous ambulatory prolonged pH and DGER monitoring after at least 1 week off PPI therapy followed by testing on therapy after 1 month of twice-daily rabeprazole (20 mg). In those with continued acid and/or DGER, the tests were repeated after 1 month of double-dose (40 mg twice daily) rabeprazole. The primary study outcome was normalization of both acid and DGER. Symptom severity was assessed on and off PPI therapy employing a four-point ordinal scale.
RESULTS - A total of 29 patients with BE consented for pH monitoring, of whom 23 also consented for both pH and DGER monitoring off and on therapy (83% male; mean age 58 years; mean body mass index 29; mean Barrett's length 6.0 cm). Median (interquartile range) total % time pH <4 and bilirubin absorbance >0.14 off PPI therapy were 18.4 (11.7-20.0) and 9.7 (5.0-22.2), respectively. In addition, 26/29 (90%) had normalized acid and 18/23 (78%) had normalized DGER on rabeprazole 20 mg. Among those not achieving normalization on 20 mg twice daily, 3/3 (100%) had normalized acid and 4/5 (80%) had normalized DGER on rabeprazole 40 mg twice daily. All subjects had symptoms controlled on rabeprazole 20 mg twice daily. Univariate analysis found no predictor for normalization of physiologic parameters based on demographics.
CONCLUSIONS - Symptom control does not guarantee normalization of acid and DGER at standard dose of twice-daily PPI therapy. Normalization of acid and DGER can be achieved in 79% of BE patients on rabeprazole 20 mg p.o. twice daily, and in the majority of the remainder at high-dose twice-daily PPI. In patients undergoing ablative therapy, pH or DGER monitoring may not be needed to ensure normalization of reflux if patients are treated with high-dose PPI therapy.
The following, from the 12th OESO World Conference: Cancers of the Esophagus, includes commentaries on translational research on Barrett's esophagus that address evidence for genetic instability in esophageal cancer; the role of microsatellite instability; the use of histologic and serum Doublecortin-like kinase 1 expression for progression of Barrett's esophagus to adenocarcinoma; the oxidative stress in Barrett's tumorigenesis; the genomic alterations in esophageal cancer; in vivo modeling in Barrett's esophagus; epigenetic and transcriptional regulation in Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma; and normal and disordered regeneration in Barrett's esophagus.
© 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) is a classic example of inflammation-associated cancer, which develops through GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)-Barrett's esophagus (BE)-dysplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence. The incidence of EAC has been rising rapidly in the USA and Western countries during the last few decades. The functions of glutathione peroxidase 7 (GPX7), an antioxidant enzyme frequently silenced during Barrett's tumorigenesis, remain largely uncharacterized. In this study, we investigated the potential role of GPX7 in regulating nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) activity in esophageal cells. Western blot analysis, immunofluorescence and luciferase reporter assay data indicated that reconstitution of GPX7 expression in CP-A (non-dysplastic BE cells) and FLO-1 (EAC cells) abrogated tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced NF-κB transcriptional activity (P < 0.01) and nuclear translocation of NF-κB-p65 (P = 0.01). In addition, we detected a marked reduction in phosphorylation levels of components of NF-κB signaling pathway, p-p65 (S536), p-IκB-α (S32) and p-IKKα/β (S176/180), as well as significant suppression in induction of NF-κB target genes [TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-1β, CXCL-1 and CXCL-2] following treatment with TNF-α in GPX7-expressing FLO-1 cells as compared with control cells. We validated these effects by knockdown of GPX7 expression in HET1A (normal esophageal squamous cells). We found that GPX7-mediated suppression of NF-κB is independent of reactive oxygen species level and GPX7 antioxidant function. Further mechanistic investigations demonstrated that GPX7 promotes protein degradation of TNF-receptor 1 (TNFR1) and TNF receptor-associated factor 2 (TRAF2), suggesting that GPX7 modulates critical upstream regulators of NF-κB. We concluded that the loss of GPX7 expression is a critical step in promoting the TNF-α-induced activation of proinflammatory NF-κB signaling, a major player in GERD-associated Barrett's carcinogenesis.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.