Gastro-duodenal content reflux from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) induces the inflammation-metaplasia-dysplasia-adenocarcinoma sequence. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are potent blockers of gastric acid secretion, which are widely used for treating GERD and peptic ulcer-associated acid-secreting diseases. The effect of PPI therapy on esophageal carcinogenesis remains unclear. While some studies suggest PPIs result in a significant reduction in the risk of developing dysplasia and adenocarcinoma in patients with Barrett's esophagus, others suggest that PPIs have no effect. Recent studies have revealed that PPIs can exert anti-inflammatory effects such as anti-oxidant properties and immunomodulatory effects through their interactions with neutrophils, monocytes, endothelial and epithelial cells. In addition, PPIs have the ability to prevent adhesion molecule binding in malignant cells and suppress metastasis. This article reviews the role of PPIs in esophageal carcinogenesis and their use as antitumor agents.