The role of Wnt antagonists in the carcinogenesis of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) remains unclear. We hypothesized that downregulation of the Wnt inhibitory factor-1 (WIF-1) might be involved in the neoplastic progression of Barrett's esophagus (BE). We analyzed the DNA methylation status of the WIF-1 promoter in normal, preneoplastic, and neoplastic samples from BE patients and in EAC cell lines. We investigated the role of WIF-1 on EAC cell growth and the chemosensitization of the cells to cisplatin. We found that silencing of WIF-1 correlated with promoter hypermethylation. EAC tissue samples showed higher levels of WIF-1 methylation compared to the matched normal epithelium. In addition, we found that WIF-1 hypermethylation was more frequent in BE samples from patients with EAC than in BE samples from patients who had not progressed to EAC. Restoration of WIF-1 in cell lines where WIF-1 was methylation-silenced resulted in growth suppression. Restoration of WIF-1 could sensitize the EAC cells to the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. Our results suggest that silencing of WIF-1 through promoter hypermethylation is an early and common event in the carcinogenesis of BE. Restoring functional WIF-1 might be used as a new targeted therapy for the treatment of this malignancy.