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Novel Treatment for Barrett's Esophagus Shows Promise

Banding without resection shows promise in pilot study; more data needed

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with short-segment Barrett's esophagus (SSBE), banding without resection appears to be a safe and effective way to eradicate the diseased tissue, according to study findings published in the August issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Edgardo Diaz-Cervantes, M.D., of Saint Joseph's Hospital in Zacatecas, Mexico, and colleagues treated 30 patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) by endoscopically placing variceal bands over the BE. This was repeated monthly until patients had two consecutive endoscopic and histologic examinations negative for BE. To serve as controls, the researchers randomly selected 30 patients from a group who had undergone surveillance endoscopy for BE during the past year. Both groups were treated with omeprazole three times a day.

Median follow-up was 16.9 months. Complete eradication of BE was achieved in 29 out of 30 of the patients who underwent banding without resection. In the control group, BE persisted in all 30 patients. The treatment group averaged 6.1 bands applied per patient and 3.1 endoscopy sessions for complete eradication.

"In conclusion, banding without resection appears to be a safe, effective, simple, and widely available technique for eradicating SSBE. Nonetheless, further studies are needed," the authors conclude.

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