About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Pathway Linking Heartburn and Esophageal Cancer Uncovered

by Sheela Philomena on October 8, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Font : A-A+

 Pathway Linking Heartburn and Esophageal Cancer Uncovered

Researchers have identified a new pathway that links Barrett's esophagus to the development of esophageal cancer. Their data suggest that blocking this pathway, such as with a proton pump inhibitor (e.g. omeprazole), may prevent the development of esophageal cancer. The study is published online in advance of print in the journal American Journal of Cell Physiology.

The common ailment goes by many names: heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). But no matter what you call it, it's uncomfortable and at times painful.

Advertisement

There are numerous causes of acid reflux, including pregnancy; large meals and eating habits; bending forward; hiatal hernia; peptic ulcers and insufficient digestive enzymes; asthma; smoking; and alcohol. Only a small percentage of those with GERD or heartburn will develop Barrett's esophagus, a condition in which the cells of the lower esophagus become damaged from repeated exposure to stomach acid.

"Patients with persistent acid reflux complicated by Barrett's esophagus may be at a higher risk of developing cancer of the esophagus," said principal investigator Weibiao Cao, M.D., of the department of pathology and medicine at Rhode Island Hospital. "However, we have discovered a pathway connecting the two that, if blocked by complete acid suppression with a proton pump inhibitor, may reduce the risk of esophageal cancer."
Advertisement

Patients with acid reflux and Barrett's esophagus may need to take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) such as omeprazole twice a day if they are still experiencing symptoms with just a single daily dose. The study also suggests that an enzyme NADPH oxidase NOX5-S, which produces hydrogen peroxide, is responsible for gene damage such as p16, a tumor suppressor, and plays an important role in the development of esophageal cancer. NOX5-S may be a preventive and/or therapeutic target for esophageal cancer.

"Further research is needed, but this finding suggests that patients with acid reflux complicated by Barrett's esophagus may be able to significantly reduce, or even eliminate, their risk of esophageal cancer through daily or twice-daily doses of PPI," Cao said.

One of the PPIs, omeprazole, is available by prescription and over the counter, but patients should consult with their physicians before taking any medication.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Black Tea Protects against Blood Pressure and Heart Diseases
Green Mediterranean Diet may Help Repair Age-Related Brain Damages
Cervical Cancer Awareness Month 2022
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Peptic Ulcer Cancer and Homeopathy Reflux Esophagitis Cancer Facts GERD Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Barrett’s Esophagus Indigestion Heartburn Symptom Evaluation 

Recommended Reading
Barrett’s Esophagus
Barrett's esophagus is a condition where the inner lining of the esophagus changes to resemble the ....
Heartburn Symptom Evaluation
Heartburn is a symptom that occurs due to irritation of the food pipe either due to acid reflux or ....
Rare Immune Cells Promote Food-induced Allergic Inflammation in the Esophagus
Food can be harmful to some even though it is an integral part of life....
Human Papillomavirus Linked to Oesophageal Cancer
According to research led by University of New South Wales (UNSW) academics, the human ......
GERD
This condition occurs due to the reflux of hydrochloric acid of the stomach into the oesophagus...
Indigestion
Indigestion or dyspepsia is referred to nonspecific symptoms or discomfort that causes persistent p...
Peptic Ulcer
Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general information about Peptic Ulcer...
Reflux Esophagitis
Reflux esophagitis is a condition causing inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. This happens ...
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
CONSULT A DOCTOR
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)