Development, calibration, and validation of a U.S. white male population-based simulation model of esophageal adenocarcinoma

PLoS One. 2010 Mar 1;5(3):e9483. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009483.


Background: The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) has risen rapidly in the U.S. and western world. The aim of the study was to begin the investigation of this rapid rise by developing, calibrating, and validating a mathematical disease simulation model of EAC using available epidemiologic data.

Methods: The model represents the natural history of EAC, including the essential biologic health states from normal mucosa to detected cancer. Progression rates between health states were estimated via calibration, which identified distinct parameter sets producing model outputs that fit epidemiologic data; specifically, the prevalence of pre-cancerous lesions and EAC cancer incidence from the published literature and Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data. As an illustrative example of a clinical and policy application, the calibrated and validated model retrospectively analyzed the potential benefit of an aspirin chemoprevention program.

Results: Model outcomes approximated calibration targets; results of the model's fit and validation are presented. Approximately 7,000 cases of EAC could have been prevented over a 30-year period if all white males started aspirin chemoprevention at age 40 in 1965.

Conclusions: The model serves as the foundation for future analyses to determine a cost-effective screening and management strategy to prevent EAC morbidity and mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / ethnology
  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Calibration
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Disease Progression
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Markov Chains
  • Models, Theoretical
  • United States


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Aspirin