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Aspirin reduces esophageal-cancer risk in people with most-aggressive form of Barrett's esophagus

SEATTLE -- Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have found that people with the most-aggressive form of Barretts esophagus, a precancerous condition that can lead to esophageal cancer, may benefit the most from preventive therapy with aspirin, ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. The researchers also identified a cluster of four known cancer biomarkers, or genetic abnormalities, in people with Barretts that significantly increases their risk of developing esophageal cancer.

These findings, by lead authors Patricia C. Galipeau and Xiaohong Li, senior author Brian J. Reid, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues in the Hutchinson Center-based Seattle Barretts Esophagus Program, will be published in the Feb. 27 issue of PLoS Medicine, a freely available online journal. Researchers from Virginia Mason Medical Center, Harvard Medical School and The Wistar Institute collaborated on the study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Hutchinson Center.

The researchers found that those with three or more of the cancer biomarkers upon enrollment in the study who also used aspirin or other NSAIDs had a 30 percent risk of esophageal cancer after 10 years, while those with the same biomarkers who did not use NSAIDs had a 79 percent risk of developing cancer within a decade of joining the study.

"This is the first prospective, longitudinal study in patients with Barretts esophagus or any other pre-malignant condition, for that matter to link somatic genetic biomarkers for cancer-risk prediction with candidate interventions such as NSAIDs to prevent cancer," said Galipeau, a research technician in Reids laboratory, which is based in the Hutchinson Centers Human Biology Division.

The researchers also found that Barretts patients whose esophageal tissue had no such genetic abnormalities, or biomarkers, upon joining the study had a 12 percent risk of developing esophageal cancer after 10 years, where
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Contact: Kristen Lidke Woodward
kwoodwar@fhcrc.org
206-667-5095
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
26-Feb-2007


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