Multicenter, Prospective Trial of Nonendoscopic Biomarker-Driven Detection of Barrett's Esophagus and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

Am J Gastroenterol. 2024 May 21. doi: 10.14309/ajg.0000000000002850. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: Preliminary data suggest that an encapsulated balloon (EsoCheck), coupled with a 2 methylated DNA biomarker panel (EsoGuard), detects Barrett's esophagus (BE) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) with high accuracy. The initial assay requires sample freezing upon collection. The purpose of this study was to assess a next-generation EsoCheck sampling device and EsoGuard assay in a much-enlarged multicenter study clinically enhanced by using a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988-compliant assay and samples maintained at room temperature.

Methods: Cases with nondysplastic BE (NDBE), dysplastic BE (indefinite for dysplasia, low-grade dysplasia, high-grade dysplasia), EAC, junctional adenocarcinoma, plus endoscopy controls without esophageal intestinal metaplasia, were prospectively enrolled. Medical assistants at 6 institutions delivered the encapsulated balloon per orally with inflation in the stomach. The inflated balloon sampled the distal 5 cm of the esophagus and then was deflated and retracted into the capsule, preventing sample contamination. EsoGuard bisulfite sequencing assayed levels of methylated vimentin and methylated cyclin A1.

Results: A total of 243 evaluable patients-88 cases (median age 68 years, 78% men, 92% White) and 155 controls (median age 57 years, 41% men, 88% White)-underwent adequate EsoCheck sampling. The mean procedural time was approximately 3 minutes. Cases included 31 with NDBE, 16 with indefinite for dysplasia/low-grade dysplasia, 23 with high-grade dysplasia, and 18 with EAC/junctional adenocarcinoma. Thirty-seven NDBE and dysplastic BE cases (53%) were short-segment BE (<3 cm). Overall sensitivity was 85% (95% confidence interval 0.78-0.93) and specificity was 85% (95% confidence interval 0.79-0.90). Sensitivity for NDBE was 84%. EsoCheck/EsoGuard detected 100% of cancers (n = 18).

Discussion: EsoCheck/EsoGuard demonstrated high sensitivity and specificity in detecting BE and BE-related neoplasia.

Trial registration: NCT00288119.

Associated data