David M. Poppers, MD, PhD: A Promising New Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Tool

May 24, 2021
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

Direct optical endoscopy are often underutilized in screenings for EAC.

In a poster presented during the 2021 Digestive Disease Week (DDW) Virtual Meeting, researchers tested EsoCheck, a catheter/inflatable balloon-based device that allows for the rapid sampling of the mucosa in the distal esophagus.

Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has increased by about 6-fold in the last 40 years, with risk factors including long-standing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Traditionally, the disease is screened for using direct optical endoscopy. However, this can be underutilized.

The new balloon technique does not require endoscopy or sedation but collects esophageal cells in about 3-5 minutes. The cells are analyzed through a proprietary molecular assay called EsoGuard for the presence of methylation above a defined threshold at specific sites of the vimentin and CCNA1 genes. There is a reported sensitivity and specificity of greater than 90% for the detection of nondysplastic/dysplastic Barrett’s esophagus and EAC.

The study included an unselected population of 99 patients over a wide age range, 90% of which completed the procedure.

In an interview with HCPLive®, David M. Poppers, MD, PhD, NYU Langone, explained the parameters of the initial study and why EsoCheck could help increase diagnoses of EAC.