Background: The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate endoscopic resection (ER) combined with photodynamic therapy (PDT) for the treatment of selected patients with early neoplasia in Barrett's esophagus.
Methods: Patients with Barrett's esophagus and neoplastic lesions <2 cm in diameter and no sign of submucosal infiltration, positive lymph nodes, or distant metastasis underwent diagnostic ER (cap technique). Patients with a T1sm tumor in the resection specimen were referred for surgery; those with a T1m or a less invasive tumor underwent additional endoscopic therapy (ER, PDT, and/or argon plasma coagulation [APC]), or they were followed. PDT was performed with 5-aminolevulinic acid and a light dose of 100 J/cm 2 at lambda = 632 nm.
Results: Thirty-three patients underwent diagnostic ER. Endoscopic treatment was not performed in 5 patients, who underwent surgery (4 T1sm; 1, patient preference). Five patients were immediately entered into a follow-up protocol, and 23 received additional endoscopic treatment (13 additional ER, 19 PDT, 3 APC). Endoscopic treatment was successful in 26/28 patients; no severe complication was observed. During follow-up (median 19 months, range 13-24 months), 5/26 patients had a recurrence of high-grade dysplasia: all were successfully re-treated with ER. At the end of follow-up, 26/33 originally enrolled patients (79%) and 26/28 endoscopically treated patients (93%) were in local remission.
Conclusions: Endoscopic therapy is safe and effective for selected patients with early stage neoplasia in Barrett's esophagus.