Background & aims: Experimental evidence indicates that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)/aspirin, and statins can protect patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) from developing neoplasias. However, only limited data are available on chemoprevention in patients with BE.
Methods: A retrospective observational study was performed using data from patients with documented BE. Prescription information was collected from pharmacy records. Cox regression analyses were performed to examine the association between prescriptions for PPIs, NSAIDs/aspirin, or statins and the risk of developing esophageal dysplasia or adenocarcinoma during follow-up (from 1982 to 2005).
Results: We examined 344 patients diagnosed with BE (mean age 61 years, 90.4% Caucasian, 94.2% male). After BE diagnosis, 67.2% of the patients were prescribed PPIs for a mean duration of 5.1 years; 49.1% were prescribed NSAIDs for a mean duration of 3.6 years, and 25.3% were prescribed statins for a mean duration of 2.8 years. During 2620 patient-years, high grade dysplasia or esophageal adenocarcinoma developed in 33 patients. PPI treatment after BE diagnosis was associated with a reduced risk of high grade dysplasia or cancer; this association persisted after adjustment for gender, age, and the length of BE. NSAID and/or aspirin therapy were associated with a nonsignificant trend toward lower incidence of high grade dysplasia or esophageal cancer.
Conclusions: PPI therapy reduces the risk of neoplasms in patients with BE. NSAIDs/aspirin appear to reduce cancer risk whereas statin use is not significantly associated with the risk of neoplasia in patients with BE.