Preference of endoscopic ablation over medical prevention of esophageal adenocarcinoma by patients with Barrett's esophagus

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Jan;13(1):84-90. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2014.03.017. Epub 2014 Mar 26.


Background & aims: Endoscopic intervention or pharmacologic inhibition of cyclooxygenase might be used to prevent progression of Barrett's esophagus (BE) to esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). We investigated whether patients with BE prefer endoscopic therapy or chemoprevention of EAC.

Methods: Eighty-one subjects with nondysplastic BE were given a survey that described 2 scenarios. The survey explained that treatment A (ablation), endoscopy, reduced lifetime risk of EAC by 50%, with 5% risk for esophageal stricture, whereas treatment B (aspirin) reduced lifetime risk of EAC by 50% and the risk of heart attack by 30%, yet increased the risk for ulcer by 75%. Subjects indicated their willingness to undergo either treatment A and/or treatment B if endoscopic surveillance were required every 3-5 years, every 10 years, or were not required. Visual aids were included to represent risk and benefit percentages.

Results: When surveillance was required every 3-5 years, more subjects were willing to undergo treatment A than treatment B (78%, 63 of 81 vs 53%, 43 of 81; P < .01). There were no differences in age, sex, education level, or history of cancer, heart disease, or ulcer between patients willing to undergo treatment A and those willing to undergo treatment B. Altering the frequency of surveillance did not affect patients' willingness to undergo either treatment.

Conclusions: In a simulated scenario, patients with BE preferred endoscopic intervention over chemoprevention for EAC. Further investigation of the shared decision-making process regarding preventive strategies for patients with BE may be warranted.

Keywords: COX Inhibitor; Esophageal Cancer; Patient Choice; Surgery.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / prevention & control*
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Barrett Esophagus / complications*
  • Chemoprevention / methods*
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Esophageal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Young Adult