Published online Nov 15, 2014. doi: 10.4291/wjgp.v5.i4.450
Revised: July 2, 2014
Accepted: July 17, 2014
Published online: November 15, 2014
Barrett’s esophagus is the strongest risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). Metaplasia in patients with BE may progress to dysplasia and then invasive carcinoma. Well-defined diagnostic, progressive, predictive, and prognostic biomarkers are needed to identify the presence of the disease, estimate the risk of malignant transformation, and predict the therapeutic outcome and survival of EAC patients. There are many predictive and prognostic markers that lack substantial validation, and do not allow stratification of patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease in clinical practice for outcome and effectiveness of therapy. In this short review we summarize the current knowledge regarding possible biomarkers, focusing on the pathophysiologic mechanisms to improve prognostic and therapeutic approaches.
Core tip: The importance of biomarkers of Barrett’s esophagus is to provide identification of the disease, estimate the risk of malignant transformation, predict the response to therapy, and indicate the overall survival-prognosis for esophageal adenocarcinoma patients. Proposed predictive and prognostic markers do not allow stratification of gastroesophageal reflux disease patients for progression, outcome, and effectiveness of therapy in clinical practice. The aim of this short review is to discuss the current knowledge regarding proposed biomarkers to improve prognostic and predictive therapeutic approaches, with a focus on the pathophysiologic mechanisms.