Acid Suppression Reduces Risk of Esophageal Cancer in Barrett’s Esophagus Interview with:

Dr. Aaron Thrift

Dr. Aaron Thrift

Aaron Peter Thrift, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Duncan Cancer Center
Department of Medicine, Gastroenterology Section
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX, US What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Dr. Thrift: Patients with Barrett’s esophagus are at significantly higher risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma. Due to the continued rise in incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma attention has turned to chemoprevention as a method to delay or halt the progression of Barrett’s esophagus to neoplasia, including invasive cancer. Acid suppressive medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs), are commonly used in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the primary risk factor for Barrett’s esophagus.

We contacted a nested case-control study involving 311 patients with Barrett’s esophagus who developed esophageal adenocarcinoma (cases) and 856 matched controls (patients with Barrett’s esophagus but who did not develop esophageal adenocarcinoma). Compared to never users, we found that Barrett’s esophagus patients taking PPIs and H2RAs had 69% and 45% lower risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma, respectively. The associations were independent of other risk factors for progression, including concomitant use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and statins. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? 

Dr. Thrift: In patients with Barrett’s esophagus, acid suppressant medications reduce the likelihood of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Thrift: Our study was conducted among veterans, mostly males. Further research should involve women and non-veterans. Our interest is in understanding whether use of acid suppressant medications also influence survival in patients after diagnosis with esophageal adenocarcinoma. 


Abstract presented at the 2016 Digestive Disease Week Conference

140 Acid Suppression Therapy Reduces Risk of Progression From Barrett’s Esophagus to Esophageal Adenocarcinoma: A Nested Case-Control Study in US Veterans

Mimi C. Tan , Hashem B. El-Serag, Xiaoying Yu, Aaron P. Thrift


Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on May 24, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD