Oesophageal adenocarcinomas arising in Barrett's epithelium occasionally present as multiple lesions. This could be due to either a multifocal presentation of the same tumour, or different neoplasms arising simultaneously in a dysplastic Barrett's oesophagus ('field cancerization'). This is a report of the genetic analysis of multiple neoplastic sites in a Barrett's oesophagus with an extensive area of dysplasia. In addition, the dysplastic Barrett's epithelium was evaluated. For the genetic screening, comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) allowed evaluation of the whole genome of each specimen. Five cancerous regions were selected and subsequently dissected from paraffin-embedded tissue blocks. The use of archival materials enabled a targeted collection of representative tumour locations. Multiple genetic aberrations were detected by CGH in all cancer sites. Losses on 3p, 4, 7q, 18q, and Y, as well as gains on 8q, 9q, 12p, 13q, 17q, 20p and X, were found in each specimen. In four out of the five lesions, simultaneous losses on 9p, 15q, and 16q, with concomitant gains on 5p, 7q, and 10p, were disclosed by CGH. Adjacent high-grade dysplastic Barrett's mucosa shared the losses on 3p, 4, 7q, 9p, 18, and Y, as well as the gains on 5p, 7q, 13q, 17q, and X, thereby confirming its precursor status. Within this single and rare case of multifocal Barrett's adenocarcinoma, a monoclonal genotype was present. This must have been caused by an extensive outgrowth of a single tumour.
Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.